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Aug 22, 2016

What is the best way to consolidate the insurance needs for a global real estate portfolio?

Consider this scenario: You own nine homes in six different countries. You have automobiles, fine art, jewelry and collector vehicles at each of these residences. You have a yacht, your own stables with horses, five full-time personal employees and two kids in college.

Protecting this lifestyle may seem like a tall order, but the scenario has become increasingly more common.

Today’s high net worth individuals are more mobile than ever, with nearly half (43 percent) having lived in more than one country.1 The result is that whether it’s for business or pleasure, more and more people have become global citizens. And with that, the need for a comprehensive risk-management program has increased dramatically.

Research from global real estate consultant Knight Frank has found that the second-most important factor for high net worth individuals buying a second home is that property’s function as a safe haven for capital.2

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, more and more people have become global citizens.

Here are a few key considerations to effectively manage the insurance complexities of a global lifestyle:

1. ONE POINT OF CONTACT

Your life becomes easier when you have the ability to call or email just one person who can handle all questions and concerns, whether they pertain to your Manhattan apartment, your beach house in Cabo San Lucas or your chalet in Switzerland. Each country has its own unique requirements, and working with an independent insurance advisor who can help you with global concerns is crucial.

Oftentimes when multiple advisors share a global insurance portfolio, each party concentrates only on the piece that he or she is responsible for. If this occurs, there may be holes in your coverage that go unnoticed. Did your primary insurance advisor in the U.K. know that workers compensation coverage was required in the United States? Did your U.S. broker know that you had horses on your property in the Bahamas, which could expose your family to liability litigation?

2. COMPREHENSIVE AND CONSISTENT LEVELS OF COVERAGE

Every insurance company has its own policy language, coverages and exclusions. It’s important that your insurance advisor recognizes those differences and works to ensure the most consistent level of coverage. If water damage caused by sewer backup is included in your U.S. policy, why should it be excluded on your Spain policy?

Look for companies that offer similar levels of coverage regardless of where your homes are located worldwide. This will lead to less confusion, and hopefully minimize frustration, in the event of a claim.

3. SIMPLICITY WITH THE PAPERWORK

One renewal date. Streamlined billing. One comprehensive annual review of all your insurance needs, wherever and whatever they may be. Having all of your assets with one insurance company can save you a lot of headaches. It gives you peace of mind to know that you are covered for a broad range of circumstances, and potentially gives you more leverage if and when you have a claim. Your insurance company will know that it handles all of your business and should therefore treat you with the highest importance in the event that something goes wrong.

1The Rise of the Global Citizen? Survey by Ledbury Research, 2014.

2The Wealth Report, Knight Frank, 2013.

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a worldleading property-casualty and general insurance organization servicing more than 70 million clients around the world. Through its Private Client Group, a division of the AIG member companies, successful individuals can access innovative protection for homes, excess liability, automobiles, private collections, yachts and more. AIG Private Client Group also offers supplemental services designed to minimize property damages, safeguard fine art and other collectibles and bolster family safety.

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