Insurance is one of the most important things you need to take care of and ensure you are covered before you leave overseas. I’m talking about personal insurance for you and all of your family members as well as insurance to protect all of your belongings!
If you are relocating abroad with your home-country employer, check the insurance provisions your employer may have on a corporate basis to cover employees who relocate internationally. Sometimes companies with large numbers of internationally located employees have negotiated group policies. Some of the provisions may be applicable and useful to your circumstances and sometimes, you will need to make your own arrangements to ensure you are covered.
If you are moving overseas for work, be sure to know who is making the insurance arrangements for your personal items. Your employer may provide insurance for some of your household goods but then again, maybe not. Also, if you are shipping pricey items and over-sized belongings which may be excluded from coverage, make sure your employer knows this so that if items need to be insured, either by you or your employer, it will be covered.
Find out if shipping insurance, for example, is being arranged through your corporate office or through an agent abroad, and whom you should contact in the event of a problem. You will also want to know exactly what each policy covers; when coverage begins and ends; and what the claims procedure and the deadlines are.
By taking steps and knowing what your employer will or will not cover, you’ll be in a great position to ensure your items are covered. If you use our international moving service, we will be happy to guide you through the process and provide you with peace-of-mind knowing that everything will be taken care of when you move to your new country.
When you move overseas, whether for a new job opportunity or for a new adventure in your life, you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row before you say goodbye to the U.S.
An international move can be complicated but since I’m in the moving biz, I’m going to share with you some basic tips but very important tips before you make the leap overseas.
Yeah, that’s pretty basic but you’ll need work visas or permits to ensure you are working legally in your new country. It’s also helpful just to know the job market there and a basic understanding of the city you are moving to. If it’s for work, no problem, they usually have contacts available for you. If not, contact some organizations that are familiar with your job and get to know one or two people that can be your “guide” so you know how the new city works and operates—safe places to live, good eats etc.
You have money coming whether for work or another way of income and you need to make sure it’s in a safe place. Contact some banks there and find out if you can set up an account before you leave. Know what type of fees they might charge and find out how safe your money is. You don’t want to have a lot of cash in your pocket when arriving in your new country and have it either stolen or lost somehow.
Consult with an accountant
One of the smartest things you can do before your move is to know the tax system not only here when you are out of the country, but in your new land. It can be complicated so be sure to contact your accountant or hire a tax professional to ensure you have a plan and meet all of your tax obligations. It will avoid major headaches while leaving abroad, trust me.
This is another basic tip but believe it or not, many people don’t check to find out if they are covered overseas. The last thing you need is to get ill and be hospitalized and find out your insurance doesn’t cover you or your family. Check with your health care provider if you are insured or not and make any adjustments if needed so you are insured.
If you have kids and they are moving with you, make sure your new country can provide a proper or continuing of education that specializes in teaching American citizens. Call some institutions beforehand so your kids or teens have a good school to attend. Feel free to visit the State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools for more information on the best educational opportunities for your kids.
One of the most hardworking people in the moving industry besides what I do (wink) are the professional movers who pack your belongings in boxes and load your furniture and place them in the moving trucks to get them to your final destination.
Movers are part of the service trade. In other words, they are service professionals and you base your tip on the services performed. Yes, you do tip movers but it’s not expected. Most people will buy them lunch for their tip and or provide cash.
If a mover is late, has a bad attitude and isn’t attentive to ensure your belongings are packed properly, you certainly won’t tip them or provide lunch. However, if the movers job performance was attentive, helpful, professional and packed your items appropriately, then give what you believe is fair.
What is a reasonable tip and fair to give to your movers? Here are some recommendations:
• Offer the movers to buy them lunch especially if it’s at least a half-day move. That’s just as good as a cash tip. Some people do both but it’s not necessary. If you do buy them lunch, don’t assume it should be hamburgers or pizza. Keep in mind, you are not the only one that they are moving your life belongings for. Ask what the movers feel like having.
• Make sure to have small items on hand such as bottled water (easier to carry around than a glass of water), sodas and light snacks. Don’t offer them alcoholic drinks like beer, it’s stereotypical, movers can’t drink on the job and there are liability issues.
• There’s really no percentage amount to give to movers like there is in other service industries such as restaurants where waitresses or waiters receive 20 percent for excellent service. About $10 per person is proper and if it’s a full day, then about $20 or so per mover.
• If you do give a cash tip, don’t give it all to the driver or one person but to each individual. That really recognizes each individual’s efforts and is fair overall.
If your movers are professional, polite and do a good job, reward them like anyone else in the service industry.
Even though many of us receive packages via FedEx or by other means, we still have important snail-mail to collect and when moving overseas, you want to ensure you receive it at your new home or residence. With technology today, you can now actually manage your mail from abroad by using mail forwarding services.
Moving can be stressful especially moving overseas but be sure to select a mail servicing company before heading out so that important letters, correspondences and yes, even bills are still sent to you.
You can choose a variety of features including:
• Mail sent monthly, bi-monthly or as requested
• Add an Internet account so you can view the status of your mail and specify specific shipping dates
• Shipping and customs documents can be handled by the shipping service you choose
• Categorize or select which parcels of mail you want to receive overseas
The U.S. Postal Services regulates commercial receiving agencies (CRMAs) and requires a form to be filled out (you can download it here: https://about.usps.com/forms/ps1583.pdf and have identification documents handy when filling out the form. If you have a significant other and you’re not married, each person will need to fill out a separate form.
Mail-forwarding services eases a lot of worries when heading overseas and this is just another convenient service to use when living in another country.
You have a passport and visa and off you go to move overseas. Not so fast, you need to make sure other documents are in order before leaving. It’s crucial that additional paperwork and important copies of medical insurance, income tax records and the like are with you heading to your host country.
There are not only obligations from your own government here but records of “who you are” are important to have to take with you. Make sure you have copies with you in your briefcase or other hand-carried case on the airplane, don’t put them in your luggage in case it’s lost and certainly don’t ship them away in your belongings heading overseas.
Below is a recommended list of documents to have with you when moving:
• Employment contracts and a letter from your employers stating the terms of your stay. If local host-country authorities need them for some reason or ask to see them.
• Birth certificates of each family member
• Pertinent medical records
• Pertinent dental records
• Driver’s license (if you are planning to drive a vehicle in your host country, you’ll need to apply for a license there)
• Property and vehicle insurance records
• Income tax records
• Wills if Appropriate
• Each member of your family’s passport and other documentation
By making sure you have multiple copies of important documents with you, your overseas move will be so much easier in the event that any of your paperwork is requested while traveling or when you are settling into your new home.