If you’re a foreign national with substantial assets in the US and other countries, you understand the unique challenges of managing personal and business interests across international borders. Life insurance can be a powerful tool to help you control and transfer family assets. To help, we’ve created a team of dedicated professionals who provide concierge-level services.

How foreign nationals with US assets can benefit from US life insurance

Families from around the world have traditionally looked to the US to help provide protection for their capital and assets. But there’s a problem when it comes to transferring family wealth: While US residents enjoy a federal estate tax exemption of $12,060,000, the exemption for non-residents is limited to just $60,000.3 Having a life insurance policy can help bridge this disparity, because the death benefit of a life insurance policy issued by a US insurance company to a non-resident is exempt from estate taxes. In addition, US-denominated life insurance helps to:

  • Cover any potential estate taxes associated with your US holdings.

  • Diversify your overall financial picture.

  • Provide a source of funds in a currency that is historically one of the most stable in the world.

The program is exclusively for non-US citizens residing outside the United States who:

Have $250,000 in a US chartered bank for at least 6 months

OR

Own residential or commercial property in the US

OR

Own an interest in or equity in a US-based business

OR

Have immediate family members who are US citizens

Why so many international clients choose Guardian

When you have business interests, real estate holdings, and family members in multiple countries, including the United States, your personal financial needs can be a challenge. That’s why Guardian provides specialized life insurance solutions and services designed to meet the unique demands of high-net-worth international clients. Our Global Citizens program includes a team of professionals that are specially trained to understand your circumstances and address complex challenges with the backing of one of the country's largest mutual life insurance companies.4 Guardian has an international in-force block of business of $3.5B covering 128 countries, and our financial strength is recognized by numerous rating companies, with a Comdex (composite financial ranking) score of 99 out of 100.*

Frequently asked questions about life insurance for foreign nationals

Foreign nationals can usually qualify for the same kinds of life insurance coverage as US citizens, as long as they have permanent legal resident status in the US. Non-permanent residents and visa holders will typically find it more challenging to get coverage, but certain products may be available from some providers. For more information, you should consider speaking with a broker or agent who has experience finding coverage for foreign nationals.

Certain high-net-worth non-resident, non-US citizens may also qualify for life insurance from a US carrier if they have substantial US-based assets and/or family members in the United States. Specialized programs, such as Guardian’s Global Citizens program, focus on addressing the unique needs of these international clients.

Specific qualifications and coverage amounts vary from one life insurance company to the next, but generally speaking, you must have significant financial and/or family ties in the US. For example, to qualify for the Guardian Global Citizens program, an applicant must be a non-US citizen, residing outside the US, and:

  • Have $250,000 or more in a US-chartered bank for at least six months,5 or

  • Own residential or commercial property in the US, or

  • Own equity in a US-based business, or

  • Have immediate family members who are US citizens.

Yes, a non-US citizen, such as a family member living abroad, can be a life insurance beneficiary. However, that person typically must have an insurable interest, which means the beneficiary receives a financial or other benefit from the policyholder, for example, because they depend on that person for support.

Foreign nationals can usually qualify for the same kinds of life insurance coverage as US citizens, as long as they have permanent legal resident status in the US. Non-permanent residents and visa holders will typically find it more challenging to get coverage, but certain products may be available from some providers. For more information, you should consider speaking with a broker or agent who has experience finding coverage for foreign nationals.

Certain high-net-worth non-resident, non-US citizens may also qualify for life insurance from a US carrier if they have substantial US-based assets and/or family members in the United States. Specialized programs, such as Guardian’s Global Citizens program, focus on addressing the unique needs of these international clients.

Specific qualifications and coverage amounts vary from one life insurance company to the next, but generally speaking, you must have significant financial and/or family ties in the US. For example, to qualify for the Guardian Global Citizens program, an applicant must be a non-US citizen, residing outside the US, and:

  • Have $250,000 or more in a US-chartered bank for at least six months,5 or

  • Own residential or commercial property in the US, or

  • Own equity in a US-based business, or

  • Have immediate family members who are US citizens.

Yes, a non-US citizen, such as a family member living abroad, can be a life insurance beneficiary. However, that person typically must have an insurable interest, which means the beneficiary receives a financial or other benefit from the policyholder, for example, because they depend on that person for support.

*Comdex is not a rating but a composite of all ratings that a company has received from the four major ratings agencies (A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s). Comdex represents a company’s percentile standing on a scale of 1 to 100 (with 100 being the best) in 2022 in relation to other companies that have been rated by the major agencies. Ratings are of December 31, 2022 and are subject to change.

1 All whole life insurance policy guarantees are subject to the timely payment of all required premiums and the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Policy loans and withdrawals affect the guarantees by reducing the policy’s death benefit and cash values.

2 Some whole life polices do not have cash values in the first two years of the policy and don’t pay a dividend until the policy’s third year. Talk to your financial representative and refer to your individual whole life policy illustration for more information.

3 Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. The information provided is based on our general understanding of the subject matter discussed and is for informational purposes only

4 https://news.ambest.com/articlecontent.aspx?refnum=311810&altsrc=2

5 Other financial related requirements may apply.

*Comdex is not a rating but a composite of all ratings that a company has received from the four major ratings agencies (A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s). Comdex represents a company’s percentile standing on a scale of 1 to 100 (with 100 being the best) in 2022 in relation to other companies that have been rated by the major agencies. Ratings are of December 31, 2022 and are subject to change.

1 All whole life insurance policy guarantees are subject to the timely payment of all required premiums and the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Policy loans and withdrawals affect the guarantees by reducing the policy’s death benefit and cash values.

2 Some whole life polices do not have cash values in the first two years of the policy and don’t pay a dividend until the policy’s third year. Talk to your financial representative and refer to your individual whole life policy illustration for more information.

3 Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. The information provided is based on our general understanding of the subject matter discussed and is for informational purposes only

4 https://news.ambest.com/articlecontent.aspx?refnum=311810&altsrc=2

5 Other financial related requirements may apply.