William Russell International Life Policy (Protection Review rating: Gold, Adviser rating 6)

June 2021 William Russell: Term


William Russell has offered its International Life Insurance policy for expats and their families, around the world since 1992. Since we reviewed the plan in 2018, some changes have been made, so this update covers the plan as it is today (June 2021).

The plan pays out up to US$2m should the customer die or be diagnosed with a terminal illness with a prognosis of less than 12 months. The life plans are international, and cover life, work and travel abroad. Optional accident benefit is also available.

The application form can be completed digitally and there is often no need for a medical examination. Customers under age 50, who are fit and healthy and applying for cover of US$750k or less, can usually be covered within 48 hours. Where a medical examination is required, this can be at a clinic near the customer, and William Russell will reimburse the cost of the medical once the plan is issued.

Cover is available on an annually renewable basis to age 70. The policy is available in most countries, but not Iran, North Korea, Libya, South Sudan, Syria, Switzerland, USA or Yemen.

Both individual and business cover is available. Customers must be office based; if not, a full description must be provided and some occupations are not acceptable or will be rated. Any change of occupation must be notified and cover may cease if the new occupation isn’t acceptable (or a rating may be applied). Taking part in any hazardous activity must also be notified, and again cover may cease or a rating applied.

Premiums are age-related and increase each year. A guide with full information is available at:

The plan is underwritten by Allianz.

Comment: This plan is simple annually renewable life cover, with the premium going up each year. That makes starting a plan inexpensive, although the cost will rise over time. As many expats will look to return to the UK after some years, that is not usually an issue however.

Paying out on terminal illness is valuable too. The optional accident benefit may also be useful, as it pays out not just on death but also on serious injury.

Overall, useful cover for expats to consider.

Plus points: Simple life cover for expats; Inexpensive to start; Pays out on terminal illness or death; Optional accident cover.

Not so plus points: Annually renewable; Premiums rise each year.


Rating (max 10): Overall: 8. Gold

Tags: term; William Russell

I Mark: No

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