7 Useful Tips for Olim Chadashim
By Danny Newman, Branch Manager – Beit Shemesh, Goldfus Insurance
As an Oleh Chadash who has experienced establishing a new life and home in Israel, here are seven insurance-based tips for Olim Chadashim that you may find helpful:
- Make sure you can drive on your foreign license in Israel before getting behind the wheel
An Oleh Chadash has three years to convert their foreign license to an Israeli one BUT can only drive on the foreign license for the first year from the date of making Aliyah. It is not relevant if you have left the country repeatedly during that first year period, the entitlement is calculated from the date of arrival. Driving on a foreign license after this time could jeapordise your insurance cover, even if you have paid your insurance premiums.
- Claims records from abroad could save you money on your car insurance
Some insurers treat an Oleh Chadash as a new driver due to the fact that they have no prior insurance record in Israel. Depending on time lapse between making Aliyah and purchasing their first car, certain agencies are able to negotiate on behalf of the client on the basis of a no-claims report from an insurer abroad and a signed declaration from the client, in lieu of a clean Israeli claims record. As this can significantly reduce insurance premiums, it is recommended that you procure your no claims document (showing the last 3-4 years) from your insurer before you leave for Israel.
- Not driving on Shabbat could reduce your car insurance premiums
For Olim Chadashim who are Shomrei Shabbat, it is worth noting that some insurance companies offer an extra discount for those not driving on Shabbatot and Chaggim, due to being on the road one day less a week, and the higher incidence of young drivers on the road who may drive more recklessly on the weekend. The insurance cover will still be active should one have to drive in the event of an emergency, known in Hebrew as Pikuach Nefesh. It is best to clarify the specific details of the cover with your insurance agent.
- Insuring a personal imported car can prove complicated and arduous
Should you be considering bring your car on Aliyah with you, it is important to consider how the insurance works and discrepancies that may exist between insuring a regular car sold in Israel and a personal import. It is worthwhile speaking to experts and to people who have done it, so an understanding of the insurance process can be gained and potential pitfalls avoided.
- Your contents insurance can be activated as soon as your shipment arrives at your new address
It is recommended to be in contact with your Israeli insurance agent prior to your Aliyah (or as soon as possible on arrival) to discuss contents insurance as maritime insurance provided by the shipping company is only valid until delivery of your shipment. If you are keeping your shipment in storage for an extended period of time, it is then worth consulting with your shipping company, storage facility and you Israeli agent to explore the best insurance solutions.
- Check that your foreign life insurance policy covers you in Israel
Should you happen to have a life, health or long term care insurance policy from abroad, it is recommended that you receive written confirmation if your policy will still cover you when you are no longer domicile in your country of origin. It is also worthwhile checking that the policies cover passive & active war and terror – an element of cover that is featured in Israeli insurance policies. Once you have settled, it may be worthwhile looking into Israeli alternatives in order to consider the benefits of either maintaining your policy from abroad or switching to an Israeli policy.
- Explore health insurance options Israel before you leave.
If you are making Aliyah on a trial basis, you may want to consider maintaining your private health policy abroad to avoid any complications should you return. This would also help you when you first arrive, as it can take a few days to activate your Kupat Cholim (Health Service) membership. For those who may not be eligible to register with Kupat Cholim upon arrival to Israel (often Returning Residents/Citizens), it is possible to purchase short term private health insurance policies until you receive confirmation of eligibility, subject to age and health underwriting.
For more information about insurance in Israel, contact us today!