Insurance in Israel - FAQs

Annual Guide to Insurance in Israel: 2022 Update

Are you looking to make a change to your insurance or begin a new insurance policy upon moving to Israel? We are here to help you feel well informed and receive the best coverage for your needs. Whether you are looking for supplementary insurance, a change in a previous insurance plan, or just interested in learning more about insurance in Israel as an oleh chadash (new citizen), Goldfus is proud to be your trusted insurance partner. 

All questions are welcome, so whether you’re an oleh chadash, long term resident, or just prefer to have these conversations in English (we also provide service in French and Hebrew!). Here are the top insurance-related questions we have answered recently. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us so we can assist.  

Insurance Questions When Making Aliyah: 

Make sure you’re informed before your move to Israel! Common questions we hear from Olim Chadashim, like you, are important. We are here to keep you safe and covered. Throughout your move, educated decisions are the way to go, rather than costly choices that don’t benefit you or your wallet.

Can I Use My Foreign Health Insurance In Israel?

Often you can use your foreign health insurance in Israel, although you will need to check with your provider from abroad about their coverage plans for you while in Israel. If you have moved to Israel permanently, you will be able to pick a kupat cholim (HMO) and may also want additional health insurance locally. If you do choose to keep your foreign health insurance, remember to always get things in writing from your provider. 

Should I Have Travel Insurance Upon Arriving In Israel? 

You will need travel insurance if traveling to Israel as a tourist. If you are arriving as an oleh chadash, you can usually register with kupat cholim at the airport. Make sure to leave at least 1-2 weeks worth of time between your insurance plans for peace of mind. If you are one of the tricky statuses of olim, you should arrive in Israel either with travel insurance from abroad or tourist insurance in Israel that will cover you for at least 6 months.

How Do I Pick Which Kupat Cholim To Sign Up With?

Your kupat cholim should be chosen based on recommendations relating to your preferred health services and doctors in your area. We recommend talking to friends and neighbors about their favorite doctors and experiences with different insurance providers. If you have existing medical issues, you should speak with kupat cholim experts who might advise you to go with one over the other. There is slightly different coverage with each HMO and on each insurance tier they offer.  

If you are exploring private health insurance in Israel, we recommend looking at your medical needs and matching those with the prefered doctors under different policies. For more information, Goldfus is here to help!

Do I Need COVID-19 Insurance To Fly To Israel?

Your new kupat cholim will cover you for COVID-19 as an oleh. If you are traveling into the country as a tourist, you will need Covid-19 insurance to fly to Israel. Be sure to check the current regulations before you visit. Currently, the regulations are tight, and we wouldn’t want you missing a flight or time spent in the country.

I Am Sending A Shipment To Israel. Can I Insure The Contents Of The Shipment?

Most shipping companies require you to insure your shipment from door to door. Once in your home, you will need content insurance. It’s important to set up the correct insurance at the correct time, so don’t miss any important dates during the move!

At What Age Should I Consider Getting Life Insurance?

Generally speaking, the younger you are, the healthier you are. So from a health declaration perspective, you should consider signing up as early as possible. That said, most people only need life insurance once they have dependents. So when you are ready to start a family, or if you have other dependents, you should consider purchasing life insurance

Should I Make Plans To Save For Retirement Or Does The State, Or My Job, Offer A Pension?

While the state will cover a portion of your retirement, you certainly should be planning your fund individually. Regulation requires every employee to have a pension fund, but often that is not enough. It is important to maintain your pension policy, and where possible, to add to an investment plan in an effort to add to your future pension allowance.

Questions About Health Insurance In Israel:

Who Are The Health Insurance Providers (Kupat Cholim) In Israel?

The Israeli healthcare system works through four major insurance carriers (HMOs): Maccabi, Meuhedet, Leumit, and Clalit. When you sign up to the HMO (kupat cholim) you must join one of these four companies to receive basic medical coverage. The base insurance plan is paid to Bituach Leumi (The National Insurance Institution). The package includes many services such as doctor visits, prescription medications, preventative medicine, and prenatal care, and is offered to everyone regardless of age or pre-existing conditions. While the kupot have many similarities in coverage, they all have their own benefits, prices and packages to choose from. If you have a specific doctor you would like to see, make sure they fall under your chosen insurance.

What Is A “Health Basket” And Why Does It Matter?

The Sal HaBriut (Health Basket) is something special in Israel for personal health needs. The Sal HaBriut is what is legally required to be covered by insurance companies for their members. Some services included:

  • Prescriptions
  • Hospital Visits
  • Clinic Visits
  • Some Medical Equipment

This bare-minimum services law is in place to make sure kupat cholim provide what is necessary for the general health of an individual. If you are wondering about an item included in the Sal HaBriut, consult with your insurance provider, your doctor, or the Ministry of Health.

Does It Matter Which Kupat Cholim I Choose?

No matter which kupat cholim you choose, you will receive health care. If there are specialists or specific doctors you need to see, make sure that your provider is on your kupat cholim. There are slight price differences between each provider, so always check the pricing and plan options. We also suggest speaking to friends and neighbors for recommendations for the best insurances in the area where you choose to move. 

Do I Need Supplemental Or Private Health Insurance?

While supplemental health insurance isn’t a necessity, there are some services which the basic Sal Habriut package does not cover completely. Each of the four major kupat cholim companies offers optional, supplementary insurance services on top of your basic coverage. While these supplemental insurance plans offer more than the basic insurance plans, they don’t cover everything. There are many potential benefits to supplemental health insurance and for the most comprehensive coverage, private health insurance is a necessity. It is important to evaluate your specific medical and financial situation when deciding on supplemental health insurance. 

Does My Israeli Health Insurance Cover Me If I Am Traveling Outside of Israel?

Kupot cholim do not automatically provide coverage when traveling outside Israel, but they all work with private insurance companies to provide insurance when traveling abroad. At Goldfus, we offer competitive travel insurance. Check with us before you book a trip!

Is Critical Illness Covered By The HMO Basket Or Do I Need Critical Care Coverage?

While your medical expenses are covered by your HMO, one of the most important features of a Critical Care Policy is the additional financial help afforded in emergency or strenuous circumstances. Patrons of certain premium plans are given a financial help package when there is a critical illness diagnosis to be used to relieve the financial burden. This lump-sum payout can be used at your discretion without the need to submit receipts. 

Do I Have Terrorism Insurance?

Your life insurance policy may cover what your health insurance doesn’t in the unfortunate event of acts of war and terror. At Goldfus, we are always here to discuss the specifics of your policy and to make sure your policies are tailored to your individual needs.

Expert tip: If you choose to keep your insurance from abroad as a tourist or new oleh, check with your provider if acts of war and terror are covered during your time in Israel.

Questions About Car Insurance In Israel: 

What Is The DIfference Between Bituach Chovah, Bituach Makif, And Tzaad Gimmel?

Bituach Chova is Compulsory Insurance and the only legally required insurance. The cost is determined by the type of vehicle, age of drivers, accident history, car safety features, and usage. Bituach Makif is Comprehensive Insurance which covers damage to your vehicle and any 3rd party vehicle up to the sums insured specified in your car insurance policy. Tzad Gimmel is 3rd Party Insurance and covers damage to 3rd party property. We’d be happy to discuss the nuts and bolts of car insurance with you. Give us a call today!

What Car Insurance Am I Required To Have?

According to Israeli law, a car owner is obligated to have at least the basic level of car insurance in order to legally drive the car. This legal requirement is known as Teudat Chova or Bituach Chova, The Compulsory Insurance Certificate.

Does My Car Insurance Cover Theft, Fire, Or Acts Of Terror?

Coverage of theft, and fire would fall under Bituach Makif, Comprehensive Insurance. Not all comprehensive car insurances are the same and frankly some cover more than others. Ask us about what is covered under your insurance plan.

Do I Need An Israeli Driver’s License To Get Car Insurance?

The answer here is yes and no. If you make Aliyah, you have up to 3 years to convert your foreign driver’s license to an Israeli license. Although you have 3 years to convert it, your foreign license is only valid for the first year after your initial arrival to Israel. The Ministry of Transportation has jurisdiction over setting this date. We recommend bringing your driver’s license from your country of origin, especially for your first year in Israel. 

Can you get an insurance policy without an Israeli driver’s license? The answer is yes, within the first year. Most insurance companies will hold you responsible for the validity of your driver’s license. So, make sure to keep track of dates and validity information before any insurance claims come your way. This will prevent any mishaps from being filed and not claimed due to not having a valid Israeli license. Check out our useful tips for Olim

I Want To Import My Car To Israel. Are There Insurance Implications For This?

Importing a car to Israel is not a simple process. However, in recent years many Olim Chadashim have found it to be a cheaper alternative to buying in Israel. Others have imported cars to Israel irrespective of olim benefits due to the more limited range of cars in Israel. If you are considering bringing your car on Aliyah with you, it is important to consider how the insurance works and the discrepancies that may exist between a car sold in Israel and a personal import. It is worthwhile to have a consultation with Goldfus to understand all the insurance elements and to avoid any surprises in the event of a claim on a self-imported vehicle. 

Does My Driving Record From Abroad Help Lower The Cost Of Insurance?

Some insurers treat new Olim as new drivers due to not having a pior insurance record in israel. However, depending on the time lapse between making Aliyah and purchasing their first car, certain agencies are able to negotiate on their client’s behalf on the basis of a no-claims report from an insurer abroad. It is recommended to procure no-claims reports from the previous 3-4 years before you leave for Israel.

Questions About Housing Insurance Questions: 

If I Live in a Mercaz Klita (Jewish Agency Absorption Housing) Or A Dormitory Setting, Do I Need Insurance?

It’s always wise to have insurance for your belongings, unless you know you can comfortably afford to replace them without insurance coverage. The structure of the dormitory is most likely insured by your school, although they do not cover personal belongings. You can insure your personal belongings under a contents insurance plan. 

What Insurance Do I Need If I Am Renting An Apartment?

The advice we like to give to our insurance holders is to take out contents insurance. What we offer, and what most other companies offer, is regulated policies from the government. All insurance providers are required to provide a bare minimum coverage. Fire, storm, earthquake and burglary (and other listed insured events)  insurance are often included in basic policies. Third-party liability is also usually included, in the event that there is accidental damage. Liability depends on what a court decides.

What’s important to note is the Cancellation of Subrogation Clause. This clause is important because when you rent an apartment, if you are held liable for the damage caused, there is the potential of the insurance company counter suing you for the damages. . By canceling this clause you will protect your landlord, and your landlord will protect the tenant. Make sure this is in your rental agreement or contract, so that on the off chance something happens, you are protected legally.

Does Renter’s Insurance Cover The Building Or My Possessions?

Renter’s insurance in Israel is unlike many found abroad, especially in the US. Here in Israel, the renter’s insurance covers solely what’s inside a home, or the tenant’s possessions. A structure policy generally should be purchased separately by the building’s owner. Be sure to read your renter contract carefully, as landlords sometimes will include in the agreement that the tenant is responsible for the structure of the building! It’s important to verify you are not obligated to take out a structure policy before signing a rental agreement. Mazal tov on your new home!

Does Renter’s Insurance Cover Me If There’s A Fire Or Earthquake?

Renter’s insurance covers catastrophe including, but not limited to: fire, lightning, thunder, smoke, earthquake. For example, if there’s a fire in your house, and unexpected smoke damage occurs, it will be covered. Normal storm damage due to structural lacking, such as water seepage in walls and ceilings, is not covered. Moral of the story? Make sure your house is maintained so everything can be covered in unexpected circumstances.

Can I Take Out A Renters Insurance Policy If I Have Roommates Or Share An Apartment?

Yes! You can get contents insurance if you have roommates or share your apartment. It is possible to just insure your belongings, without needing to worry about the possessions of your housemates. You can also contact us to find out how to get the best contents insurance coverage for your needs and precious belongings.

Do I Have Fire Insurance?

Goldfus home insurance covers damage caused by fire-related incidents. Make sure to contact your insurance agent to understand exactly what is covered, and be sure to write down all belongings and valuables with your agent for assured coverage. Add-ons, such as all risk cover for portable devices , can be added to your basic home insurance plan. Contact us today to make sure your home, your belongings, and your family are covered!

Other Questions About Insurance In Israel:

What Insurance Do I Need To Consider If I Am Buying A New Home?

As a homeowner, you can buy a standard insurance plan, however more extensive coverage is available. At Goldfus, we offer homeowners insurance plans to fit your individual needs. It is critical to choose the right level of insurance for your property and possessions. Generally, there are four primary categories of coverage for homeowners insurance: Property Structure Insurance covering the physical structure of your property, Contents Insurance covering all your belongs that are detached from the structure of the house, Liability Insurance covering physical injury and property damage caused to a 3rd party, and Employers Liability cover domestic workers such as cleaners, gardners, caregivers, etc. Additionally, it’s important to look into Mortgage Insurance Packages to protect you as a new property owner. 

I Am Moving. Will The Cost Of My Insurance Change? Do I Need To Tell You My New Address?

Your homeowners insurance policy is dependent on your location and what is being covered. It’s very possible that a change of address will impact your policy. We can help you ensure you have the correct coverage for your belongings! Contact us to find out more.

What is Mortgage Insurance And Do I Need It?

Mortgage life insurance covers an individual for the sum of the loan in the event of death, with the main and legal beneficiary being the mortgage bank that the money was borrowed from. Mortgage life insurance policies have a very specific purpose; they pay the loan back to the bank in the event of the death of the policy holder, thereby alleviating the pressure of the mortgage repayments from the remaining family. They do not provide extra financial cover or support for the family, as per regular life insurance products. The ins and outs of Mortgage Insurance Packages are complicated and choosing which one is best for you shouldn’t be a rushed decision. For more information about Mortgage Insurance Packages contact us today!

Do I Need Life Insurance If I Am Buying A Home?

In Israel, in order to get a mortgage, most banks will require you to take out both structure and life insurance, so that the bank can be fully repaid should one of the mortgagees pass away. Goldfus Insurance can help you find the right Mortgage Insurance Package for you!

I Own A Business. Do I Need Insurance?

Business liability insurance is there to protect you from potential loss and the right insurance protects you from losing money if a client makes a claim against you. Business liability insurance can include: 3rd-Party liability, Professional liability, Product liability, and Employers’ liability. Let us help you choose the right type and level of coverage for your specific business situation so that you can minimize your liability without paying for unnecessary insurance policies. 

 If I Am Coming To Israel As A Tourist Does My Insurance Cover Me? 

Insurance coverage in Israel is dependent on individual circumstances. Your insurance company abroad may cover you, but it’s most likely that tourist insurance within Israel will offer the most comprehensive insurance. Tourist insurance is generally affordable and worthwhile no matter the length of your visit. 

What Types Of Insurance Can I Get?

Goldfus offers a wide array of insurances tailored for the oleh chadash, long term resident, or anyone who just prefers to have these conversations in English. From car insurance to mortgage insurance, business to life, there are options to insure all your belongings and keep you, your family and your business safe. 

What If I Need More Coverage?

Insurance policies can be complex with many tiers and multiple additions. Speak with us today to discuss what add-ons to basic insurance are available for you and let us custom tailor your insurance to your individual needs. 

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