PMI specialist, Morgan Price International Healthcare, claims to have launched the first truly worldwide cash plan specifically for expatriate markets.

International Cash Plan is geared to complement existing medical insurance where cover is restrictive.

Alternatively, the plan can act as a stand-alone replacement when local treatment is good enough to make PMI cover uneconomical.

The cover consists of two parts, firstly a standard base product, which provides six out-patient benefits including routine dental, optical and consultation fees, and secondly, an optional extension with a further four in-patient benefits.

This enables customers to build a flexible cash plan package according to their needs in a particular country.

However, MPIH stresses, the product is not medical insurance. "There is no full indemnity here," said MPIH director Jon Carpenter.

International Cash Plans have three levels of cover, with premiums costing between £92 and £345 per year.

Miller Firstline handles administration and claims, and Speciality Assistance Services handles assistance and evacuation services.

The scheme is underwritten by a panel of insurers, including Lloyd's underwriters Kiln, Gan, CNA Re and Reliance National.