Many companies may be operating or considering the notion of operating in a foreign country.  With this statement comes one major question…
What insurance policies should your company consider with these “Foreign Exposures”?
Domestic commercial insurance policies have defined territorial parameters of coverage.  Ensuring your current program will extend into your areas or anticipated areas of operation is critical to asset and liability protection. For the purpose of this blog, I will discuss (4) four of the areas that may be considered when moving your operations or employees into a territory that may not be covered under your current insurance policy.
• Foreign Voluntary Workers’ Compensation – If employees are to be located in an foreign country for an extended period of time, verify with your insurance carrier the parameters of coverage under existing workers’ compensation policies.  If needed, a foreign voluntary workers’ compensation program may be in order.  This type of insurance picks up the gap presented with an extended stay to a foreign country not covered under standard domestic policies.  Allowing for the injured or ill worker to receive benefits as originally designated by their state of residency by having in place a Foreign Voluntary Workers’ Compensation program.
• Defense Base Act Insurance – Companies providing services to the US Government may be required to provide Defense Base Act insurance to their workers.  DBA is a mandated coverage intended to provide US workers and third country nationals with insurance while working on a military installation outside the United States, or on behalf of the US Government under contract.
• World Wide Medical insurance – Employees located in third world countries or on remote foreign assignment, may have limited access to proper medical care.  World wide medical insurance will enable the worker to secure medical attention as well as evacuation to a facility that can best treat the injury or illness.  Costs associated with medical care are covered by this program to a specified limit.  Access to organized transportation from one region to another is also provided.
• Kidnap, ransom, and extortion – Corporate employees traveling to foreign countries may experience the threat of Kidnap. Critical to the release and safe return of the worker(s) are professional negotiation services as well as ransom or extortion monies being made available.  Having in place a plan of negotiation and payment may be part of the corporate safety program and should be conducted only by professionals.  This coverage offers companies the flexibility and access to professional services and high limits to funds on a worldwide basis.