Insurance? Love it or Hate It…. We Do Need It
Operators home and abroad, land or sea, insurance is a subject that can be unclear, we aim to simplify the requirement giving food for thought, whilst looking at the cover available for the individuals working in a perceived hazardous environment.
Due diligence at contract
Most people would agree that working in this industry can be frustrating at times looking for longevity in work, sometimes we are fortunate enough to find such roles, but more often than not we can move from one contract to another over the years. If this is the case, it is important to ask the companies you are associated with what cover they have in place whilst you work under their umbrella. This may include insurance working alongside certain government requirements. An example of this would be Defence Base Act insurance which is associated with US government contracts.
Ask about the following relevant section of cover applicable to you, not all companies will require such comprehensive cover; it is your own individual responsibility to understand the levels of cover you have in place. Does the company have the ability to offer ‘top up cover’ through an affiliated broker?
- Life cover, from death at work or incident to include war & terrorism.
- Personal accident cover whilst at work, how much benefit does it pay and for how long?
- Permanent and total disability from an incident occurring at work
- Emergency medical repatriation
- Medical cover from natural causes whilst at work
- Legal cover provisions (liability)
- Kidnap & Ransom
- Life cover, from death at home or accident including natural causes
- Personal accident cover at home, how much benefit does it pay and for how long?
- Private medical Insurance
It is important to remember that the insurance world is still evolving in this sector and not all cover will be physically available to every individual, any pre-existing medical conditions may be excluded or failure to disclose required information or changes to your circumstances could nullify any potential claim.
Identify your own shortfalls and needs on an off duty
Each individual is different, if you’re married or single you should ask yourself what if I didn’t come home, or came back with a long term injury? Have you thought about insurance for your family or partner? Or what you would do if you could no longer work and had to look after the family at home? How would you pay the mortgage and bills? All these subjects are personal to you; the amount of cover and premium you want to pay for benefits returned ultimately comes down to affordability and what you are willing to pay for such cover and peace of mind. It is important that you find a specialist broker or advisor that can guide you in this area. A review of your current insurance cover is an important part of the process. If you are working in hostile regions armed or unarmed this poses greater risk in the insurer’s eyes therefore be prepared to pay larger premiums.
Topping up through your cover company group schemes or individual cover
If you are on a permanent contract it may be worth considering additional cover through your company group scheme, another benefit can include reduced premiums if budget is priority. A consideration is your length of contract, is it short or long term? Once you leave the company you may no longer be covered? If you consult to several firms throughout the year, having individual cover may be the answer for you, benefits can mean it travels with you wherever you go, or whichever firm you choose to work for you can also budget accordingly choosing the applicable cover where necessary. Finally choose advice carefully, your industry is a niche sector which requires brokers and advisors to have strong knowledge of your specialist field.
Lee Harrison is a company director providing mortgage and insurance advice for hazardous occupations and contractor specialists, a former Parachute Regiment Soldier and Security Consultant worldwide having operated in Iraq and Afghanistan; he holds a business development executive role within a specialist lines division at one of the UK’s largest master insurance brokers.
By Lee Harrison