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  • Insurance for worker overseas in high-risk profession
  • June 2, 2015
  • high risks insuranceBy Karen Caffarini

    Whether you’re headed to Haiti as a volunteer helping to restore the earthquake-ravaged country, or to Iraq as an employee rebuilding its infrastructure, or even off the Somalian shores as ship crewmember and scuba diving adventurist, you or your boss will most likely be looking at higher premiums—if you can get life insurance at all.

    All three countries are included on the U.S. State Department’s travel warning list, which is updated constantly, and which insurance brokers say is used to determine how much you will be charged for a new or updated life policy—or if you will be offered a policy altogether.

    According to the Web site, travel warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable, or when a U.S. embassy or consulate closes, restricting government aid to its citizens there.

    The list includes war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, Chad and Sudan with their rebel violence and Mexico with its violence among drug cartels. In each case, the chances of being kidnapped and held for ransom, injured or killed in the crossfire are real.

    risky work insurance“The more unstable and dangerous a country is and the more likely something bad will happen, the less likely you are to get insurance, not even from Lloyd’s of London, which provides specialty insurance if you can pay the price,” said Ryan Pinney, a high-risk specialist with Pinney Insurance Center, Inc. in Roseville, Calif.

    Members of the military going into war zones have coverage through the government-provided Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance, which Pinney said costs about $24 a month for $400,000 coverage. In addition, many private insurance companies cover all military members at no extra cost,” said Michael Tessler, president of Brokerage Unlimited in St. Louis, Mo.

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