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Mid-market employers have many international travel insurance options


Whether a middle-market company is just starting to travel abroad or has already established a foreign presence, insurance is available to protect employees who travel internationally on business.

Nearly all travel-related products cover accidental death and dismemberment, medical expenses, lost or stolen property, general liability, auto liability, foreign voluntary workers compensation, employer liability, evacuation and repatriation and, to a limited extent, kidnap and ransom.

Premiums for group international policies, such as Ace USA'S International Advantage and Zurich American Life Insurance Co.'s Exporter and Envoy packages, start at about $2,500 per year for at least $1 million in per-occurrence limits, while individual policies such as Travel Guard from Chartis Inc. cost as little as $259 per person per year.

Because the kidnap and ransom coverage in most international travel insurance policies is limited to certain countries, security experts advise employers with employees traveling to high-risk areas, such as the Middle East, South and Central America, and Southeast Asia, to buy additional kidnap and ransom coverage. Major K&R underwriters include Chartis, Chubb Corp., Liberty International Underwriters, Hiscox USA and Lloyd's of London.

Aside from covering the cost of ransom, the policies pay for the services of security consultants who negotiate the release of kidnapped employees. The policies also cover rest and rehabilitation expenses so the victim can take time off from work to obtain psychological counseling, if needed.

Endorsements to kidnap and ranson insurance also can be purchased to cover extortion; product recall; child abduction; business interruption; hijacking; “express” kidnap, such as carjacking; and detention, such as when employees are held on criminal charges that later are proven to be false.

However, to prevent becoming an easy target, insurers require that companies and their covered employees not disclose that a K&R policy has been purchased.