International workers’ compensation insurance – Dutch company needs cover for consultants in Iraq

20 October 2011

Normally designed to protect a local workforce, workers compensation insurance provides cover for workers if they are killed or injured while carrying out work for an employer or main contractor.

Our Dutch client found that international workers’ compensation was a contractual requirement when placing a number of oil and gas workers in Iraq, and turned to Bellwood Prestbury’s experienced team to organise the appropriate cover.

The fact that the contract was for oil and gas consultants in Iraq added a number of complications:

• Firstly, most standard international workers’ compensation insurance policies will exclude cover for Iraq on the grounds of war and terrorism risks. Many may also exclude hazardous or remote working conditions.
• Secondly, although local legislation in Iraq stipulates that firms operating there must offer workers compensation, the actual limits of any payout have never been defined.
• Finally, like many western companies, our client has an international employers liability policy that covers its expatriate workers for relatively high levels of compensation. Would it be possible to arrange the new policy without effectively paying twice for the same cover?

We used a trusted insurer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to create an international workers compensation scheme that included both war and terrorism cover. We also ensured that it would be valid in remote or hazardous oil and gas environments.

We created the scheme using the compensation limits set out in UAE legislation, ensuring that our client was providing protection to a value established as the norm in the region.

To prevent the client paying twice for the same level of cover, we raised the excess on the client’s international employers liability scheme for consultants on this contract. This reduced premiums on that policy. In the event of death or injury, the workers’ compensation scheme will pay out first. The employers liability would then provide cover for higher levels of compensation, should it be required.

This approach ensured that our client is meeting its contractual obligations, is providing robust cover for its consultants in Iraq and has avoided paying twice for the same cover for its international workers.

If you would like to know more about international workers’ compensation insurance or need advice on any aspect of international liability insurance, or cover with terrorism and war insurance included, call our knowledgeable team on +44 (0) 1242 584 558 or email us today.

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