With necessary experience working with clients around the globe, Expat Financial plugs the gap in insurance policy plan requirements for high risk regions, including Africa. A division of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd, the company is used to working with clients on a remote basis and those operating in very high risk countries – including dealing with claims that were the result of terrorism, war and kidnappings.
There is a high level of awareness among mining companies about the importance of insurance cover for their employees working in regions of the world considered as high risk. Nonetheless, the worrying part is whether they make informed choices on the insurance policy plans that suit them. And given that workforce is a mining business’ most valuable asset, any oversight they could heavily impact on a mining company’s operations.
Considering this, Vancouver-based, Expat Financial, a division of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd, is raising awareness about the importance of applying due diligence when selecting insurance broking firms to consult for informed advice on insurance policy plans for Africa. “As far as the procurement of insurance cover for expat employees, oversights should be avoided at all costs, and decisions should be sought from insurance brokers with a credible track record,” David Tompkins, President of TFG Global, says, referencing Expat Financial’s relevant experience.
Provider of a wide scope of policy plans
Expat Financial is well-positioned to render its extensive expertise to helping mine operators globally find the best possible insurance solutions. The company offers a variety of international insurance plans for mining companies working in high risk countries around the globe, including Africa. Mainly, this can include international health insurance, life insurance, personal accident, medical evacuation and special risk insurance.
On what Expat Financial’s special risk insurance encompasses, Tompkins expounds, “Special risk insurance refers to kidnap and ransom policies, but these plans include so much more – such as extortion, security evacuation, political detention, AD&D etc… We have had clients impacted by kidnappings, including mining companies operating in Africa. Considering that some feel that having kidnap coverage will make them a target, such coverage is kept confidential, and frankly, these mining operations in higher risk countries are a target already.”
Tailored insurance policies for Mines in Africa
One thing that Expat Financial has learned relating to employee insurance policy plans is that mining companies need solutions that are specific to their unique needs. And in view of this, Expat Financial offers customised global insurance plans for mining companies around the globe. The company can meet almost any requirement and budget when it comes to meeting the duty of care for the expatriate and even the local national employees. “We primarily source coverage for mining firms that covers people, not things such as mining equipment and liability risks. After examining the requirements for a global mining company, we can search the market for the right coverage and rates and then return back to the client with our recommendations and action plan for securing new coverage or managing existing policies, Tompkins, describes the company’s approach. “Essentially, we are an independent advocate for our clients and often advocate on their behalf with the insurance companies, especially if a claim is not being handled quickly and justly,” he adds.
Coverage for consultants
Most international insurance plans are meant to cover the expatriate employees, but there are some insurance providers which Expat Financial works with which can cover the mining consultants for global healthcare, emergency travel medical and even Life and AD&D insurance. Expat Financial even works with some insurance companies which can cover the local employees for health and accident insurance in some regions and countries in Africa.
Prudence in Policy Plan Choice
Based on experience, Expat Financial is urging mining companies to exercise prudence when choosing insurance consulting firms. This is after observing that some mining clients working with an inexperienced local broker or directly with the insurer will often implement expat policy plans that are deficient or uncompetitive. “There are two common deficiencies we do see in expat plans that do not cover terrorism and civil strife. First, there have exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions or occupational claims. Sometimes, they provide coverage that is simply insufficient for some or too rich for others – for example, some expat health plans provide global coverage for people who only need to be covered in Africa, but the coverage put in place may cover them globally” Tompkins notes.
Plugging the gap in insurance policy plans
On the contrary, standing out, with necessary experience working with clients around the globe, Expat Financial plugs the gap in insurance policy plan requirements for high risk regions. The company is used to working with clients on a remote basis and those operating in very high risk countries – including dealing with claims that were the result of terrorism, war and kidnappings. Its special risk partners even have their own 24/7 crisis centre staffed by former military and intelligence officers that provides an experienced bridge between the client and the insurer.
Catering for the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVD-19 pandemic has prompted a rethink in insurance policy plans for industries, mining being no exception. While adjusting to this reality has been a challenge to most insurance service providers, Expat Financial is fortunate enough to have its global expatriate benefits that do not exclude COVID-19, which is treated like any other illness. “There are a few expat health insurance providers in the continent which exclude pandemics. From a special risk insurance standpoint, the COVID-19 pandemic itself will increase the risks covered by the policy due a variety of factors, including overstretched law enforcement and military, increase in corruption, a surge in unemployment and civil causing increased crime and kidnappings, and possibly increase sympathy for militant groups from marginalised groups.”