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Prepping For An Embed: Insurance

You've got an outlet, immunizations, passport, and gear.  What's next? 


In day's past, this was not really checked, but at least with embeds to Afghanistan, it is now so you need it.  It also makes good sense. 

You are probably saying you have death, health, and other insurance, why do you need more?  Take a moment to read your policies.  Just as your standard homeowner policy doesn't cover floods, guess what most life and medical (and homeowner even) policies don't cover.  That's right, acts of war and terrorism.  If terrorists strike the U.S. again, your insurance companies may be under no obligation to pay out.  In the wake of 9-11 many did anyway, but they are not obligated to do so and may even have a fiduciary responsibility to refuse to do so. 

So, you need a policy that will cover you while you are out with the troops.  There are a number of options out there for sources of policies, and a number of options for coverage.  What you choose is up to you, and the limits of your pocketbook. 

My own thoughts are that you need a policy or policies, that will cover:  death; dismemberment; disability; and, medical care.  For the first, you need something that will cover your family if you have one, along with covering things like return of the body and other delights.  The second feature provides some funds if you merely lose a limb, and it can be amusing in a dark way to read the amounts assigned to various limbs and appendages.  Left ball, corner pocket, $10,000.  Ahem.  Back to serious matters, you want a policy that will also cover permanent disability.  Usually these will kick in after a year, and pay out the total coverage of the policy in a lump sum. 

For medical, you want a policy that includes a rider for repatriation above and beyond the policy limits a that can get very expensive very quickly.  It is not unusual for such costs to top $100k.  So, be sure it has that coverage.  The rest is up to you, but I will note it is hard to find a policy that provides more than $500k in medical coverage.  For simple wounds that should work, but for loss of limbs, TBI, etc. that can go real quickly. 

You also want to check to be sure that the policy pays off no matter where you are in the world.  In other words, if something happens here at home, or on vacation in Europe, you want to be sure it will cover and pay out.  Another thing to look for is that most of these policies will NOT pay out if you have a heart attack or other natural cause death.  They are, after all, accidental death policies.  So, you may want a rider to cover death from natural causes.  There can be interesting exclusions with different policies, such as not covering nuclear or biological attacks.  So, pick and choose carefully, and ask lots of questions...

None of this is what can be called inexpensive.  Many have an up-front lump sum with monthly premiums while you are overseas.  Sometimes, the premium varies based on where you are the majority of the month, with different countries having different rates.  Some do the premium on worst-case and covers the rest within that.  As a current rule of thumb, you want to plan for between $600 and $800 a month for basics. 

I've been reviewing policies and premiums, and have made my choice on coverage.  While I had used a company in London previously, I've found a carrier in the U.S. who can provide a very good set of policies for a fairly reasonable rate.  I'm not taking the natural causes option for a variety of reasons, which helps with the premiums.  That said, I am still looking at a bit over $8,000.00 for insurance.  There is a reason I am still looking for sponsors and donations, and this is a large chunk of it. 

So, take your time, do your research, choose what is best for you in your situation, and get the policy.  You can work with most providers so that you don't begin paying/start your coverage until just before you depart.  It helps, trust me.  But, you will need that magic piece of paper stating you are covered to go with all the other paperwork to come. 


This post sponsored by MilitaryLuggage.Com

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