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Things you need to know about international insurance

News
17 January 2017

 

Growing internationally is exciting and challenging but also fraught with risks. Each expansion leads you into an unknown legal area, while different insurance regulations often apply abroad. Which issues do you need to prioritise when operating in foreign countries?

Growing internationally is exciting and challenging but also fraught with risks. Each expansion leads you into an unknown legal area, while different insurance regulations often apply abroad. Which issues do you need to prioritise when operating in foreign countries?

Allow ADD to offer you some advice.

Insurance policies in Belgium are completely different to those in many other countries. Risks that are routinely insured in Belgium, such as liability and fire, are not automatically covered in other parts of the world. Policy guarantees are often not as comprehensive and the capacity is lower as a reflection of a less developed local insurance market. If you are hoping to ensure the guarantees you are used to in Belgium are also available locally, you might be in store for some surprises. That is why we at ADD provide solutions that are coordinated from Belgium so as to be able to deal with any local policies abroad. This enables us to identify the international risks and ensure your company is uniformly insured throughout the world.

As for whether a risk can be insured in another country from Belgium, there are two different approaches at legal level. If the foreign legislation allows insurance to be purchased from outside the country, the non-admitted, permitted principle is applied, so that coverage from Belgium is allowed in the foreign country. All European Union Member States apply this principle. European legislation sets one condition in this respect: the insurance premium tax in that country should be transferred to the public authorities in the country of residence.

However, if you move outside Europe, these rules no longer apply. These countries are regarded as non-admitted, non-permitted, so the risks have to be insured by means of a local insurance policy and by a local insurer. We at ADD use integrated plans outside Europe, covering a company's risks worldwide on the basis of one plan, with the terms and condition being recorded in a ‘master policy’ and the local department being insured via a local policy issued by the insurer's branch establishment in that country.

The four major branches that may constitute integrated insurance are: directors and officers liability (D&O), general liability, fire and transport. Companies also require coverage that they are legally compelled or recommended to acquire at local level. ADD, in its capacity as an international broker, not only informs you about policies that are mandatory in each country but also lets you know about local customs for which you can purchase coverage.

ADD produces customised international insurance claim records. To achieve this goal, we look at the structure of your company, the degree of autonomy, the language and activities of your branch establishments abroad. ADD first of all identifies your international insurance requirements to enable you to have control over each coverage you are legally required or recommended to have in each country. This is the basis we use for developing an international plan. A ‘compliance photo’ is used to offer you a better understanding of your insurance plan and you can see at a glance if you comply with the legislation in the countries where you operate. In-house communication is also catered for by means of an Insurance manual, which provides a detailed description of each branch, explains the specific role of each party involved and shows what steps you have to take in the event of damage. ADD has also developed a software platform, WBNet, to report any policies effected for the company at international level – as well as local policies resulting from the master policy. Any other local policies – those not resulting from the master policy, such as D&O liability for cars – can also be reported through our WBN colleagues so you have an insight into each policy in every country. ADD acts as an inspector of the local insurer, thereby guaranteeing the transparency of your insurance record. We get together with you every year to re-examine your case, mindful that your company is liable to change, as are the regulations, and insurance policies are not automatically extended in some countries. This enables you to avoid having insufficient coverage, while we keep your foreign insurance up to date.

ADD is happy to be your guide abroad. As a member of the Worldwide Broker Network, we have first-hand knowledge of any general and specific regulations that may apply in countries in which you do business. Feel free to contact us for further information.

Insurance policies in Belgium are completely different to those in many other countries. Risks that are routinely insured in Belgium, such as liability and fire, are not automatically covered in other parts of the world. Policy guarantees are often not as comprehensive and the capacity is lower as a reflection of a less developed local insurance market. If you are hoping to ensure the guarantees you are used to in Belgium are also available locally, you might be in store for some surprises. That is why we at ADD provide solutions that are coordinated from Belgium so as to be able to deal with any local policies abroad. This enables us to identify the international risks and ensure your company is uniformly insured throughout the world.

As for whether a risk can be insured in another country from Belgium, there are two different approaches at legal level. If the foreign legislation allows insurance to be purchased from outside the country, the non-admitted, permitted principle is applied, so that coverage from Belgium is allowed in the foreign country. All European Union Member States apply this principle. European legislation sets one condition in this respect: the insurance premium tax in that country should be transferred to the public authorities in the country of residence.

However, if you move outside Europe, these rules no longer apply. These countries are regarded as non-admitted, non-permitted, so the risks have to be insured by means of a local insurance policy and by a local insurer. We at ADD use integrated plans outside Europe, covering a company's risks worldwide on the basis of one plan, with the terms and condition being recorded in a ‘master policy’ and the local department being insured via a local policy issued by the insurer's branch establishment in that country.

The four major branches that may constitute integrated insurance are: directors and officers liability (D&O), general liability, fire and transport. Companies also require coverage that they are legally compelled or recommended to acquire at local level. ADD, in its capacity as an international broker, not only informs you about policies that are mandatory in each country but also lets you know about local customs for which you can purchase coverage.

ADD produces customised international insurance claim records. To achieve this goal, we look at the structure of your company, the degree of autonomy, the language and activities of your branch establishments abroad. ADD first of all identifies your international insurance requirements to enable you to have control over each coverage you are legally required or recommended to have in each country. This is the basis we use for developing an international plan. A ‘compliance photo’ is used to offer you a better understanding of your insurance plan and you can see at a glance if you comply with the legislation in the countries where you operate. In-house communication is also catered for by means of an Insurance manual, which provides a detailed description of each branch, explains the specific role of each party involved and shows what steps you have to take in the event of damage. ADD has also developed a software platform, WBNet, to report any policies effected for the company at international level – as well as local policies resulting from the master policy. Any other local policies – those not resulting from the master policy, such as D&O liability for cars – can also be reported through our WBN colleagues so you have an insight into each policy in every country. ADD acts as an inspector of the local insurer, thereby guaranteeing the transparency of your insurance record. We get together with you every year to re-examine your case, mindful that your company is liable to change, as are the regulations, and insurance policies are not automatically extended in some countries. This enables you to avoid having insufficient coverage, while we keep your foreign insurance up to date.

ADD is happy to be your guide abroad. As a member of the Worldwide Broker Network, we have first-hand knowledge of any general and specific regulations that may apply in countries in which you do business. Feel free to contact us for further information.

 

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