Enabling the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.


I am curious about what kind of coverage people have for themselves as I am looking to upgrade mine and want to see if there is something I am not fully considering.




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Comment by Shawn Bardwell on April 25, 2012 at 7:52am

Thanks all for the comments, since my initial entry I have purchased a personal liability insurance policy.  After doing some research and finding that there are a lot of different instances that I would be covered by my employer (US Government) I also found what appeared to be several minor instances of no coverage or insuficient coverage.  My view then becave, given the relatively low cost of a supplimental policy, I would rather have a bit of possible overlap than a few gaps.


As I think about this, it might be interesting for INSSA to do a webinar on personal liability insurance that specifically looks at some of the issues associated with working for NGOs that venture into some of the more risky environments.  It might also be interesting to have some commentary on a couple of the ongoing court cases.



Comment by Daniel Hardy on April 25, 2012 at 1:57am

One thing that DRC did for the CMT members dealing with the kidnapping we had in Somalia was to issue written assurances that the organization would provide legal coverage should a complaint be lodged related to the management of our response.  We requested that because it was unclear to us what would happen if we were personally named in a legal suit.  Ideally, this would be a blanket statement, however, from an organizational perspective, if a staff member has contravened organizational policy or procedures, they may wish to stand down from assisting that person should a civil case be lodged.

Comment by Yan Bui on February 13, 2012 at 10:27am

Hi Shawn/Trevor,

Sorry for my long delay in responding to this.  This is a great question, and it's one that I hear a lot.

If you are performing work specifically as a security professional for an organization (e.g. NGO), then it's more than likely that the organization's Professional (Errors & Omissions) Liability policy would cover you.

However, if you are an independent security professional, and/or if you consult outside of the duties you perform for a specific organization, then it might be worthwhile to consider obtaining your own Professional Liability policy.  The Professional Liability policy could provide protection in the event that an organization with which you consult incorporates your training/advice, etc., into their risk management strategies and somehow results in the death or injury of their employee(s).  In such an instance, it may be prudent to add a Contigent Bodily Injury/Property Damage (BI/PD) endorsement to the policy.  Thus, while your consulting/training may not have caused the direct bodily injury/property damage, loss of life, etc., the incorporation of your consulting/training may have.  I hope this makes sense.

Additionally, other policies you could consider would be a Personal Accident policy, which provides benefits for AD&D, Disability, Medical Expenses, Evacuation/Repatriation due to an Accident -- and coverage includes losses due to war and terrorism.  Thus, for example, if you are working in a challenging and dynamic environment, and are accidentally shot and killed, travel in a convoy that is hit by an IED, etc., then the policy will pay benefits.  Many traditional Group Life and Health policies may exclude war and/or terrorism, so a lot of organizations will supplement these policies with a Personal Accident policy, which can be written on a short-term basis (as little as 1-week in Sudan, for example).

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you have any more questions.

Comment by Trevor Hughes on December 12, 2011 at 12:51pm



Great question, I hope there is a lot of dialog around this as I am interested to hear what other are doing.


I use to hold a personal policy for Professional Liability when I was consulting.  However I no longer maintain it as I have dissected as much of my current employers insurance policies as possible and have come to the conclusion that, (until someone qualified tells me I am wrong), I am well covered under the organizations current  policies.


I am not an expert in insurance, however in everything I have read, the majority of life insurance coverage an employee in any company receives as a benefit is mostly useless to me unless I die in my home country, or maybe somewhere in Europe.  


That said there are lots of organizational policies that could come into force to replace the lack of payout on your life insurance, IF the organization both holds those policies and choose to make a claim for you/your family.


I would also take this opportunity to bring up the issue of DBA insurance.  If you’re working for an American company and or your company takes any USG funds in a war zone (although you should research the countries it is valid in, as well as type of funding vehicle) you should educate yourself with DBA insurance. 


If you are a HQ person who travels to these countries to support your organization and your organization tell you they have DBA, make sure you look into how you are covered while you are in country, as you are not assigned to the country…..   http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/DBAFaqs.htm

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