Gilbert, Arizona (PressExposure) July 02, 2009 -- Last month South Korea confirmed the death of a kidnapped South Korean woman teaching in Yemenâs Saana region. According to the Associated Press, she was one of nine international relief workers that were kidnapped on a picnic on June 12.
The Worldwide Services aid group confirmed the nine kidnap victims were part of a group working to help a local hospital, primarily in maternity and prenatal care. The team consisted of a British engineer, two German nurses, a German doctor and his young family of four. The bodies of the two German nurses have also been reported to have been found by local shepherds.
âI grieve for the families of the kidnap victims,â said Jeff Gulleson of Good Neighbor Insurance. âThese good people leave their home countries intent on helping others in need, never expecting to be attacked. Due to queries from people traveling and living overseas about these dangers, we have created a portfolio of overseas travel insurance for crisis situations.â
Unfortunately, unprovoked attacks on international aid workers are not uncommon, especially in unstable states such as Yemen. AFP calculates that some 200 foreigners have been kidnapped in Yemen in the last 15 years, mostly by tribesmen and members of the Huthi Zaidi rebel group to use as bargaining chips with the Yemeni government. Most are eventually released.
Good Neighbor Insurance knows first hand the risks international relief workers face. In the aftermath of a terror strike, relief workers can find themselves alone, far from the help of family and their governments.
âAll of these families have a long, difficult road ahead of them,â Gulleson sympathizes. âIn the midst of their personal tragedy, they must deal with confusing foreign red tape in an area that is anything but stable.â
Although travel insurance provides a great deal of help to families with the difficulty of repatriating remains and even lost minor children, additional expertise is necessary when it comes to terrorism. Many policies specifically exclude these circumstances for that reason. Good Neighbor Insurance recommends the purchase of international travel plans which provide terrorism insurance benefits for international workers heading for any country with a US State Department travel advisory.
Gulleson warns, âInternational workers must exercise diligence in these circumstances. Being ready for the worst is preferable to being unpleasantly surprised.â
Life insurance can also help with mounting expenses when an expatriate worker dies overseas. However, it does require an official death certificate from the foreign nation involved.
The right combination of insurance plans â life insurance and insurance that covers acts of terrorism and war -- can be a great help for the families of international workers when the unthinkable happens.