International Evacuation Risks: Understanding your institution’s coverage

“Tourists Must Leave Egypt By Feb. 20 or Face Attack: Militants.” This headline, as well as warnings for the Ukraine and Thailand, has disquieted travelers over the past few days.  Although there have been travel alerts issued for Egypt for some time (see State Department Egypt Travel Alert last updated 01/30/14), this latest headline was a result of a tweet from a known suicide bombing group (in English) with specific warnings against tourists. 

When it comes to international travel, we often focus on the risks of unstable or dangerous countries. However, no matter where in the world your institution has faculty, students or other types of travelers, security and safety concerns can arise at any time and in any location. 

This recent threat highlights the reality and volatility of evacuation situations. Although you may have a policy in place that addresses general international travel issues, it’s imperative to clearly understand how it responds in an evacuation situation. For example, does your evacuation benefit pay for the services or merely the necessary arrangements? Often, evacuations are not a guaranteed service or covered cost item, and the moment of a crisis is not the time to discover this.

While the urgency to understand your policy may be untimely as it relates to this imminent terrorist threat, there are a myriad of lessons to be learned from these situations and you should contemplate the following going forward:

Before your institution faces a crisis, please contact RCM&D to learn more about the risk mitigation and policy reviews we offer to help navigate these complex policies and procedures. We have comprehensive solutions combining insurance risk transfer options with industry specific expertise to help you identify protocols, best practices, and other risk mitigation techniques and tools.