Are employees working overseas covered by work comp?

By Brian Bent, CPCU, ARM

With an increasingly globalized economy, more and more people are traveling overseas for their jobs. But how does overseas travel affect workers’ compensation coverage?

Employees who are working overseas temporarily are generally covered by their employers’ domestic workers’ compensation policies.

The issue is that “temporarily” is not clearly defined in the policy language or by state statute. Because of this, viewpoints differ on what constitutes a temporary work assignment. This is why it’s important to make sure your insurer knows about any foreign business travel your employees are doing.

Additional coverage might still be needed

Even if your employees are covered by your domestic policy, the countries to which they’re traveling might have additional requirements. Depending on where employees are traveling, you may also want to look at additional coverage options such as kidnap and ransom coverage or foreign voluntary workers’ compensation to cover any loss potential that might not be covered fully by your domestic policy.

This is not intended to serve as legal advice for individual fact-specific legal cases or as a legal basis for your employment practices.

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