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Review Insurance Coverage


Quick links to Property Insurance - Liability Insurance - Automobile Insurance

For more details on insurance, see the Foreign Service Assignment Notebook: What Do I Do Now?, specifically the following chapters: 

Property Insurance

In the United States, homeowner's or renter's insurance policies normally cover personal property and household goods. For an overseas assignment, different types of insurance become necessary.

The U.S. government does not insure your household effects. The Military Personnel and Civilian Claims Act provides some compensation—but not full coverage—for loss or damage to personal belongings.

For more complete coverage of your possessions, whether taken overseas or left in storage, investigate commercial transit insurance and household goods floater policies. A small number of companies provide insurance in other countries. The Overseas Briefing Center maintains a list of these companies, which may be requested by email. Other sources of company information include AFSA's Foreign Service Journal advertising section and word-of-mouth recommendations from colleagues.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers your legal liability for accidents on owned premises (residence or property) that result in bodily injury and/or property damage to others. When overseas you should consider a separate comprehensive personal liability policy with worldwide coverage independent of specific residence or place of assignment. Umbrella liability insurance provides protection in addition to comprehensive liability insurance. For information on these kinds of insurance and the issue of stateside insurance while on assignment, see Chapter 6 (PDF) of the Foreign Service Assignment Notebook: What Do I Do Now?.

Diplomatic immunity can protect the Foreign Service employee in many liability situations overseas, although an ambassador can waive it with the approval of the Department of State. This immunity extends to the immediate eligible family members accompanying the diplomat on a tour of duty overseas. For more information on diplomatic immunity, see Chapter 21 (PDF) of the Foreign Service Assignment Notebook: What Do I Do Now?.

Automobile Insurance

Most posts require that an automobile primary (also called third-party) liability policy be issued in the country in which you are posted. This can be accomplished by a direct purchase of coverage at post or through U.S. brokers that represent local companies. Coverage and premiums vary widely. In the event the locally purchased primary liability policy provides inadequate limits of coverage, additional coverage called "excess liability coverage" is available through U.S. brokers. In addition, you may wish to purchase additional insurance to cover your vehicle during transit. For more information, see Chapter 8 (PDF) of the Foreign Service Assignment Notebook: What Do I Do now?.

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