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A risk assessment at the Syrian border on a sensitive government contract

This is a model case study of how underwriters working hand-in-hand with brokers and risk advisors can lead to insurance cover being granted for a risk that perhaps would not normally have been.

Inherent Risks' advisory team received a request for a face-to-face meeting with Lloyd's underwriters and a broker to discuss a sensitive government contract in a challenging environment.

It was explained that a defence contractor had been granted a government contract to train border force and counter-terrorism troops in Lebanon, at a location in close vicinity to the Syrian border, and required emergency medical evacuation and personal accident insurance for their former-military, now civilian, instructors.

Due to the geographical location, and the security situation in the region, with recent violent clashes due to the Syrian Civil War, and added complexities of people smugglers from Syria, and terrorists crossing borders; the underwriters initial feeling was to decline the risk.

Both the broker, and us as a risk advisory and crisis response firm, could see the opportunity. The client was a large defence contractor with significant government contracts in several countries. It was important for underwriters to make an intelligence-led and informed decision.

While Inherent Risks has extensive security, medical and logistics networks across challenging environments, the location of this specific risk was so remote that in fact it required a standalone risk assessment and evacuation plan which could only be achieved with a boots-on-the-ground approach.

The underwriter and the broker agreed to retain Inherent Risks on a cost-share basis to deploy to the region to gain some ground truth, meet with the advance element of the client company who had already deployed, and to assess evacuation methods and routes.

After a successful deployment, Inherent Risks were able to provide an intelligence-led and response-driven risk assessment that gave underwriters the peace of mind they required to accept the risk, and price it suitably, with realistic triggers.

The defence contractor's training deployment was successful, and due to proactive risk mitigation measures we implemented, combined with the experience and training of the contractors team which was taken into consideration when assessing the risks; there was not a single incident or claim.

The client has since retained Inherent Risks to provide additional support services, and worked with the underwriter on other such risks, aswell as referring the underwriter to other defence contractors.

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