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Benefits of an international insurance program for SMBs with international operations

Door Cooreman - Account Manager Major & International Accounts

As a company with activities in several countries, you are probably already aware that each market has different legislation and different rules to follow. Every new market comes with unique risks to take into account, evaluate, and insure. However, having separate insurances and various insurance partners in each country will turn your Risk Management into a ship without a captain. This can result in duplicate insurances, gaps in coverages, a higher cost, and above all, difficult management. If your company has some activities abroad such as production, or even only sales activities, we highly advise you to learn about the benefits of an international insurance program below.

1. Better coverage

When a company establishes one or more subsidiaries abroad, it is crucial to insure all its operations. The different branches, based in different countries, might not offer the same range of products and services. Therefore, you could think that each office should have tailor-made insurance adjusted to the country of location. If the company continues to evolve and opens more branches in other countries, it will end up with many contracts, each managed by local brokers. As a result, you won’t see the forest for the trees.

A well established international insurance program looks at it from a broader perspective, from the group point, taking into account all activities and risks involved. In other words, the program incorporates different local insurance programs and avoids overlapping.


2. Compliance

Companies operating abroad need to take local legislations and standards into account and pay attention that these are monitored. Otherwise, in the event of a claim, your insurance policy may be insufficient or inappropriate. On top of that, the insurance market is strict and regulated differently in each country. Some coverages may be mandatory in some countries and not in others. Or in other cases, it may be mandatory to cover the risk with a local insurance company.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fiscal aspect of insurance and their premiums in different countries. In an international insurance program, a part of the global premium must be allocated to your branches in each country. When assigning a premium to each country, you must pay the local tax (if applicable) for each particular premium; otherwise, you may encounter fiscal problems.

For all these reasons, it is better and safer to work with a broker who is a part of an international network and understands the complexities of each country's regulations.


3. Less administrative work and better claims management

By having everything centralized in an international insurance program, the overall management of your insurance coverage as well as claims management improves and becomes more efficient. The global guidance enhances the control of your activities worldwide and improves your risk management.  In the long term, the international program will help you improve the quality of your risk management, increase transparency and reduce the risk of double insurance or gaps in coverage.

4. Lower costs

As we mentioned in compliance, an insurance premium needs to be allocated to each of the countries where you operate. International insurance programs benefit from the buying power, which reduces the premiums. Local coverage may be cheaper individually, but if they aren't aligned with each other, they will lead to higher expenses in case of claims.

After understanding the benefits and the complexity of international insurance, it is important to choose the right insurance partner who will sit at your side of the table. Concordia is located in Belgium with offices in Brussels, Ghent, and the NATO. We are part of an international network as a member of the Ecclesia Group, the biggest German broker. Their international offices are present in Austria, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Greece, Czech Republic, Romania, and Poland. As a result, we can offer high-quality service and solutions for any Belgian company that has international activities or ambitions.

Not only do we manage international programs for the big multinationals, but we also understand perfectly the needs of smaller and mid-size companies with international operations. We are well suited to be your insurance partner and handle your international program. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team specialized in international enterprises will be more than happy to guide you.

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