The troubles in North Africa have led insurers to warn contractors based in such volatile areas that they face significant financial losses if not adequately covered.
As the turmoil in Libya spirals even further out of control, more and more Western contractors and fuel companies are coming under fire for their reliance on the UK Government to evacuate their workers, with Foreign Secretary William Hague issuing desperate pleas to workers the British Government are struggling to find.
Darren James, Sales Director with Central Insurance Services, said: “In these times of uncertainty and increasing globalisation, organisations with international operations or businesses, are more exposed than ever to the actions of a foreign government. The current chaos in Libya shows how quickly the political landscape can change and consequently pose a threat. Among the problems companies could encounter when doing business with overseas clients and foreign governments are threats to trade finance.”
The insurance firm warned that while individuals working overseas were likely to have evacuation cover, they might not be insured against ransom or extortion.
With an estimated 3,500 British nationals living and working in Libya before the unrest began, it is uncertain how many are left. The majority work in oil and gas exploration
Mike Major, CEO of the Energy Industries Commission, said: “Oil companies tend to look after their staff very seriously. I would have thought they would have taken these things into account.”