Offshore Workers & Life Insurance

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Offshore WorkersWe understand that being an offshore worker can be a very rewarding and interesting job, but we also know that it means you are faced with unique risks and challenges on a daily basis. And even though the safety standards are usually very high within the offshore industry, the reassurance that you are protected whilst at work is invaluable.

Your job is your livelihood and just because you are based offshore, doesn’t mean you should feel any more vulnerable heading out to work each day. We have expertise in this area and can help you to match your working life with an insurance to meet your needs, without it being too complicated.

Here’s some things we’d need to know to begin with:

  • What are your duties offshore?
  • How much of your year is spent offshore?
  • Which country are you based in?
  • What transport do you take to your destination?
  • Do you work at heights?

As an offshore worker already, you will probably be aware that the level of life insurance you require will be determined by the amount of risk involved in your job. So if your occupation is low risk, like an office administrator or a cook, then the chances are you’ll be able to get life insurance with standard terms.

But if your role involves more high risk duties, such as working at heights or with heavy machinery, insurance companies may be slightly more cautious. This is not something to worry about, it just means that your policy may be offered at non-standard rates – the main difference being that your monthly premiums could be higher compared to the basic cost.

So, no matter what your role involves, you can rely on us to help simplify the process of applying for offshore workers life insurance.

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In this instance, an offshore worker means that your job is likely to be something similar to working in the oil rig industry, on a wind farm, as a fisherman or on the cruise ships and your main duties may include operating machinery, engineering, welding, plumbing, cooking or first aid.

We know that your job could be very challenging and we appreciate the possible risks you may face, including chemical exposure, lack of medical facilities, the travel requirements to get to work and the need to work at heights or depths. All of these factors could have an influence on your insurance and our expertise can help to guide you through it.

If you are a member of the Armed Forces, please visit one of the following pages that are tailored specifically to your needs: ArmyNavy and Royal Air Force.

Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.

Applying for critical illness cover as an offshore worker means much of the same information will be considered as with life insurance.

The key factors are around the levels of risk involved in your job which isn’t a problem, it could just mean that if you are employed in a higher risk occupation, you may find that your policy comes with an occupational exclusion or even an increased premium – but this is not a certain and very much depends on your specific duties.

In cases where exclusions are in place, they can apply to the entire policy but practically they are more likely to be related to claims surrounding extreme outcomes such as loss of limbs, traumatic head injury or paralysis. The good thing is that these exclusions are likely to only apply when you are actively working offshore.

As an offshore worker, however, you should be aware that the claims definition ‘Total Permanent Disability’ (TPD), could be unavailable with a critical illness policy. This is because, within the insurance world, it is seen that your need to travel for work and/or your occupation mean you are at a high risk of claiming on this.

But it is just one claimable condition and should not put you off from taking out the cover anyway; as a minimum it gives you peace of mind that you are insured against conditions such as heart attack, cancer and strokes.

When you enquire with us, we can talk you through this in more detail to make sure the process is as simple as possible.

Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.

You should be able to get income protection as an offshore worker and for most white collar occupations, it will be available on standard terms. But because of the nature of working offshore, there are some cases where cover will come with something called a rotary aviation exclusion on the policy. This may or may not apply to you, but if it does, it will come in two formats:

  1. No claim is paid if you are injured whilst travelling in a helicopter, or,
  2. No claim is paid if you are not approved to travel to the oil rig, due to illness.

You may also find that your income protection comes with a retirement age limit which means you could be covered, for example, up to the age of 60. And in most cases, it can be offered on an own occupation definition which means that in order to make a successful claim, you must prove you are unable to do your own job.

Income protection can have lots of variables and we can help to explain all of the options available to you.

It may be that you find income protection cover is not available to you as an offshore worker but don’t panic, there are other options to explore such as an Accident, Sickness and Unemployment policy instead.

If you found yourself in a position where you were unable to work because of something beyond your control such as ill health, disability or involuntary redundancy, then this type of policy could support you by paying out a monthly income replacement for between 12 and 24 months.

But just be mindful that if you are self-employed, the options are still there but it is worth speaking with an adviser who can fully explain how unemployment cover can work for you.

You should also confirm that the amount of time you spend abroad each year is acceptable to your insurer – this is the kind of detail that we can guide you through to make sure everything is considered.

It is often best to have travel insurance in place if you’re planning a trip. We work with a specialist travel broker, please visit our travel page here to find out more.

Hi. Today, I’m carrying on the CuraVision ABC Series and all focus is on Mr. O. Oscar came to us, 34 year old male, non-smoker, BMI in perfect range, health in perfect range. I’m mixing it up a little bit this week, and I am going on occupation as a special risk.

For Oscar, he was an offshore worker. He was inspecting the oil rigs and ships to make sure they were safe for people to work at. Oscar came to us. He didn’t know necessarily what insurance he needed or what he would be able to have. What we arranged for him was a level life and critical illness policy. We worked off a multiple of his salary, so roughly five times his salary took him to £500,000 for the life and critical illness cover. We did that over 20 years to his anticipated retirement age.

As well as that, we did some income protection. We did level income protection. This one, we worked more towards an affordability of budget for the whole package that we had put together, because we gave him multiple options, but Oscar ultimately felt the life and critical illness cover was what he wanted to focus on primarily. With the income protection, we put in place £3,000 worth of monthly income replacement. It covered his expenses, his outgoings for the month. Again, we did that for 20 years which was his anticipated retirement age.

Now, with the income protection side of things, there was a restriction on the claim period of the policy from the insurer. It was a two year claim period, and it kicked in after one month of being unable to work. Now, that whole package of the life insurance, the critical illness cover and the income protection came to an approximate monthly premium of £185. 


What is an Offshore Worker

Offshore workers are those individuals who work within the oil rig Industry and this page is focused towards people within this sector. If you are a member of Armed Forces please visit one of the following pages that are tailored specifically for your needs: ArmyNavyRAF.

Duties: Machine operator, engineering, welding, plumbing, cooking, first aid

  • Bell Divers
  • Boilermen
  • Cleaners
  • Cooks
  • Engineering Supervisors
  • Health and Safety Officers
  • Heavy Mechanical Engineers
  • Mechanics
  • Medical Personnel
  • Office-based Staff/Management
  • Operators (remote submersible)
  • Testers
  • Working in High Risk Countries

Some of the possible risks include:

    • Chemical exposure
    • Lack of medical facilities
    • Transport
    • Working at heights and/or depths

Common Questions

The first thing that we would advise is that you speak with a different insurer. The UK life insurance market can be inconsistent at times because some insurers will offer cover to offshore workers and some will not. But don’t worry, there should be options for you on the standard market, and if not, there are specialist insurers that will be able to offer you life insurance to suit your occupation..

Yes, you certainly can and depending on your specific job role, this may be sought on the standard market or via a specialist insurer. The insurer will want to know the exact location of where you work offshore and may also ask how long you stay in your stop over country before travelling to the rig.

There isn’t a definitive answer here because whilst insurers like to know the exact location that you will be travelling to for your work, they also understand that offshore jobs can be unpredictable. In addition, there are varying levels of danger in different countries which can change quickly, making it difficult to say that any one place is more acceptable to insurers than another.

So whilst your offshore location is important, the key thing for an insurer in deciding whether to provide you with cover is understanding the specific job that you do, for example, working at heights, using explosives or moving heavy machinery.

Client Reviews

Cura Financial Services has been rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 578 reviews.

Review by Simon on 29th January 2016

I was having a lot of trouble getting critical illness cover as I work on a rig. These guys really helped me and got cover sorted at a good price. - 5 

You can read more of our reviews here.

Offshore Workers

Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd

This page was written by Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd, an award-winning insurance adviser. To read more about Kathryn please see her bio here

Offshore Workers

Client Reviews

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