In an Unstable World, War-Zone Insurance Soars

Iraqi Shiite militia fighters fire a rocket at Islamic State militant positions at Sayed Hassan village outside the city of Tikrit on Sep. 3, 2014 Photograph by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama recently declared the world a safer place than it was a few decades ago. Insurance companies may disagree. Applications for “war zone” life insurance are up 46 percent over five years ago, says Joe Russo, a sales agent at Petersen International Underwiters, a Valencia (Calif.) underwriter of life, medical, and other insurance. In the past six months alone, applications for coverage specific to Israel, Ukraine, Iraq, or Syria more than doubled.

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