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Making the Most of Insurance in Escape From Tarkov

Introduction

In a hardcore looter shooter like Escape from Tarkov, death comes swiftly and gear losses can feel devastating. Thankfully, the insurance system allows players to recover some of their coveted weapons, armor, and other equipment even after an untimely demise. Insurance acts as a safety net, encouraging veterans and newcomers alike to use their best kits without as much fear.

In this comprehensive guide, I'll cover everything you need to know about insurance in Tarkov including what can be insured, how the system works, strategies for maximizing returns, and ideas for improving insurance. Read on to learn how to leverage insurance to its full potential!

What Items Can Be Insured?

While not every piece of equipment is eligible for insurance, you can insure a wide variety of gear including:

  • Helmets - Models like the Ulach, Fast MT, Airframe, etc.
  • Body Armor - Low tier armors up to class 6 slicks and hex grids.
  • Chest Rigs and Plate Carriers - Rigs like the AVS, Blackrock, and armored options too.
  • Backpacks - From small slings to large tri-zips and attack 2s.
  • Primary Weapons - Wide range of assault rifles, SMGs, snipers, shotguns.
  • Secondary Weapons - Handguns like the Five-seveN, P226, Grach, etc.
  • Weapon Attachments - Sights, foregrips, supressors, tactical devices.
  • Magazines and Ammo - Mags can be insured but any ammunition inside is lost.
  • Headsets - Models including Sordins, ComTacs, Tactical Sports.

It's easy to identify insured items both in your stash and while in raid. They will display a yellow border highlight and a shield icon when insured. However, any gear you have on your PMC when MIA at raid end is not eligible for returns. A good tip is to dump insured items before extracting high value loot.

How Does the Insurance Process Work?

Insuring items can be done in two straightforward ways. The first is right-clicking on an item in your stash and selecting “Insure”. This will bring up the insurance screen where you can pick from available traders.

The other method is through the insurance screen after matching for a raid but before deploying. You can toggle specific items or hit "Insure All" then confirm. One caveat is that insured gear will not come back from Lab raids which require special keycards for access.

When insuring, you can choose between two traders currently - Therapist and Prapor. Each has pros and cons to weigh:

  • Prapor - Cheaper but has a 24-36 hour base return timer and only holds for 4 days.
  • Therapist - More expensive but returns in 12-24 hours and holds for 6 days.

Consider your budget, playtime frequency, and other factors when picking between them. Also note that upgrading your Hideout's Intelligence Center will speed up return times.

Insurance Return Times and Collection

Once the return timer counts down after you lose your insured gear, you will receive a notification to check the trader for your recovered belongings. Be sure to collect them within the allotted holding period or your items will be lost for good.

It's generally wise to insure items with the trader whose timing best matches your own play schedule. For example, if you mostly play evenings on weeknights, the quick turnaround from Therapist will allow you to retrieve your gear faster to re-kit for the next raid session.

Maximizing Insurance Returns

Now let's get into some pro tips and strategies for maximizing insurance to its full potential:

  • Insurance Fraud - Ditch cheaper insured gear to take uninsured loot from dead players. As long as no one finds your stashed gear, it comes back through insurance. Requires planning and map knowledge.

  • Teammate Assistance - Have teammates stash your valuable guns, armor, etc. if you die. They keep ammo/meds and you get your kit back later. Duos can "trade" gear returns.

  • Prioritize Low Value Items - Insure cheaper items like mid-tier helmets and level 3/4 armors that players may ignore when looting. Meta gear likely taken.

  • Consider Weight and Size - Bulky, heavy items less likely to be extracted by other PMCs. Smaller items like headsets more tempting and lootable.

  • Use Insurance Selectively - Evaluate each item diligently before insuring. Don't just insure all blindly. Assess recovery odds.

Around a third of all raids end in death or becoming MIA. Proper use of insurance helps mitigate the losses and pain of having your raid end abruptly at the hands of a hostile PMC. Learn to leverage insurance as a tool for sustainable and cost-effective gear.

Improving Insurance

While extremely useful already, insurance could be improved in some small ways:

  • Return time scaling based on item value - The more valuable the item, the longer return time.

  • Limits on number of insurances per item until uninsured - Prevents endless insurance exploit.

  • More insurance providers to choose from - Adds variety and flexibility.

  • Uninsurable status after very high number of returns - Forces rotating gear eventually.

Insurance is an integral system in Tarkov but has room for some refinements. What changes would you make? Let me know in the comments!

Conclusion

Insurance helps dampen the punishing nature of Tarkov by giving a chance to recover lost kits even after death. Use it wisely - evaluate each item considered based on real odds of return. Therapist and Prapor each have advantages and disadvantages to weigh. Remember to collect returns within the holding period.

Implement smart strategies like selectively insuring low value items, insurance fraud stash tactics, and relying on teammates for the best results. Avoid throwing endless fortunes insuring ultra rare tier 6 armor and thermals over and over. Insurance promotes gear rotation and experimentation. Use it as the tool it is meant to be.