Business Travel Insurance is one of the most neglected and underestimated forms of insurance – particularly for small to medium sized companies who are only recently beginning to send employees abroad to attend to business matters.
Apart from the obvious responsibility you have to take care of your employees while they’re in their immediate workplace – taking care of them while they’re on a business trip abroad is just a critical and perhaps, even more so. This is because employees who travel are at a greater risk for injury, illness, identity theft and even horrific occurrences like kidnapping and extortion. When travelling to a particular country or area that is considered to be either politically or socially unstable or is deemed to pose a greater risk to the life, health and well-being of foreign visitors – business travel insurance takes on a whole new meaning and is simply something that you cannot risk being without.
If you're employees are required to travel quite frequently, business travel insurance may become a very costly expenses and this should be an important motivator to not only apply to multiple insurance providers to find the cheapest rates but to carefully review the details on coverage and exclusions as well as the terms and conditions. These terms and conditions should clearly indicate the excess that will have to be paid should something happen. If you opt to choose an insurance policy with a high excess than naturally the premiums will be cheaper however this will pose a significant risk to your business should a large claim be required at any point. In addition to being cautious when it comes to excess its also important to not whether you will be charged excess per individual claim or per single event. If for example an employee was to get involved in a car accident that caused physical personal injury as well as damage of any good being carried the insurer may charge for separate excess for the medical bills and for the property loss. If you require insurance for more than one employee it’s important to note that many business travel insurance companies offer discounted rates for companies and businesses looking to ensure larger groups of employees and that any business should take advantage of these offers. If you require insurance for more than one employee it’s important to note that many business travel insurance companies offer discounted rates for companies and businesses looking to ensure larger groups of employees and that any business should take advantage of these offers. If you're heading out on a business trip abroad for your employer it is important that you make sure that you have travel insurance and that you receive a copy of the policy so that you can review the contents. When reviewing these contents it’s important that you look at each section of coverage and understand exactly what you will and will not be covered for.
If you're travelling alone and are not part of a group or large organization – you should begin looking for business travel insurance well before your expected departure date to allow you to make the most affordable, comprehensive and informed choice. Travel agents and airlines may offer you “easy” last-minute travel insurance however it is important to note that these travel insurance policies are usually more costly and come with serious limitations that you cannot afford to accept when travelling abroad for business. Let’s take a close look at some of the most import things that any business travel insurance policy should cover as well as some examples to provide you with a clear idea on what each. It has been statistically proven that visitors to Thailand are most likely to require assistance from their consulate or embassy – whether due to problems with corrupt authorities or being a victim of theft. Visiting countries like South Africa and China statistically come along with a very high risk of having your passport stolen – and therefore travel insurance is something you don’t want to be caught without. If you're belongings are stolen – including your passport, legal documents, credit cards and cash you’ll certainly find yourself in a very dangerous and difficult situation. Having travel insurance in such a case will certainly be helpful and will assure that you're not left stranded for any longer than need be.
Medical expenses, emergency assistance and repatriation are perhaps the primary reasons that anyone travelling should have some form of travel insurance, ensuring that the expensive medical costs and treatments can be covered in case you should fall ill, have an accident or get attacked. Thailand, Greece, Egypt and India are also the four countries where foreign visitors are most likely to require hospitalization but, having travel insurance isn’t only required for high-risk destinations since anything could happen at any time regardless of where you're going or where you come from. Repatriation cover is important because should you for whatever reason be unable to return home as planned, an appropriate evacuation, medical air-lift or alternative commercial flight will be arranged and covered. Any good travel insurance should include coverage for evacuation and repatriation in the event of social or political unrest, natural disaster and even terrorist attacks. Specialized travel insurance has to be undertaken in the event that you are travelling to a country or area where kidnapping and extortion are major risks – this insurance should cover any ransom and repatriation costs that may be incurred in such events. In addition there are also specialist insurance providers who work with certain “high-risk” business secotors and VIP’s.
Cancellation covers will allow you to return home before scheduled, or cut your trip short, if you or a close relative become ill or are injured or for a variety of other reasons which will always be specified in the attached terms and conditions. This is one area that you should carefully read through and take a mental note of since anything that falls out of the agreed conditions will not be covered by your travel insurance policy and will therefore have to be covered by your employer or by you. The maximum amount that any insurance provider will reimburse you for will also be specified in the corresponding section, carefully consider this amount as it should cover at least 70% of your total trip cost. Any delays caused by weather, airline technical difficulties, strikes or other reason out of your control will also be covered by your travel insurance. Generally, a set amount will be paid out per 12 hours of being delayed which should cover accommodation and food. It s crucial that you ensure you research your set destination beforehand to make sure there is not industrial action or strikes occurring in the region prior to your departure date as you will not be covered for any delays resulting from events that had began or continued to escalate prior to your departure date.
Baggage and personal effect coverage
Baggage and personal effect coverage is quite simple to understand and can save you quite a lot of money in the event that your baggage and other belongings are stolen, misplaced or lost. What is however crucial to not is that there is a set payout limit and that if your belongings are worth more than this limit – you will be personally responsible for the remaining amount. In addition you may also be covered for delayed baggage which will essentially cover the cost of any necessary items purchased while waiting for baggage to arrive. In such a case it is necessary for you to retain any invoices and slips for the items purchased as well as to request an official airline letter stating that you baggage has been delayed and when it is expected to arrive. If it is delayed more than this specified date you should request an additional letter confirming this additional delay.
Personal liability cover
Personal liability cover is also a crucial part of travel insurance which will payout any fees, fines or judgments up to a set cap should you accidently injure someone or cause damage to property not belonging to you. If something happens to you while abroad that requires any legal fees or representation to be paid in order to claim damage from an individual or organization. There are certainly other sections and coverage that is included in business travel insurance and some different ones for holiday travel insurance however, since we’ve covered what we believe to be the most important of these sections – we will refrain from mentioning the secondary sections.
As a business owner that requires a large number of employees to be insured when travelling abroad it is important to brief these individuals on exactly what the insurance will cover, what you as employer will cover and what, if any costs your employees will be personally responsible for. Holding a meeting where employees are briefed on their destinations and what the major risks relating to health, crime, political and social instability is absolutely critical. It’s also necessary to ensure that your business travel insurance is valid in all of the countries that you and your employees will be traveling to – switching from one insurer to the next to accommodate one destination could cause many headaches and delays that could simply be avoided by informing your insurer about the full list of intended destinations. It is always beneficial to view your insurance provider as a partner rather than merely a troublesome, once-off expensive as this will enable you to form the trust necessary to properly and timorously deal with any claims should they arise.