»Insurance for business travel

Insurance for business travel

Imagine one of your top salesmen wins a contract in Asia and has to fly there to seal the deal. What if the $5000 trip needs to be laid off due to a public health problem, disaster or another disruption?

You might expect refundable business class tickets to allow them being laid off or that the company investment is protected by travel "waivers" offered by the travel agents. Sometimes this is the case but not always. Waivers apply to very specific circumstances and are loosely regulated. Always remember to read the small print to understand exactly what your rights are.

The alternative, of course, is to take out travel insurance. This way you can manage the risk of changing business travel plans and add other types of cover to the policy, proving extra security to your employee. Travel insurance can entail a complete risk management plan designed to protect the employee, company and investment.

Travel insurance is available for purchase per trip or it can cover all the travels of workers within a specified period of time, one year being the most typical period. Policies like these are specifically designed for enterprises where employees and management have to travel internationally on a regular basis, visiting risky areas on occasion.

Travel Insurance Types

Travel insurance is primarily designed to cover five categories:

Cancellation. If the trip is canceled, this ensures the cost is covered. Coverage should be as broad as possible to protect against cancellation for any reason although this will cost extra.

Travel and Major Medical. This determines the medical insurance coverage. Travel Medical insurance covers medical care for short overseas trips and includes assistance from the insurer in finding doctors, hospitals and overcoming language problems. Major Medical covers long-term travel or overseas postings.

Emergency Medical Evaluation. This covers the evacuation or transportation of an employee to medical facilities or even home at a cost of $25,000. Transportation by helicopter is very expensive.

Accidental Death-Flight Accident. Similar to life insurance, if a traveler should die because of a crash or accident, his/her beneficiaries will receive benefits.

Luggage and Personal Belongings Coverage. This covers the loss, theft or damage of luggage or personal belongings during travel. Considering the cost of electronic devices used by travelers, this can be very valuable coverage.

Based on the information provided by the US Travel Insurance Association, travel insurance coverage accounts about 4% to 8% of the entire cost of the business trip including various riders and extras that can push the percentage even higher. That means that a $5,000 worth business trip will account $200 to $400 in insurance costs.

But these costs certainly worth the money you pay for this form of business insurance because your enterprise can face much higher expenses if an employee ends up in an accident or health situation while being on duty. So weight in all the costs carefully before sending your workers abroad and don't tend to save money on business insurance because it will cost you more not having it when needed.

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