Your employees are primed for their business trip, armed with their flight and hotel reservations, passports, business visas, and detailed itineraries. However, there is one essential item missing that can help protect your travelers and your company – business travel insurance.
Business travel insurance is designed to cover events related to business travel. Comprehensive policies offer primary coverage for a broad range of business expenses, including medical and business liability. Another option is to pick and choose coverage options best suited for your individual business needs.
- Business liability insurance: Review your company’s general liability insurance plan to determine what type of coverage it offers during business travel. Business travel policies often have options that include travel assist insurance and international travel liability. Both can supplement your company’s existing liability coverage to provide extra protection for your business travelers.
- Cancellation or interruption insurance: Covers the portion of trip you did not yet complete if you need to cancel a scheduled trip or head home earlier than planned.
- Medical insurance: Covers medical expenses during travel. It can supplement existing health insurance if the existing plan doesn’t cover medical during travel.
- Evacuation insurance: Covers cost and arrangement of transportation to a location safe from civil unrest or to a place you can get appropriate treatment for medical emergencies.
- Baggage and personal items: Covers reimbursements for stolen, damaged, or lost luggage and other personal items.
- Life insurance: Travel life insurance is typically available in three types:
- Air flight accident: Covers flight portion of the trip.
- Accidental death: Covers entire trip.
- Common carrier: Covers death or dismemberment when traveling on public transportation.
- Foreign workers compensation insurance: Covers injuries from accidents or diseases when employees are overseas. Policies can include compensation for emergency medical treatment as well as liability protection for your business in the event of litigation associated with a work-related injury.
Different insurance companies offer different policy features, although a handful of general provisions are typically available across the board. Some of the features you may want to look for include:
- Benefits: Benefit amounts may be a fixed amount or an amount based on salary, group size, or job category.
- Case size: Refers to the number of eligible employees covered under the plan. Some companies have minimum limits; others may offer discounts for groups of 20 or more employees.
- Coverage locations: Policies may cover domestic travel, international travel, or both.
- Coverage time frames: Coverage may be limited to certain hours, or extend to 24 hours per day.
- Additional services: Additional features can include items such as kidnapping and hijacking coverage, legal expenses, emergency travel for family or friends, and 24-hour support through email, telephone, or social media.
Cost and Purchasing
The cost of business travel insurance varies widely, depending on the age of travelers and the level of coverage you choose. Comprehensive policies tend to run from 5 percent to 12 percent of the cost of the overall trip.
Researching business travel insurance can be done by asking for referrals from your existing carriers or business network. You can also check out several resources:
In addition to ensuring your travelers and company are protected wherever your employees visit, business travel insurance can provide a peace of mind essential for a productive trip.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.