- Business travel insurance can cover trip cancellation, interruption and delay, medical and emergency evacuation, lost luggage and theft of personal belongings.
- Not all travel insurance plans cover work equipment.
- Consider purchasing business travel insurance if you are self-employed, traveling abroad on business, or planning to add leisure time to your business trip.
While business travel insurance may not be the first thing you think of when preparing for a business trip, a comprehensive travel insurance policy can help protect you from financial loss.
Business travel insurance may make sense for you if you are self-employed and paying the bill for your business trip, or if you are traveling internationally and are concerned about the cost of medical care abroad. It can also be a smart buy if your company won’t reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses if you experience flight delays or need to cut your trip short due to an emergency at home.
What does business travel insurance cover?
Business travel insurance brings together several types of coverage, which typically include:
- Trip cancellation insurance.
- Trip Interruption Insurance.
- Travel delay insurance.
- Travel medical insurance.
- Emergency evacuation insurance.
- Baggage insurance.
- Death and Dismemberment Insurance.
The types and amounts of coverage vary depending on the travel insurance plan you purchase.
“Travel insurance can cover trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, medical expenses and luggage for leisure and business,” says Christina Tunnah, spokesperson for World Nomads.
“The specific outcome of a claim, however, depends on the nature of the loss,” she says. “No matter what type of policy you choose, be sure to read the entire policy to understand any limitations or exclusions.”
Trip cancellation insurance for business travel
Trip Cancellation Insurance can reimburse you for 100% of the insured cost of your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses, such as airline tickets and hotel reservations, should you need to cancel your trip due to a reason listed on your policy. .
Acceptable reasons for trip cancellation benefits generally include severe weather and injury, serious illness, or death by you, your traveling companion, or a family member.
Some travel insurance plans, such as Travel Guard Deluxe from AIG Travel, will allow you to cancel if your business partner is injured, seriously ill or dies. The Deluxe Plan also provides travel cancellation benefits for selected work reasons, such as unexpected job loss, employer-initiated transfer more than 100 miles from home, and need to stay and work during scheduled travel.
Trip interruption insurance for business travel
Trip interruption insurance can reimburse up to 150% of your insured travel expenses when you need to terminate your business trip early for a reason in your policy.
If you have a death in your immediate family and need to return home early, trip interruption benefits may cover the cost of airport transfers and a last-minute flight home. He may also be able to reimburse you for non-refundable expenses, such as a hotel room, which you will no longer need if you cut your trip short.
Travel delay insurance for business travel
If your connecting flight is delayed or cancelled, travel delay insurance can cover the cost of unexpected expenses, such as a meal at the airport or a night in a hotel.
Travel delay insurance typically has a waiting period before benefits start, so check your policy to see how many hours the delay must last before you can file a claim. Also, look for the maximum daily and overall benefits per person. If your trip delay insurance only provides $250 worth of coverage per day, that might not be enough for a cab and a hotel room.
Travel medical insurance for business travel
When you’re on a business trip, if you are injured or sick, travel medical insurance can help pay for medical care, imaging tests, lab tests, medications and hospital stays. This can be particularly valuable if you travel to a country where your US health plan does not provide coverage.
emergency evacuation insurance
If you are seriously injured or become seriously ill in a remote location or in an underdeveloped country, emergency evacuation travel insurance covers the cost of transportation to the nearest suitable medical center for treatment. On some occasions, this coverage pays to take you home for treatment. It may also include cover for repatriation of remains if you die while traveling.
If your luggage or personal items are lost, damaged or stolen, luggage insurance can cover the depreciated value of your belongings. Typically, this is secondary insurance, which means you must first file a claim with the airline or homeowner’s insurance.
Baggage delay cover can reimburse you for incidentals if you are without your bags for a period of time. There is usually a waiting period, such as six or 12 hours before benefits start. If your bags still haven’t arrived after the waiting period, you can purchase replacement items and claim a refund. Be sure to look at the maximum coverage limit per person, as delayed baggage coverage can be as little as a few hundred dollars.
Many travel insurance plans do not include coverage for lost business equipment, so read your policy for exclusions.
Death and Dismemberment Insurance
Business travel insurance usually includes accidental death and dismemberment insurance. This can cover death or dismemberment that happens during public transport, that results from an ordinary transport accident, that happens in any way except on a common carrier or that occurs at any point during your trip. Read your plan for details.
What to Look for in a Business Travel Insurance Plan
Business travelers should look for plans that include coverage for car rentals, business equipment, trip delays and cancellations.
While most trip cancellation insurance policies cover emergency situations, such as the death of a family member or bad weather, some policies also cover business-specific cancellations.
The World Nomads Explorer plan, for example, includes trip cancellation coverage for certain business reasons such as your company acquisition, merger or bankruptcy, physical damage to your company due to a natural disaster, vandalism or theft, and the need to stay with your boss.
If your business trip requires you to travel with equipment, make sure it is covered by your policy.
Allianz offers an annual AllTrips Executive insurance plan that covers personal and business travel for a full year. The AllTrips Executive Plan offers benefits for business equipment. If your business equipment is lost, stolen or damaged, Allianz will reimburse you for reasonable equipment rental, replacement or repair costs. The policy covers up to $1,000 for replacement or repair and up to $1,000 for commercial equipment rentals, per person, per trip.
Not all insurance plans cover work equipment. Insurance providers such as World Nomads exclude coverage for professional equipment. If your bags are stolen, your personal belongings may be covered, but your work devices or work-related equipment, like samples or trade show materials, may not, says Tunnah.
Do you need medical evacuation insurance?
Medical evacuation insurance is a good idea if you’re traveling abroad, to remote islands or regions of a country with limited medical facilities or staff, says Scott Adamski, head of global product development at AIG Travel.
If this happens on your business trip, you may be close enough to reach a local clinic, but it may not be close enough if the injury you sustained requires advanced imaging or emergency surgery. In that case, you would need to be transported quickly to the nearest metropolis.
Having medical evacuation insurance would be extremely important because the costs associated with medical evacuations are expensive.
“Even from the Caribbean to Miami, an air ambulance will cost five figures, and we’ve seen many evacuations that reach six figures. As payment must be confirmed even before the air ambulance takes off, travelers need to consider where the funds would come from,” says Adamski.
He adds that while some group health policies offer coverage for bowel movements, they can come with a coverage cap of $5,000 to $10,000. In the case of a $100,000 evacuation, you may be liable for the balance. Facing such a financial burden when trying to get home can be overwhelming. A travel insurance plan with sufficient medical evacuation coverage would be vitally important in a case like this.
More comprehensive travel plans include coverage for emergency medical transport, but coverage amounts are generally lower for more basic plans. If this is important to you, look for a plan with a high coverage limit.
Travel insurance company Travel Guard offers a coverage enhancement called the “Medical Package” that doubles the coverage limits for medical and evacuation expenses on certain travel insurance products.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A comprehensive travel insurance plan will include several types of coverage, including trip cancellationtravel delay, travel interruption, emergency medical care, emergency medical evacuation, baggage delay and loss.
When comparing travel insurance plans, look at what is covered and excluded from coverage, daily and maximum coverage amounts, and waiting times before coverage begins.
If you want coverage for extreme activities, look for a plan that offers an upgrade for adventure sports, such as the Travel Guard Deluxe plan.
It might be smart to buy business travel insurance for a business trip, even if your company is paying for your trip. Here are some reasons why:
- Your company may not pay for a last-minute one-way plane ticket if you need to interrupt your business trip because of a family emergency at home.
- Your company may not pay your medical bills if you become ill or injured while on a business trip abroad.
- Your company may not reimburse you if your personal belongings are lost or stolen while on a business trip.