Why Insurance Is a Travel Essential for Businesses

Sending your employees abroad? Here’s how travel has changed since Covid-19 and how you can protect your employees — and your company — from risks when flying.

Written by Rajeev Shrivastava
Published on Apr. 19, 2024
Why Insurance Is a Travel Essential for Businesses
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As the world continues to recover in the wake of a pandemic and global conflict, the travel industry remains strong when it comes to both personal and business travel.

With many businesses beginning to embrace global expansion, they are turning their attention to in-person conferences and connections for their employees, meaning travel insurance is possibly more important than ever.

Years of travel restrictions coupled with economic uncertainty have more people than ever before wanting to travel and, more importantly, needing to travel safely. As such, businesses must educate and prepare their employees adequately ahead of their journeys.

2023 Travel Statistics

According to a recent survey:

  • Almost 75 percent of U.S. citizens who flew had their flights canceled or delayed in 2023.
  • Over 80 percent of those surveyed have started paying closer attention to cancellation policies, planning their trips earlier and purchasing travel insurance.
  • Searches for travel insurance online have increased by over 60 percent.

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How Travel Has Changed Since Covid-19

The travel landscape is undergoing profound shifts due to changing regulations, emerging health concerns and geopolitical tensions. Governments worldwide are implementing new travel restrictions and protocols in response to evolving health crises and security threats. 

These include Covid-19 restrictions, as well as policies that require travelers to have new visas or insurance before visiting the country. Travelers are becoming more aware of the need to prioritize their safety and flexibility, and are seeking insurance policies that offer comprehensive coverage for unexpected disruptions and emergencies during their journeys.

Illness is a main concern of most travelers, and a travel insurance plan can offer protection if an individual needs to seek medical care during their trip. Additionally, add-on coverage for trip insurance such as the Cancel For Any Reason benefit can allow businesses to cancel a trip and receive reimbursement regardless of the reason, whether related to health, political unrest or newly imposed regulations.

 

Risks of Traveling Uninsured

Travel insurance is often perceived as a luxury rather than a necessity. The truth, however, is that the travel insurance landscape is vast, and there are endless protection policies that can cover everything from the cost of flights to a medical emergency, making it a necessity for companies looking to have employees travel. 

The real value of travel medical insurance has come to light in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Healthcare costs greatly differ from country to country and domestic health insurance typically does not offer international coverage. Having medical coverage when traveling abroad can save travelers from the substantial financial burden of illness or injury while traveling.

Whether it’s mitigating the financial fallout of an unexpected illness or covering nonrefundable trip expenses, the stakes of unprotected travel vary but remain significant for both the traveler and their company. For trip insurance, the financial risk will equate to the total cost of nonrefundable trip expenses, which can be anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on trip plans.

The cost of having to visit a doctor for illness or injury is one that you should avoid across the board. While no one wants to plan for the worst to happen on their trip, having a comprehensive travel insurance plan can be crucial for unexpected emergencies and peace of mind for both a company and its employees. 

 

Features and Benefits of Travel Insurance Policies

When navigating the travel insurance purchasing process, reviewing and comparing policy benefits and coverage amounts is essential for choosing the right plan to best fit a company’s needs. It’s also critical to be aware of any possible exclusions.

Businesses should consider the duration of the intended trip, whether they are sending an individual or group they can bundle policies for and the destination, as some countries require travel insurance for entry. 

There are two big categories for travel insurance: travel medical insurance and trip insurance. For travel medical insurance, businesses should keep in mind the age and health of the traveler to choose a plan that has adequate coverage and desired benefits, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions or emergency medical evacuation.

Trip insurance offers coverage for eligible nonrefundable trip costs in the event of a trip interruption, cancellation, delay, lost baggage and more. Travel medical insurance can cover emergency medical care for new and unexpected illnesses or injuries during these business trips.

 A common misconception about travel insurance is that claims are always denied. In reality, having a travel insurance policy can help alleviate the financial burden that some of these events can have on a company, especially when sending employees abroad.

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Protect Your Employees — and Your Business

Every individual has the same chance that something can go amiss during a trip. With even a minimal investment in travel insurance, businesses can rest assured knowing their employees can enjoy their trip knowing that they’ll have financial protection in unforeseen situations. 

In the long-term, investing in travel insurance can potentially save a business money that otherwise may have been lost if something unexpected occurred during a trip and an employee did not have that added layer of protection.

Travel insurance is not a one-size-fits-all option, and it should not be treated as such. In-person connection is a critical aspect of today’s business landscape, and businesses should be taking every opportunity to educate themselves on all of their options and get the most from their insurance.

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