No one wants to think about the worst-case scenarios of going abroad, particularly if it is an important business trip. But it’s the reality of preparing for any journey away, and the methods used for preparing for a business trip are not the same as those used for a family holiday.
An employer has a duty of care towards their employees, even if they’re on the other side of the globe from their usual office. So what kind of cover should you have in place before embarking on a business trip? True Solicitors, who deal with accident at work claims, has created this guide on everything you need to be aware of regarding business travel insurance.
Is an employee not covered by employer’s liability insurance anyway?
It’s true that the cover from your employer’s liability insurance covers illness and injury, whether it was caused on site or off site. But, as Bluefin Professions notes, this isn’t enough to cover everything that could happen when abroad.
For starters, employer’s liability insurance doesn’t cover cancelled flights. It doesn’t cover all medical costs, nor does it provide any support with repatriation costs. If nothing else, flights and travel bookings get delayed or cancelled quite frequently – it’s worth getting business travel insurance just for that!
The business trip is to Europe. Isn’t an EHIC enough?
While getting an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is certainly advised when travelling to Europe for any reason, it isn’t a suitable replacement for business travel insurance.
This is because an EHIC has certain limitations. As stated on the NHS website, an EHIC will cover:
• The right to access state-provided healthcare during the visit. This is often free, or at least at a reduced cost.
• Treatment of a chronic or pre-existing medical condition should it be needed during the visit.
• The provision of oxygen and kidney dialysis, but these must be pre-booked before the trip. If a private provider is booked, however, this isn’t covered.
• Routine medical care for people with pre-existing conditions that need monitoring.
But, an EHIC does not cover:
• Private medical healthcare.
• Private medical costs such as mountain rescue at ski resorts.
• Being flown back to the UK.
• Treatment on cruises.
• Lost or stolen property.
• Medical expenses if travelling abroad specifically for treatment.
• Some parts of the EEA (European Economic Area).
Plus, like employer’s liability insurance, it obviously won’t cover non-medical related mishaps that could occur on the business trip, like a cancelled flight.
Any expenses can be claimed back through the credit card insurance, surely?
Some expenses can be claimed back through your company’s credit card insurance, but again, it isn’t watertight. Corporate Traveller points out that credit card insurance is often quite basic, with limits surrounding the claim amounts and how long the trip is.
Also, as MoneySupermarket points out, while Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act required credit cards to provide protection on purchases above £100 and below £30,000, this is only applicable on purchases where there is a direct transaction from you, the credit card supplier, and the supplier. If this chain is broken at any point, such as by a third party, then the purchase may not be covered. Such third parties include travel agents or a third-party payment processor.
The employee has personal travel insurance. Why is business travel insurance needed too?
Personal travel insurance is great, but again, business travel insurance is far more tailored to the type of trip being taken. For example, business travel insurance can come with the following:
• Cover for business equipment, such as laptops.
• If an employee is not able to attend a meeting or conference, the business travel insurance can cover for another colleague to be flown out as a replacement attendee.
• Cover for business money. If large amounts of the company’s money needs to be taken on the trip, business insurance cover can cover for it being lost or stolen.
So, in addition to medical cover and cancellations in travel, business travel insurance can potentially cover some further business-specific elements. Be sure to check the different policy details between different insurance provider.
The benefits of business travel insurance are clear, particularly if you have employees who frequently travel for work reasons.