Business travelers have a different set of concerns than vacation travelers do – primarily focused on timing. While a vacation traveler will be annoyed if they experience a travel delay, it’s not likely to have as much affect as it does for a business traveler. Business travelers, like vacation travelers, are also concerned with personal safety and medical care, especially if they travel abroad. Travel insurance for business travelers can meet those needs.
What are the risks of business travel?
Some of the unexpected things that can go wrong on a business trip include the following:
- You fall seriously ill on your trip and need to be evacuated – if you experience a serious medical condition – a stroke, heart attack, etc. – outside your health insurance network, you will be facing significant costs, both in medical care and emergency transportation. An evacuation from another country can cost tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars and our guess is that you probably can’t include that on your expense report. Even an evacuation for non medical security reasons will be expensive.
- You arrive on time, but your checked bags (including your presentation materials) do not – when your checked bags get redirected and you need what is in them immediately upon landing, you’re in trouble. Will you be able to locate temporary presentation equipment and find a place to print replacement handouts in time?
- You ride a camel to impress your colleagues, but on the dismount you break your ankle – accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, and when you are traveling in a foreign country, your health insurance doesn’t provide coverage. Will your company cover this medical bill or will you have to pay for this yourself?
- You’ve spent a lot of money to get to an important business event that is cancelled at the last minute – trip cancellations happen all the time for a number of reasons (volcanic ash clouds, terrorist acts, and more). Will you be able to recover your non refundable trip costs if the trip is cancelled?
- You are traveling to a conference where you are the guest speaker and your luggage is stolen somewhere between the cab and your hotel room – when you need to look your best in front of a crowd of people, will you have the time to locate replacement clothing and the funds to cover it?
- You are returning home after weeks of exhausting meetings but a severe storm delays all flights until morning – when you experience a delay that is no fault of the airline’s, they have no responsibility to care for you. Will you be able to expense the extra lodging, meals, and transportation or do you have to pay for that yourself? Will you have assistance to locate a place to stay for the night?
What coverage do you need in your business travel insurance?
While the following is not an exhaustive list of all the coverages available with travel insurance plans, it describes those that are most useful to business travelers.
- Emergency evacuation/repatriation coverage ensures that emergency medical evacuations and repatriation coordination and expenses are covered for you. (Review the details of evacuation/repatriation coverage.)
- Baggage delay coverage provides reimbursement for the essentials while the airline locates and returns your checked luggage to you. (Review the details of baggage delay coverage.)
- Medical and dental coverage provides the funds and helps you locate local medical facilities that can properly treat your injury or illness. (Review the details of medical/dental coverage.)
- Trip cancellation coverage helps you recover your pre-paid non refundable expenses when a trip is cancelled for a covered reason. (Review the details of trip cancellation coverage.)
- Travel delay coverage provides a certain amount of money for unexpected hotel, dining, and transportation costs when your travel is delayed for a covered reason. (Review teh details of travel delay coverage.)
- Baggage coverage provides a certain amount of reimbursement when your luggage is irretrievably lost, damaged or stolen. (Review the details about baggage coverage.)
- Emergency travel assistance services ensures that you have the help you need to locate alternative flights, track lost luggage, find local medical care, and in some cases they provide business-specific services such as obtaining business equipment, translators, drivers, tickets to special events, and more. (Review the details of business assistance services.)
Who should buy business travel insurance?
Travelers like these should purchase Business travel insurance:
- Individuals who travel for business reasons. Having travel insurance on hand when you need it can make all the difference in your ability to avoid financial losses and return home safely.
- Business owners who want travel insurance for single trips. When your business depends on you getting home safely, having the right travel insurance can be a huge benefit that’s worth the investment.
When should you buy your travel insurance?
Purchase your policy just after making your first trip payment. In some situations, this timing is important because some benefits:
- pre-existing medical condition waivers,
- ‘cancel for any reason’, and
- ‘cancel for work reasons’
are only applicable if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days (usually 10-15) from making your initial trip deposit. Plus, you’ll benefit from the longest period of cancellation coverage.
Remember that all travel insurance companies offer a free look period with a refund if you decide the plan is not what you need.
Where should you buy your travel insurance?
We recommend purchasing your travel insurance directly from a third-party company for a number of reasons.
- Buying Travel Insurance from a 3rd party company vs. through a travel agent
- Buying Travel Insurance Directly from the Company vs. Using a Comparison Site
Very briefly, you’ll have more choices and options in your travel insurance plan if you purchase from a third-party company using a comparison tool.
How can you be sure your travel insurance coverage is adequate?
These tips will help you determine whether you have enough coverage.
- 4 Steps to 100% confidence in your travel insurance plan
- Entering $0 Trip Cost is too risky
- Is ‘Cancel for any reason’ worth it?
Business people who travel frequently for business, or often on last-minute trips, may find that annual travel insurance is a more affordable and convenient option. See our review of annual travel insurance for more information.
What are the best travel insurance plans for business travelers?
We’ve done the research into which plans are best and our recommendations include:
- The important coverages for Business travel
- Our analysis of each plan
- Sample quotes