Group travel insurance (also called business travel insurance) is meant to cover employees against accidents while on business trip. It is the same as individual travel insurance except that the contract is bought by a company on behalf of their staff. Prior to purchase such plan, we have listed below 10 tips that will help you selecting the proper corporate travel insurance plan for your employees and your company:
- Double-check your existing employee benefits plan
It is common that most local employee benefits schemes cover medical expenses as well as death and disability outside of your staff’s country of residence. Medical evacuation may also be included. If this is the case, it may deter you from buying corporate travel insurance plans as it is meant to cover:
- Medical expenses outside of country of residence
- Medical evacuation
- Accident/death/dismemberment while travelling
- Trip cancellation
- Loss, damages or theft of luggage
However, even if your local employee benefits cover most of above items, there might be maximum amount of coverage suitable in your home country but not necessary in other countries, so buying a corporate business travel scheme may still be relevant. Make sure you understand well the coverage and limitation of your local employee benefits scheme prior to purchase a group travel plan
- Review the policy exclusions
Group travel insurance scheme have many restrictions. The most sensitive one is pre-existing medical conditions: if your employee on business trip has a medical emergency related to an existing medical condition, medical treatment oversea and evacuation costs will probably not be covered. Also, if your staff takes opportunity of a business travel to extend their trip for personal leisure, be careful to make sure your business travel plan covers personal trips as well or inform your staff prior to their trip so they can buy their own travel plan to cover their personal trip. Understanding your policy exclusions will help you to make the best choice for your employees.
- Adequacy of sums insured
Each insurers will offer several coverage options for business travel plan. Make sure you choose a plan that is in line with the medical costs in countries your staff will travel. For instance, if your staff travel regularly to United States or Europe, it is important to choose a superior plan with higher indemnity limits for medical expenses to match the medical cost there.
- Trip postponement or cancellation
There are many reasons that could lead to last minute cancellation of a business trip: an accident prior to traveling, weather conditions in country of departure/destination, etc… Including trip cancellation in your corporate travel plan will compensate the company for the costs involved in last minute change of plan.
- Travel duration
Group travel plan is bought on annual basis and will cover all outbound trips done by the eligible staff, without restrictions on number of trips usually. However, each plan will set restrictions in number of days outside of the country for a single trip, usually 30 or 60 days: if your staff is sent abroad for a long term mission, make sure you buy for him an adequate policy to avoid being uncovered for during his oversea stay
- Name or unnamed basis?
Most group travel plan will require you to provide, prior to business trip, the list of employee that are travelling with their names and passport number. If you have a large team and many frequent flyers, it can be a very studious work and you are quite likely to make mistake and miss recording staff. Make sure you buy a travel plan set for a number of staff on unnamed basis, that will give you much more flexibility and security.
- Consider whether your staff are a kidnapping target
Kidnapping of business travelers is a reality in some countries. So if you are sending your staff in a high risk country, make sure your travel plan includes coverage in case of kidnap, extortion or ransom protection! If this is not offered in your corporate travel plan, you may consider to buy a standalone policy for such risks.
- Check whether travel insurance is covered by your corporate credit card
Many corporate credit cards often include travel insurance plan in their program: if it is the case, make sure you understand well the limitations of this scheme and when such coverage can be triggered. And communicate to your staff all the needed information that your staff will need in an emergency event.
It is important to select a corporate travel plan from a reputable insurer that can provide 24-hour worldwide assistance, crisis-response capability and quick claim process. All travel insurer will claim to offer these services, so the only way to select is based on their reputation on market and experience in the market. Ask your insurance intermediary to help you choose the right insurer.
Once you have selected the best corporate travel plan for your staff, make sure you communicate properly so each one knows the emergency procedure or at least register the emergency number in their phone: it will be very useful in some critical cases. If you need more information about group travel insurance, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com