If you travel for work you’ll know that an important business trip has enough pressure surrounding it without external problems factoring in. Flight delays, cancellations, illness – hopefully, it will not happen, but the fact is that it could happen. Business travel is distinct from leisure, family or personal trips, and the factors that must be covered are different as a result.
Did you know that if an employee is conducting business away from the office, the employer still has a duty of care? Failure to care for employees working abroad can result in employees seeking advice and a potential claim with an accident at work solicitor, the same as with a worker being injured on-site. If you are the employee who is expected to travel for work then you should ask your employer if they have business travel insurance in place. For the employer, it’s important to look into various cover for employees heading on business trips, and it’s equally crucial to understand what is and is not covered.
How far does employer’s liability insurance cover?
Employer’s liability insurance does cover illness and injury caused on or off-site. But, as Bluefin Professions notes, this isn’t enough to cover everything that could happen when abroad.
Problems with business trips aren’t limited to injury or illness, so employer’s liability insurance is not enough; for instance, what about losing money through 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!
If the business trip is within Europe, won’t an EHIC cover everything?
An EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is definitely useful when travelling within Europe, but it isn’t as comprehensive as business travel insurance.
There are limitations on an EHIC’s cover. 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.
However, an EHIC won’t cover the following:
- 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).
The key difference here is that, like employer’s liability insurance, EHIC cover is mainly surrounding illness and injury. It won’t cover business trip mishaps such as cancelled or delayed flights, lost property, or any potential scams.
Credit card insurance will deal with non-medical issues, surely?
Company credit card insurance will offer some protection, but like the EHIC and employer’s liability insurance, it isn’t designed to cover all areas of business travel. Corporate Traveller points out that credit card insurance is often quite basic, with limits surrounding the claim amounts and how long the trip is.
There’s also the issue of where the money went — while credit card companies must protect transactions between £100 and £30,000, the transaction must occur directly between the customer 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 their own travel insurance.
It’s always advisable for a person to have their own travel insurance, but business travel insurance has the company in mind as well as the individual. 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.
It all boils down to business-specific needs that require cover. Be sure to check the different policy details between different insurance providers.
If your company has employees travelling frequently, it’s definitely worth investing in business travel insurance. If the company does not already have a policy in place, it may be worthwhile suggesting it to the relevant person or department? There’s simply no replacement for it.
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