The Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s unexpected reintroduction of advice to avoid all but essential international travel to Spain in July 20201 served as an early warning of the uncertainties that travellers face when arranging international travel in a time of Covid-19. Also, a forward-looking eye towards Brexit and the differing needs of countries the UK will be parting from needs to be borne in mind.
That being so, the launch of a new Group Travel Plan that we are now providing, could not be better timed for businesses needing to insure against potential losses. This can act as a basis to ensure the correct questions are asked and the right cover is available for the client.
A robust travel protection is built upon first-class intelligence underpinning the travel cover and looks at more than just health issues of the individual
Good travel cover must ensure it addresses the current risks posed to business travellers in all global locations, with a view to ensuring employers are able to deliver on their duty of care responsibilities to those employees who have to travel overseas on business. This could be for import or export negotiations, sales or client liaison, product sourcing, conferences or a myriad of other reasons.
The disruption to business travel plans caused by the virus, its propensity to cause localised issues at any given time and at any location worldwide and the short-term travel changes to country restrictions such as those that were necessitated by the Covid-19 virus from any affected global localities, are all considerations that must now be thought about, which didn’t exist previously.
When discussing travel cover, we will look at policies that equips you with the means to stay abreast of current situations in thousands of global locations. Smart technology underpins the delivery of best-in-class cover, providing the policyholder with push alerts that immediately notify of a changing risk or threat. If already in an affected area, the cover will start a process to move an individual to the nearest help centre, if required.
Cover should ensure any medical assistance needed is provided by highly trained operators, with local assistance centres; well-rehearsed in providing medical care or putting medical repatriations into effect, should the individual’s healthcare be best addressed in this way.
A robust travel protection is built upon first-class intelligence underpinning the travel cover and looks at more than just health issues of the individual, for instance continually monitoring the world for signs of not just health outbreaks but also political unrest, terrorist incidents or threats, and wars and conflicts.
Some travel covers now offer additional insights towards safety which extends to providing access to training and briefings ahead of their travel, learning how best to mitigate personal safety, theft and health risks in particular countries, or understanding risks surrounding certain scenarios such as women-only or LGBTQ+ travel. Those wishing to have experts analyse their travel plans for anticipated risks in advance of departure can even access that assistance.
On some policies, guidance and end-user benefits can be available at the touch of a smartphone button, whether relating to advice, proof of insurance for visa purposes or claims information and updates.
As travel insurance becomes more complex for the client, an extensive policy giving wide ranging coverage is becoming more essential for peace of mind, as well as health of body. A policy such as the Group Personal Accident and Travel, backed by AIG or Chubb delivers this sophisticated and relevant travel insurance protection for business travellers. Whether journeying overseas solo or in groups, the right travel protection is a much-needed safety-net for businesses relying on overseas face-to-face connections, at a time of current health turmoil and ahead of potential further issues caused by our changing relationship with the EU. With terrorism currently overshadowed in the headlines but never off the radar completely, ensuring you have the correct cover offers the peace of mind all business travellers should be seeking, coupled with the duty of care due diligence that UK employers need and to exercise.