It’s a worst-case scenario that something might go wrong when travelling abroad, but it’s a plausible risk all the same. There are many factors to consider when travelling safely, and even more when business is thrown into the mix. It’s not the same as heading off on holiday!
Whether an employee is on-site or halfway around the world, if they are carrying out work duties, their employer has a duty of care towards them. In order to carry out this duty of care effectively, should employers take out business travel insurance, or rely on their employee’s own personal insurance? Work accident claims experts True Solicitors explores different travel cover in more detail below…
Employer’s liability insurance: is this enough?
Employer’s liability insurance does cover for illness or injury at work, whether you’re on or off site. But, as Bluefin Professions notes, this isn’t enough to cover everything that could happen when abroad.
Obviously, employer’s liability insurance doesn’t cover travel-specific issues, such as 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!
Is an EHIC enough for business trips to Europe?
A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a good, basic cover to have in place when travelling to Europe, but it isn’t enough to warrant skipping out on 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.
On the flip side, an EHIC doesn’t 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).
Like employer’s liability insurance, an EHIC isn’t designed for travel cover. It won’t cover non-medical related mishaps that could occur on the business trip, like a cancelled flight.
Is credit card insurance enough to cover travel aspects?
While some expenses are covered by your company’s credit card insurance, it isn’t a definite for all transactions. 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.
What about personal travel insurance?
It’s always a smart move to take out personal travel insurance, but business travel insurance is specifically made to cover the business side of things. 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.
Essentially, business travel insurance covers medical matters and potential cancellation of travel, and it also covers business-specific elements. Be sure to check the different policy details between different insurance provider.
If your workplace has employees who frequently need to travel for business, then business travel insurance is certainly beneficial.