Business Travel Insurance: What Employers and Employees Should Know

man travels for business

When you send your employees across the country or overseas to conduct business, don't forget to add insurance coverage for these trips.

Business travel insurance will guarantee that your employees will have access to doctors and emergency rooms should they injure themselves or become sick while traveling. A travel insurance policy might also give your employees assistants to contact should they lose their passports, have their credit cards stolen or arrive in a foreign country only to find that their luggage has gone missing.

Joe Watts, vice president of Des Moines, Iowa-based Holmes Murphy Worldwide, says that employers typically care about the well-being of their workers. And because of that, most of them will invest in travel insurance if they send their workers across the country or to international destinations.

Understanding business travel and insurance

Sometimes, business owners just need to learn about travel insurance and what protections it provides before they make the decision to invest in it, Watts says.

"You do sometimes have to bring the whole concept of travel insurance to them," Watts says. "But most employers do want to make sure that their employees are taken care of when they are on the road.

"They want to make sure that they can get access to the medical care they need. And because of that, most of them are happy to pay for travel insurance when it is explained to them how important this coverage can be." 

RELATED: Does Your Congregation Need Church Insurance?

How much does travel insurance cost?

Business owners don't have to spend a small fortune each year, either, to provide this kind of insurance protection. Watts says that a robust travel insurance policy, one that allows employees access to a full range of medical care when traveling, will cost business owners with 10 employees who travel regularly a premium of about $2,500 to $3,000 a year. 

"The cost of travel insurance is pretty inexpensive," Watts says. "It really is a low-cost way for business owners to protect their employees." 

Watts says that travel insurance is an affordable perk that business owners can offer to their workers. It’s a way for owners to show employees that they are concerned about their health and well-being without having to spend tons of money. 

“I do think this is a good perk that employers can offer to their workers,” Watts says. “Travel insurance, knowing that they will be covered if they are injured or get sick while traveling, is definitely a benefit for employees who travel often. My employer offers this insurance. I know that because of this I feel safe and secure whenever I am traveling.” 

business travel airplane

What business travel insurance covers

Travel insurance policies vary, but the Insurance Information Institute says that there are several main components of any travel insurance package.

Most important for your employees is probably emergency medical assistance. This type of policy pays for the medical attention your employees might need when traveling, even if they need to see a doctor for such minor afflictions as a stomach flu. Business owners need to study the health care insurance they already provide their employees or the health insurance that their employees receive from another source.

Some plans might cover an array of medical services when employees are traveling, and might render an emergency medical assistance policy a unnecessary expense.

Often health insurance isn't valid for care or procedures that occur outside the United States.

CHECK OUT: Insurance Coverage Essentials for Electricians

Other health policies might have significant holes in their coverage. Some, for instance, might only operate on a reimbursement basis, meaning that they will reimburse employees when they need treatment for broken bones, fevers or other medical emergencies, but employees must first pay for the services upfront with their own credit cards or cash.

An emergency medical assistance travel policy can help businesses cover any of these gaps.

Business owners might also provide baggage insurance or personal effects coverage. This provides your employees with coverage if their personal belongings are lost, stolen or damaged during a trip, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Trip cancellation insurance, another facet of travel insurance, can help protect you if a trip you schedule for your employees must be canceled because of factors such as a death in the family, sickness or another unexpected event.

Your employees might not care about this type of travel insurance, but it could save you a significant amount of money.