Business travel is expected to remain strong in 2024, with research indicating a boost from sectors like manufacturing, healthcare, mining, oil and gas, professional services and construction.

According to professional services firm, McKinsey, corporate travel is on track to reach 80% of pre-pandemic levels this year.

So, if your company has employees travelling for work, ensure you’re protecting both your business and those who travel.

Three policy options
There are three types of travel policies to consider:

You can opt for general travel insurance, which offers options for wider coverage, such as for adventure activities. It’s a one-off policy, but you can invest in annual multi-trip cover if travelling frequently. Adds ons are possible, so you can customise coverage to the needs of your trip. Generally, you’ll be covered for medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and other common travel mishaps.
Meanwhile, business travel insurance policies work as annual multi-trip ongoing cover for individual business travellers. It can also cover spouses and minors. You’ll need to have a separate policy per individual/family, which is renewable annually.

Business travel insurance could cover events specific to a business trip (in Australia or overseas). These might include alternative employee expenses, frequent flyer points, and corporate image protection. Benefits could include coverage for medical expenses, costs of emergency or missed transportation due to unforeseen circumstances, and even compensate for rental vehicle excess charges. You can also add cover if your employee does some incidental leisure travel, too.

Lastly, a corporate travel insurance policy provides a ‘set-and-forget’ approach to cover your staff on authorised domestic or overseas business travel. Such a policy can cover directors, senior managers, their spouses, dependent children, plus other designated employees. Opting for this type of policy gives consistent cover for all your staff, but you can also tailor the plan.

Claim examples
An Australian business traveller was injured in head-on car accident in a US national park. They needed more than four weeks in hospital there, nudging the cost to $570,000, which their corporate travel insurance covered.

At the end of a business trip to Germany, an Australian’s bag went missing from their hotel. Since the bag was never found, they were able to claim $5,500 on their insurance for the loss.

A would-be business traveller had to cancel their trip due to their partner’s stroke-like episode. Even though they were only going to travel within Australia, the insured was able to claim $20,000 to cover the cancellation costs.

Overall benefits of travel insurance
Here’s a list of benefits possible through business/corporate travel insurance:

Overseas emergency medical and hospital expenses, including around the clock emergency medical help, such as for evacuation and repatriation (includes coverage for COVID-19)
Loss of income
Expenses for trip cancellation, delay, or for travel resumption
Personal liability
Damage to or loss of luggage and personal possessions, passports, credit cards and credit card fraud
Rental vehicle excess charges
Theft of cash.
Be sure to tap into frequent flier points for your business travel, too. Typically, your individual staff who travel for business will earn the frequent flier points, not your business. That means it’s another perk for staff, and they can link those points to their personal account.

However, businesses can register for programs such as with Qantas or Virgin to earn points on flights. Your company or staff can then use those points for flights, upgrades, and other rewards.

Consider paying your invoices (and your insurance) with credit cards to earn more points, as well.

What to look for in a travel insurance package for business travellers
We can guide you in weighing up the pros and cons of policies. Here’s a guide of the key criteria, apart from those mentioned above:

Business specific benefits, such as cover for alternative employee expenses, resumption of assignment costs and protection of your corporate image
Flexibility and convenience, so you can easily add multiple employees under a single corporate plan, for example
Exclusions and limitations, such as around pregnancy, alcohol-related incidents, and lack of ‘reasonable care’, and
Tax deductibility.
Speak with Austbrokers Terrace specilaists in Travel Insurance about your next business trip.