Like so many things, business travel is now back on the cards since most countries have re-opened their borders after the easing of COVID restrictions. But if you’re heading away for work, it’s important to make sure your insurance covers you if fall ill before or after you take off.
Let’s say you run an import business and you want to travel to India to see your suppliers. You’ve booked your flights and accommodation and you’re ready to leave. But a few days before you’re due to go, you test positive for COVID. Aside from the inconvenience, you want to ensure you have the right corporate travel insurance policy in place so you’re not out of pocket for your travel costs.
“Most corporate travel policies provide some form of COVID insurance cover for medical expenses if you contract the corona virus overseas and also for cancellation costs if you get COVID and it stops you from travelling,” says Steadfast Broker Support Manager John Clark.
It’s important to understand how the policy will respond if you contract COVID overseas and are required to self-isolate, for instance in in a hotel, serviced apartment or other rented premises.
“Those costs typically won’t be covered by the medical expenses section of the policy. So, make sure your policy covers expenses incurred as a result of contracting COVID that are not medical expenses, such as missed flights. Travel costs are volatile right now and re-booking cancelled flights may cost substantially more than the original booking. So make sure your policy covers this cost,” says Clark.
“It’s important to understand how the policy will respond if you contract COVID overseas and are required to self-isolate, for instance in in a hotel, serviced apartment or other rented premises”
“It’s quite possible to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses if you’re hospitalised overseas after a car accident, break your leg or fall seriously ill, especially in the US. So make sure your policy includes cover for a large amount for medical expenses, hospital admission and medical evacuation,” he recommends.
Clark says the relevant consideration for business travellers is to ensure their corporate travel policy has sufficient cover for medical and hospital expenses overseas, and not just for COVID. You also may want to make sure you’re covered if you can’t travel because you are a close contact and have been required to isolate or if your business travel partner can’t travel because of COVID and you are consequently forced to change your travel plans.
What’s key is to read the policy fine print so you truly understand what it covers before you need the insurance. It’s also essential to know the limits of the policy and its exclusions, as well as whether you are still covered should your trip be extended.
Post-COVID work travel considerations
There is a number of other considerations business travellers need to make before embarking. It’s vital you understand the COVID testing rules in the country to which you are travelling, as well as your airline’s rules, and comply with them.
It’s also essential to check the federal government’s Smartraveller site before you go. Most insurance policies won’t cover you if the government’s alert level for the country to which you are travelling has escalated to ‘do not travel’. If the alert level has risen, it’s wise to reconsider your plans. Policies will also typically not respond if authorities change or instigate rules such as lockdowns that prevent you from travelling.
Your Steadfast broker can help you to choose the right corporate travel policy for you. Talk to us today to find out more.
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