When heading abroad, no one wants to entertain the worst-case scenario, much less when travelling overseas for a business trip. But good preparation means preparing for every possible outcome, and so it’s important to consider the need for security when travelling abroad for business.
Employers have a duty of care towards their employees, and that extends away from their usual office if they’re travelling on behalf of the company. Workplace injury and medical negligence claims expert True Solicitor investigates.
Doesn’t employer’s liability insurance cover this?
Employer’s liability insurance covers illness and injury when on or off site for work. But, as Bluefin Professions notes, this isn’t enough to cover everything that could happen when abroad. For starters, employer’s liability insurance doesn’t cover 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!
My employee as an EHIC. Will this cover everything?
A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a great choice when travelling through Europe, it isn’t fool proof cover. This is because an EHIC has certain limitations. As stated on the NHS website, an EHIC will cover:
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.
The right to access state-provided healthcare during the visit. This is often free, or at least at a reduced cost.
Routine medical care for people with pre-existing conditions that need monitoring.
It doesn’t cover:
- Private medical healthcare.
- Lost or stolen property.
- Medical expenses if travelling abroad specifically for treatment.
- Some parts of the EEA (European Economic Area).
- Private medical costs such as mountain rescue at ski resorts.
- Being flown back to the UK.
- Treatment on cruises.
You need to consider issues beyond medical as well. Like employer’s liability insurance, an EHIC obviously won’t cover non-medical related mishaps that could occur on the business trip, like a cancelled flight.
Can’t I just claim all expenses back on the company credit card insurance cover?
There are a few costs that can be claimed back through credit card insurance. Corporate Traveller points out though 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.
If the employee has personal travel insurance, do I still need to take out business travel insurance?
It’s a running theme, but this cover will not be enough on its own. Personal travel insurance is great, but again, business travel insurance is far more tailored to the type of trip being taken. For example, business travel insurance can come with the following:
Cover for business equipment, such as laptops.
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.
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.
Business travel insurance simply covers far more, well, business-related aspects! Be sure to check the different policy details between different insurance provider.
If you have employees who travel abroad frequently for your company, it is certainly cost-effective to take out business travel insurance.