Are You and Your Company Ready to Travel


Is travel insurance really necessary and worth the added expense? According to the leading travel website Expedia 19% of every traveler cancels or postpones their plans because of work-related reasons. A survey conducted by the Insurance Information Institute corroborated this trend by finding that 17% of travelers one out of every six file some type of claim during their business travels or vacations.

Are you Ready to Travel?

Travel insurance is widely regarded as the best way to protect travelers against a wide range of situations well beyond emergency illness or injury. Even if your company group health plan covers typical medical circumstances a business traveler would be well advised to upgrade to a comprehensive travel insurance policy for additional overseas business protection.The first step should be to check with the HR Department about your group coverage.

Examine the policy to see what is or what is not covered. Does healthcare abroad appear in the policy? How about medical evacuation? If your company has an HAS or a Section 125 pre-tax plan payment for this upgraded coverage would qualify. Don rely on the common misconception that credit cards give adequate travel coverage. The vast majority offer protections so narrow that they may as well have none at all.The same is true for domestic health insurance companies. Most do not cover foreign travel nor do they have the logistics to help with most emergencies away from home.

They may reimburse for emergency medical procedures incurred while traveling but what about the rest? Medical evacuation is ruinously expensive and almost never covered. Terror delays are no longer as rare as in the past. Who hasn heard about a friend losing their passport at the most inconvenient moment? What if you need translation for a crucial prescription refill and youre in Outer Mongolia?A typical comprehensive plan should provide a wide range of assisted services. Here is a sampling of travel risks that many traveling employees typically underestimate:

  • foreign auto accidents
  • legal help needed unexpectedly
  • evacuation due to weather or natural disasters
  • medical evacuation often costing as much as $100000
  • air ambulance from a remote local to a city large enough to host a modern hospital
  • repatriation whether for a health crisis a lost passport or a military coup
  • terror evacuation or kidnap/ransom protection for dangerous hotspots
  • sudden departure prompted by a work-related emergency
  • embassy referrals from experts on the ground

The risk of travel delays should not be underestimated. In these unforeseen instances who pays for the hotel and meals? Who finds the accommodations? Without travel insurance you do.What about lost luggage? That brand new business suit for the important meeting might have to be replaced overseas. Replacing a stolen laptop could deplete your traveling funds. The important documents in your carryon may have to be emergency couriered at a high price tag.Traveling abroad should be exciting and adventuresome. Having the foresight to insure away these risks with a comprehensive travel policy helps make this happen.

About the Author

Recognizing an unfilled need among HR departments for expertise and high-touch service in employee travel needs Fredric Havens founded SafetyFirstTravelInsurance.com after a thirty-year career in the insurance industry. He also owns and operates HealthcareNow a group healthcare insurance brokerage which has consistently won carrier awards recognizing its excellence insuring large national employee groups celebrities and ordinary individuals alike. Mr. Havens is a graduate of California State University at Los Angeles. He is a member of the United States Travel Insurance Association and of the National Health and Life Underwriters Association.

Learn about how you can become a Certified Medical Tourism Professional→