What Is Business Travel Insurance?

Whether for a single trip, multiple events, or as a group, business travel insurance has the flexibility and versatility to help protect you from the wealth of things that can go wrong when travelling. Find out what business travel insurance covers below.

Connor Campbell Last updated on 09 June 2022.
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What Is Business Travel Insurance?

As anyone who has been on holiday knows, even the most meticulously planned trip can still go wrong. And business travel is no different. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

Flight delays, cancellations, illnesses and lost luggage. All common risks faced when making a trip for work, and all covered by business travel insurance.

Read on to find out more about what business travel insurance covers, when you might need it, and how much it costs.

» MORE: Do I need business insurance?

What does business travel insurance cover?

There are a range of scenarios that business travel insurance will compensate you for. As standard, this tends to include:

  • Any disruption to travel, such as cancelled flights, delays and missed connections.
  • Cancelling your trip ahead of time, or cutting it short, due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a sudden bereavement.
  • Replacing lost, stolen or damaged baggage and belongings, including passports.
  • Medical costs if you fall ill, and medical repatriation costs if you urgently need to return home.
  • Legal support in the event of an accident or illness.

More extensive business travel insurance coverage may also protect any business equipment and samples you need to take on your trip from theft, loss or damage. This includes paying for you to buy or hire replacement equipment while you are on your trip.

» COMPARE: Personal travel insurance

Do I need business travel insurance?

Given the number of factors that go into planning any kind of trip, let alone a business trip, it can be hard to predict what exactly could go wrong. That is why getting business travel insurance is such an important precaution to take – its versatility means you will be protected from an array of unexpected events.

If you are an employee, rather than a business owner, it is a good idea to first check with your company to see if you are covered under their business travel insurance policy, or whether you need to get your own. The same is true if the trip is booked for you. Will you need your own insurance, or are you covered by the company’s? If you do have to buy your own insurance, you should also check whether you are eligible for reimbursement.

There are multiple instances where you might end up relieved you made sure you had business travel insurance in place.

For example, if a sudden family bereavement means you are unable to make your trip, business travel insurance will compensate you for cancelling your flights.

It would also cover booking a new flight if you had to race back home at short notice for a similar reason. In this instance, your policy may even pay for a colleague to fly out and complete the business trip in your place.

Were you to fall ill while on your business trip in a country without free medical care, your business travel insurance would pay for your treatment. It would also cover the costs of returning you home if deemed medically necessary.

If your rental car breaks down en route to the airport, causing you to miss your flight, business travel insurance can cover the extra transport costs to get you home.

If your work laptop gets stolen or damaged on your trip, business travel insurance can pay for a replacement.

Or, if your luggage is delayed for more than 12 hours leaving you without a fresh suit for your big meeting, business travel insurance can cover the cost of buying new clothes.

» MORE: Find the right travel credit card for you

Business travel insurance single trip vs annual policies

When looking into purchasing business travel insurance, you will normally find the option for single trip insurance and annual insurance.

  • Single trip business travel insurance. You would take out this kind of short-term policy if you are only intending to make one business trip in a year.
  • Annual business travel insurance. If you are looking to make multiple business trips in a year, the flexibility of an annual policy is potentially more appropriate.

Of course, business trips are often conducted as a group. For instance, you might be a small business taking a team to an expo. It is possible to take out business travel insurance for your entire party under the same policy. This will only apply, however, if you are all travelling together.

Business travel insurance and Covid-19

In regards to Covid-19, your business travel insurance should cover the following:

  • Cancellations related to a positive Covid-19 diagnosis, be it yourself, a travelling companion, or the person you will be staying with.
  • If your pre-booked and pre-paid accommodation, or the surrounding area, is placed under quarantine.
  • Medical treatment related to a Covid-19 illness while on your business trip.
  • If the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against travel to your destination, as long as this is within a certain number of days of your trip.
  • Travel costs for returning home if the FCDO changes the rules about the location you are staying at.

However, your business travel insurance policy will likely not cover:

  • Cancelling a business trip because you do not want to travel due to Covid-19-related concerns.
  • Cancelling a trip because you lack the proper documentation, including proof of vaccination.
  • Cancelling a trip because you wish to avoid quarantining on your return.

It is important to carefully read your insurer’s rules surrounding Covid-19 before either taking out a policy, or booking travel.

» MORE: Does travel insurance cover Covid-19?

How much does business travel insurance cost?

Like with most forms of insurance, the cost of your business travel premium will depend on multiple criteria, including:

  • Whether you want a Single Trip or Annual policy.
  • How many people you are looking to insure.
  • Whether you, or any of your travelling party, has a pre-existing medical condition.
  • Whether you need cover for luggage, valuables and business equipment.
  • Where you are travelling to.
  • The risks associated with your industry.

» COMPARE: Business insurance with NerdWallet

Image source: Getty Images

About the author:

Connor is a writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and The Independent. Read more

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