Product Fundamentals: Corporate Travel Insurance

Corporate Travel is an insurance product developed for organisations whose directors and employees travel for, or on behalf of the company. This product ultimately protects the beneficiaries against financial disruption, accidental sickness or illness that may arise due to travelling interstate or internationally.

The cover provided by a corporate travel policy applies for losses occurring during the policy period and is limited by the journey description noted on the policy schedule. As such, these policies are occurrence based as opposed to claims made, meaning claims may only be made within the policy period.

Coverage is available for all directors, employees, contractors, and consultants of the insured company who travel during the policy period for business purposes. This includes accompanying spouse/partner and dependent children. Coverage may be extended to business owners or directors and their families for non-business related (leisure) travel.

What does it cover?
Coverage is usually provided under the following sections and sub-limits of indemnity may apply depending on insurer policy wordings:
  • Personal accident and sickness

    • Accidental death and disablement

    • Fractured or broken bones

    • Bodily injury resulting in surgery or loss or damage to teeth

  • Cancellation and disruption

    • Loss of deposits

    • Loss of travel and accommodation due to accident or sickness

    • Missed transport connections

    • Overbooked flights

  • Baggage and personal effects

    • Delays, loss, theft or damage to baggage

    • Loss, theft or damage to mobile electronic equipment

    • Loss, theft or damage to money, credit cards and travel documents

  • Kidnap & ransom

  • Rental car excesses

  • Missed transport and transfers

  • Extra-territorial Workers’ Compensation.

Travellers covered under corporate travel policies will often be provided with access to an emergency assistance provider arranged by the Insurer, should one be required due to an emergency arising whilst travelling. This service is usually available 24/7, anywhere around the world and does not incur extra fees.

Common exclusions include:
  • Government lockdowns and border closures

  • Disinclination to travel ie, deciding not to travel despite being legally allowed (vaccine mandate etc)

  • Self-inflicted injury or suicide

  • Fraudulent, dishonest, illegal, or criminal behaviour

  • Pre-existing condition if the insured is 90 years of age or older

  • War in Australia or in the insured country of residence (also includes Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Somalia or Sudan)

  • Radioactivity or nuclear material related activity

  • Any claim when the insured refuses to follow emergency assistance providers’ advice within reason

  • Any claim where the payment of any benefit or amount would be in contravention of any Medicare or private health insurance laws or regulations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed travel significantly. At the end of 2021 the majority of insurers released advice that a travel insurance policy will respond to illness and injury related to COVID-19 in the same way as any other sickness.

Our travel providers' updated position is below:
  • If a traveller becomes sick with COVID-19 during or prior to their journey they will be able to claim cancellation and disruption costs arising from isolation or treatment period.

  • If a traveller must quarantine due to being identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 while on their journey, they will have cover for cancellation and/or disruption or quarantine expenses.

For further information on claims relating to COVID-19, please see our article here.

Claims process

In the event of a claim, the insurer will require written proof of any loss suffered. Proof may include copies of travel documentation such as certificates or receipts. If the insured is unable to meet these requirements, it is likely settlement will be delayed or unsuccessful.

We recommend preparation prior to travel which may assist in the event of a claim. This can include taking photos of luggage and high value items prior to departure and having any travel documentation filed electronically and accessible whilst travelling. It is also advisable for businesses to compose a set of guidelines, with reference to relevant policy conditions, for employees travelling under their policy to ensure appropriate action following an insured event.

Claims example

An Australian Insured that had offices in multiple locations around the world had an employee taken sick on arrival in Medellin, Colombia.  The employee had suspected influenza and could not make the onward journey to Panama City and then on to Belo Horizonte in Brazil as scheduled until such time as their health improved. This resulted in a week of rest in a Medellin Hotel. In addition to the policyholder’s illness, his bag was also lost.

Insurers subsequently agreed to pay for the additional hotel nights incurred in Medellin as well as some new clothes, toiletries and a bag as the insured was without such items following the loss of his luggage. Insurers also paid for some general medication, a visit to a local private doctor and the cost of a Covid test. Insurers paid for additional food in excess of the original scheduled stay.

As far as flights and hotels were concerned, the cost paid by Insurers was relatively modest as most of the items could be re-booked in time but in one instance where that was not possible, the Insurer paid for one new flight.

The sickness and delay of the insured caused another colleague travelling separately to be delayed by two days for an important meeting and insurers paid expenses incurred for that person to wait for the delayed colleague and conduct the meeting at a later time.

Information required to obtain quotations
Generally, the following underwriting information is required at a minimum to obtain terms:
  • A total of the estimated trip numbers for the policy period for domestic and international

  • Estimated trip length

  • Persons travelling

  • Maximum persons travelling at one time.

For further information on corporate travel insurance or to obtain a quote, please contact us via the form below.

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