Travelling abroad for work can already be a stressful time. It’s not like heading away on holiday; you’re representing your company in, potentially, an area you’re not familiar with. The last thing you want to be thinking about is ‘what if something goes wrong’. But it’s important to be prepared for any worst-case scenario.
No matter whether you’re in the office or in another country, if you’re carrying out work for your employer, they have a duty of care. But what does this mean in terms of business travel? Should your employer have insurance for you, or is your personal cover enough? True Solicitors, who are experts in handling work accident claims, explain more:
Does employer’s liability insurance cover business travel?
You’re covered for illness or injury while at work through employer’s liability insurance, whether you are on or off-site. But, as Bluefin Professions notes, this isn’t enough to cover everything that could happen when abroad.
Consider the scope of employer’s liability insurance — firstly, it doesn’t cover for 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!
Is it enough to just have an EHIC when travelling for business in Europe?
Though a European Health Insurance Card is a great basic level of cover when travelling to Europe for any reason, it’s not a suitable replacement for business travel insurance. This is because an EHIC has certain limitations. As stated on the NHS website, an EHIC will cover:
- The right to access state-provided healthcare during the visit. This is often free, or at least at a reduced cost.
- 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.
- Routine medical care for people with pre-existing conditions that need monitoring.
But keep in mind that an EHIC doesn’t cover for:
- Private medical healthcare.
- Private medical costs such as mountain rescue at ski resorts.
- Being flown back to the UK.
- Treatment on cruises.
- Lost or stolen property.
- Medical expenses if travelling abroad specifically for treatment.
- Some parts of the EEA (European Economic Area).
Just like with employer’s liability insurance, an EHIC won’t offer any travel cover. It won’t cover non-medical related mishaps that could occur on the business trip, like a cancelled flight.
Any expenses can be claimed back through the credit card insurance, surely?
Your company’s credit card insurance will cover some transactions, but not all of them. Corporate Traveller points out 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, is business travel insurance needed?
Personal travel insurance is definitely a good thing, but it isn’t tailored for business travel like business travel insurance is. For example, business travel insurance can come with the following:
- Cover for business equipment, such as laptops.
- 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.
- 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.
Business travel insurance not only covers medical and transport cancellation, but also covers business aspects such as belongings and money. Be sure to check the different policy details between different insurance provider.
If your workplace has employees who frequently have to travel abroad for work, then business insurance is crucial.