Posted in News on 28 Apr 2021

With an increasing risk of natural perils and manmade conflicts, hazardous travel insurance is a must for HR & Employee Benefits professionals considering the welfare of employees traveling abroad.

In addition to the typical travel risks, there is an increasing risk of natural perils and manmade conflicts, meaning there are many considerations when it comes to the safe welfare of your employees when traveling on company business, or for those who are based overseas more permanently. Whilst there has been a large scale reduction in overseas travel during the past year, business needs to go on and as the world opens up again during 2021 and beyond, what do employers need to do to keep their workforce safe and cover these new exposures?

Governments are regularly issuing travel warnings to higher-risk countries because of changing local conditions, and with limited consular services available, clients need to be aware of these issues where immediate assistance is required.

It’s vital to have a comprehensive employee risk management structure in place, so that employers know their responsibilities and duties of care towards their employees where overseas travel or placements are part of the employees role. Care needs to be taken in setting up protocols which can include travel risk management policies, global risk tracking, traveller location monitoring, incident alerts, and a 24/7 emergency response centre to support employees wherever they are.

These HR responsibilities will go together with a package of insurance benefits, the health and safety of employees the foremost decision. What if travel is critical and face to face meetings are needed to service ongoing projects and develop and secure new relationships to help expansion globally which can’t be done remotely?

Situations regularly arise where a standard policy isn’t appropriate as it doesn’t offer the correct insurance cover required. In such circumstance will the insurer be flexible and be able to extend cover, or will there be restrictions and limitations? A standard policy would typically apply exclusions such as acts of terrorism, outbreak of war or civil unrest, or exclude traveling in a specific mode of transport, such as helicopter or light aircraft travel needed to access remote locations, all of which we see regularly and all can be included.

WHAT IF THEY CAN'T EXTEND COVER?

Issues with standard schemes could leave a client with gaps or shortfalls in cover exposing them to a financial shortfall and open to potential legal situations for failing to address the employee welfare.

It is important to address these potential gaps in cover for the welfare of staff and to avoid financial consequences. If a trip is essential the correct cover needs to be in place, and if a client’s advisor isn’t able to arrange suitable cover in the mainstream market they may need to look to a specialist broker, where specific tailored insurance solutions are required to help mitigate and prevent the threats these risks can cause.

WHO IS COVER AVAILABLE FOR?

We provide solutions for clients worldwide in a wide range of industries ranging from IT, communications, logistics, charities and NGOs, to additional exposures in the engineering, construction, mining, energy, oil and gas sectors. Cover can be arranged as standalone policy or an extension of a client’s main schemes, to cover a specific exclusion, increase cover limits or offer required specialist medical / evacuation / repatriation services.

PRODUCTS AVAILABLE:

We offer a range of solutions covering:

• Life and Disability Insurance

• Group Business Travel

• Medical including Evacuation & Repatriation Insurance and International Private Medical Insurance

Kidnap, Ransom & Extortion insurance

• Political Evacuation insurance – designed to protect companies and people from the cost of emergency repatriation and relocation due to political unrest and natural disasters i.e weather

ADDED SERVICES

The insurance solutions help protect the traveler and the financial exposures for the company, but just as important are the specialist assistance and risk management services available to clients.

To compliment an organisations planning protocols, help and assistance is available to support employees before, during and after an overseas assignment. Support can be provided via travel assistance and/or security risk management firms either on a stand-alone contract basis or built-in as part of the insurance provision. A typical program could include:

Pre-trip assessment and training to provide the staff with the information that they need to travel safely by identifying and avoiding risks that may be faced.

Information services supplying real-time news feeds and alerts, on global risks, medical and travel security including employee travel tracking, allowing the employer to effectively identify where personnel are at any time.

A centralised tool to effectively communicate with staff before their trip, during a trip and during an incident, allowing alerts and crisis communications to be distributed, whilst allowing the traveller to trigger an SOS in the event of an emergency. 24 hour emergency, crisis and advisory team providing medical, travel and security information and support.

Each client’s requirements are different, each policy is arranged to provide the required cover specific to their needs.

GET IN TOUCH

Matthew Chilton,

Associate Partner Special Risks

+44(0)207 204 8997