How to prepare for travel accidents and emergencies with insurance

As business activity expands, staff and salespeople spend more time on the road, which increases the risk of accidents and emergencies. At the same time, business owners may travel extensively for work and personal reasons.

Health, life and workers’ compensation insurance may not cover the risks sufficiently — and in some cases won’t cover them at all. But travel accident coverage is insurance intended to cover losses incurred while traveling domestically or internationally.

“The types of losses covered with travel accident coverage range from inconvenient flight delay to cancellation due to illness or even a serious medical emergency,” says Marc McTeague, executive vice president at SeibertKeck Insurance Agency. “It can also extend to help pay for a variety of services from transporting a loved one to the location where the insured is hospitalized to location translation services.”

Smart Business spoke with McTeague about travel accident coverage and how it can protect your employees — and yourself.

How is travel accident coverage used?

Travel accident helps fill coverage gaps, in the U.S. and abroad, by combining three components into one policy:

  • Travel assistance coverage and services range from lost luggage and identity theft assistance to medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation and medical specialists.
  • Medical evacuation, repatriation and out-of-country medical coverage reimburses the costs of emergency treatment and transportation for injured or sick employees, and pays to bring them home.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage pays a lump sum for accident loss of life, limb, sight, speech or hearing.

How often do you run across people who don’t even know this kind of coverage exists?

Very often — it is a coverage that is overlooked. It’s common to review property, liability and automobile coverage, and even suggest umbrella and crime coverage, but travel insurance can be forgotten.

Who benefits from this insurance?

Coverage should be reviewed for any organization with employees who travel frequently, as it protects your company, employees and travel investments. Any company with international manufacturing and sales should also consider a separate policy. Consult with a trusted insurance adviser for company travel plans as well as personal trips to review all of your options.

What are tips for setting up this coverage?

Some policies offer a limited amount of coverage for an insured while away from the office, but the coverage is not comprehensive enough to cover a serious accident or travel emergencies. The cost of the policy is far less than any expense you would face in the event of a claim.

Travel accident insurance also provides protection far beyond typical travel coverage offered through the Internet and credit card companies. A credit card company may be able to refund fraudulent charges or protect you from identity theft, but a travel accident policy can pay for health expenses. For example, if medical costs are incurred as a result of an accident or illness when the insured is traveling abroad, health insurance companies may take weeks or months to reimburse medical providers. A travel accident policy can pay on the spot, which is critical in countries like Mexico where full payment is required before discharge.

Another component is accidental death and dismemberment coverage that provides protection for travel that not only takes place on common carriers but also chartered aircraft or watercraft.

Finally, with trip delay coverage, if the insured’s trip is delayed 12 or more hours due to inclement weather, hijacking, a natural disaster or terrorist act, the policy pays for a few days of food and temporary lodging until travel becomes possible.

Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?

This coverage is also for local traveling — sending workers to a trade show or out of town meetings.

As companies reach further across the globe and travelers explore more exotic and adventurous locations, the need for travel accident insurance has increased. Take time now to consider the health and safety risks before you or your employees face illness, accidental injury or other unfortunate events without the right resources.

Insights Business Insurance is brought to you by SeibertKeck