Personal accident and business travel cover delivers vital business interruption protection and helps customers meet their legal obligations. Additional services offered within policies can be especially valuable to clients.
Personal accident and business travel should be viewed as an essential cover for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
The most valuable assets of companies are their employees. Interruption to the workforce – whether through employee travel disruption, injury or death – can therefore result in significant financial loss.
Wage roll is often a company's biggest expenditure, and employees its most valuable resource. However, while most businesses wouldn’t hesitate to fully insure their physical assets, many still fail to adequately protect their human resources.
In contrast, although legally you only have to purchase third-party motor cover, most businesses will opt for fully comprehensive insurance without hesitation. A vehicle can be easily replaced, but its driver is a complex mix of knowledge, skills and experience. Their loss can be very damaging to a business. Why would a business insure its vehicle but not the person driving it?
Any business will be affected if an employee is unable to do their job for whatever reason. Workforces are susceptible to the potential business interruption and financial loss this can cause. The fixed benefits provided by personal accident insurance can be used to offset lost revenue or cover additional expenses incurred, such as recruitment and extra staffing costs.
Business travel insurance will ensure major expenses are covered when something goes wrong during a business trip. Through the additional benefit of travel assistance services, situations will also be resolved quickly and with minimal disruption to the business.
Every employer has a legal obligation to formally risk assess their employees’ work activities and reasonably manage any red flags identified. This includes sending people on business trips, which can introduce a wide range of additional risks for businesses to consider.
Purchasing a comprehensive business travel policy is the simplest and most effective way for businesses to evidence a commitment to health and safety compliance, and should be viewed as a minimum standard when sending employees away for business.
Many insurers provide a fund for use in the event of catastrophic injury. This can be drawn upon for a variety of activities, such as retraining, undertaking adjustments to the workplace and home, or employing someone to co-ordinate on-going medical needs. Professional psychological treatment is also available to families following an accidental death.
Many businesses do recognise the importance of personal accident and business cover, but may look to rely on employees’ own coverage, often given free with bank accounts and credit cards. However, these policies are usually far more limited than a dedicated policy, and many may exclude business travel altogether.
In addition to demonstrating legal compliance, many businesses also view holding adequate business travel cover as a moral obligation to employees. Requiring employees to hold their own insurance, or asking them to travel with no cover at all, risks harming a business’s reputation.
For example, in Autumn 2016 a lorry driver died in his cab while working in Italy. His employer collected the vehicle but told the family that they would need to fund the £22,000 to repatriate his body. The incident was widely publicised and caused the haulage firm significant reputational damage, which would have been avoided had they held even basic business travel cover.