As a business owner, your financial decisions have wide-reaching consequences on the bottom line. Where possible, you’ll be looking to save costs and make efficiencies. We get it; it makes sense to save wherever you can. But, sometimes, there are costs that in the long run can save you serious money.
Business travel insurance falls into this category. The initial outlay can seem like an additional cost that is easy to cut back – especially if your trip is domestic. But there are times when it doesn’t make business sense not to have business travel insurance.
Here are four situations where business travel insurance can help the bottom line:
1. When your flight is delayed or cancelled
Reimbursement rules for delayed or cancelled flights vary, depending on where the carrier is based. Best advice here is to check their airline’s policy. However, even if airlines will provide you with a full refund for your cancelled or delayed flight, they typically won’t cover the costs for any cancelled hotels or unused car hire that you accrue.
As well, in extraordinary circumstances, such as extreme weather or strikes, you won’t be able to claim any additional compensation from the airline. In these cases, the costs of finding alternative travel or additional accommodation can quickly stack up – especially as you’ll be competing with other travellers that are in the same situation.
2. When your meeting is rescheduled or a conferences cancelled
Whether it’s from illness, a change of plan or bad weather, business travel plans change. If a conference is cancelled, it’s likely that the ticket costs will be refunded. But what about the additional upfront costs that you’ve already made? Travel insurance will mean that you’re not left out of pocket.
And, if you need to cancel your travel arrangements because a meeting has been rescheduled, travel insurance can help cover the costs.
3. When a personal item is lost or stolen when travelling
If laptops, phones or other devices are lost or stolen while travelling, it can make it impossible to conduct business as usual. But buying replacements is often a costly and unbudgeted expense.
Claiming the cost of replacements on travel insurance can limit the financial impact. However, not all travel insurance policies cover personal items, so it’s worth checking the small print before purchasing a policy to see what is covered. In some cases, for particularly expensive items, it can be worth the cost of taking out individual gadget insurance policies.
4. When your baggage doesn’t arrive
First of all, lost baggage is a major inconvenience. You don’t necessarily know if or when you’ll get your baggage back, so you’ll need to buy replacements for what was in your suitcase. Second, in the case of business travellers, lost baggage can also impact on the bottom line – think lost stock or having to reschedule meetings because important information that you need was in your lost baggage.
While travel insurance won’t help you get your bag back faster, it can help you to recover some of the costs you accrued as a result of your baggage not arriving on time.
Travel insurance covers you for the unforeseen and unexpected. While the cost of purchasing a policy can seem like yet another business expense, there are clear financial benefits if the worst should happen.
You might have heard many stories about pickpockets in cities like Milan or road accidents in places like Chennai, but those incidents are just a part of the big picture. Travelling imposes three types of danger on business travellers:
- Security risks
- Health risks
- Safety risks at the destination
While being on the road, travellers face various security threats by doing seemingly harmless activities that they do every day at home: getting on the internet, using a computer, withdrawing cash from an ATM or walking around with mobile devices and debit cards in the pocket. For example, when you connect to an open Wi-Fi network at an airport (instead of the highly secured one at your company), someone might try to get hold of your data to do illegal things without your consent.
Health risks range from extreme outbreaks to common illnesses, or merely the slipping away from healthy routines. The stress of travelling for work and the unfamiliarity with the destination could heighten the problems that business travellers have to endure.
Road accidents and petty crimes are the most common risks for business travellers at a destination. There are also threats as uncommon as natural disasters and political unrest and ones as common as cultural misunderstanding.
Form the habit of taking precaution measurements
Awareness is the first step, but travellers often need guidance to arrive safely and leave successfully. The habit of taking precaution measurements can be built by turning each must-do into a list of small steps. By going through the list before travelling, you can make it a habit of being safe on the road.