8 February 2016

Travel Insurance or Holiday Insurance - There's a difference if you are travelling for work

By Performance
We have many media clients that contact us to advise they are travelling abroad to work.

When we ask about their travel cover, they sometimes answer that they have cover already in place. Further investigation uncovers that they only have holiday insurance, and in some cases, this does not cover manual work abroad, which we later find is specifically excluded.

There are some holiday-type insurances that may cover this, but if not, then a business travel policy is the better solution.

A business travel policy (sometimes called Group Travel, or Group Personal Accident and Travel Insurance) can provide cover for those times when you are working abroad, undertaking manual work (such as operating a camera), but can also provide cover for holiday trips in addition.  Do check this, as there are also “good” and “not-so-good” Business Travel policies out there.

Although the cost of a business travel insurance policy may be more than a holiday insurance policy, it is not worth cutting corners to get a cheap deal, if it won’t operate where you are working abroad.  That would just be money down the drain, and your insurance advisor can help you find the deal that’s right for you.

As well as covering your business trips, some Business Travel policies can provide you with the flexibility to cover not only your own holidays but also for your spouse/partner and dependent children.  Dependent children are normally defined, such as those who live with you and are aged under 18 (or under 23 if in full-time education).   This definition can alter from insurer to insurer, so do check. Cover is not usually provided for spouse/partners or children travelling independently of the policyholder.

Once you have found your policy, check that the limits of cover are adequate for your needs. Emergency Medical Expenses is usually the one most people focus on, and this usually is in the “£x millions” of cover to ”unlimited”, but do also check the other sections (baggage, delay, money, etc, etc) and any limits and excesses that may apply as well as any exclusions.

Personal Accident may be bundled with your Travel cover, but this may be limited to Death and “Capital Benefits” only, which is effectively the loss of sight/hearing/speech/limb or permanent total disablement, for which you would receive a lump sum.

For full-blown Personal Accident cover, a separate policy may go further, providing not only the above benefits, but also weekly benefits following injuries that temporarily prevent you from working, either in your usual capacity or entirely; and possibly some “Continental Scale” benefits which cover things such as loss of a toe, finger, shoulder or hip.

You can arrange cover for everyone working within your business (in certain cases including freelancers), or just for certain classes of people that you stipulate (e.g. just the Directors of the business) and can cover those trips in the UK that involve travel by air, sea, rail, or an overnight hotel stay – again the definition of a UK trip can alter from insurer to insurer, so check with your advisor, but safe to say that “popping round the corner to the shops” is usually not a covered UK trip!