Covering Employees Across Travel Situations
There are any number of scenarios in which an employee might tack extra days onto a business trip.
“Take a 28-year-old programmer in the tech industry who’s flying from the Bay Area to Barcelona for a conference," says Balazs. “The programmer may stay longer than the four days of the conference to do some sightseeing, visit friends, or perhaps even travel to another country while there."
If the programmer rents a car during their trip and ends up injured in an accident or contracts a severe respiratory virus, workers' compensation and even their group health insurance policy are not designed to quickly provide emergency support. These are just two examples of what could happen that may not be covered or fully covered by other insurance. However, BTA insurance, with international medical and travel assistance experts available 24/7, combined with benefits for emergency out of country medical situations, can respond rapidly to help the employee.
“There are three separate coverage parts to BTA, but one of the biggest pieces is the 24/7 travel and medical assistance," says Heather Savino, underwriting officer and industry practice lead for Middle and Large Commercial at The Hartford. “You have the traditional AD&D and living benefits like medical evacuation, but the 24/7 travel and medical assistance is especially valuable to employees when something goes awry during the course of travel."
BTA can provide broad protection for employees if they become ill, injured or concerned for their safety while traveling on business or “blended" trips — whether they're local, interstate or out of the country.
On average, BTA includes up to 14 days of non-work travel coverage within an overall business trip. Policies often include coverage for dependents that travel with the employee and address a whole array of risks, including and beyond emergency medical help. BTA can also cover and facilitate emergency evacuations in the event of security, political and natural disaster events, provide coverage for lost baggage and much more. With customizable high limits, in the event of accidental death while traveling, BTA can be the highest payout that the beneficiary receives.
BTA can also cover work-from-home and hybrid employees when they travel to the office or any other place on business. As companies recover from the pandemic, this coverage is more relevant than ever as there are plenty of reasons employees might be on the move.
“The importance of BTA has increased as many of our clients in the professional, financial and healthcare services spaces have moved to new working models that proved productive through the COVID pandemic," says Savino. “We're seeing more traveling healthcare employees that are based out of their home who travel to a work site that might differ every day.”
“With teams of workers spread around the country, or potentially around the globe, the opportunity to gather in person as a team for strategizing and team building now requires more employees to travel," she adds. As a result, company retreats and offsite meetings become more valuable to companies in a remote and hybrid world, though they are not without risks.
Ultimately, business and “blended" travel scenarios vary across industries — from professors traveling for speaking engagements to external auditors visiting companies to sales representatives meeting in person with prospects, and many more. Ensuring that people are protected in these scenarios should be a priority for companies. Amid changing travel trends, business travel accident insurance is customizable to company needs and helps them better protect their most important assets: their employees.
This article provides general information, and should not be construed as specific legal, HR, financial, insurance, tax or accounting advice. As with all matters of a legal or human resources nature, you should consult with your own legal counsel and human resources professionals. The Hartford shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special, consequential, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages in connection with the use by you or anyone of the information provided herein.