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Complete guide to obtaining travel insurance for international business trips

If you’re planning on traveling for business, you should include business travel insurance coverage to protect you if something unexpected happens. For example, you may face a delayed trip, loss of baggage, stolen company items, illness, or even accidents. To make your trip less stressful, purchasing business travel will provide you comfort, knowing you are protected and can focus on your work.

Do I Need Business Travel Insurance?

You should always purchase business travel insurance before heading out on a business trip, even though it’s not legally required. This way, with business travel insurance, you get protection in case of any mishaps that may occur, i.e., you fall ill, your items are stolen, you are robbed, etc. But, you only need business travel insurance if you are specifically traveling for business purposes— or you belong to one of the following categories: 

  • An employee sent on a business trip for their company. 
  • A business owner whose employees frequently travel. 
  • A freelancer or self-employed person who often travels on business trips.

Of course, some companies pay for their employee’s travel business insurance — so make sure you check with your employer whether they provide business travel insurance or not. 

Best Business Travel Insurance Companies

Some of the best companies that offer global business travel insurance include the following:

Types of Business Travel Insurance

There are several types of business travel insurance you can purchase depending on the frequency and destination of your travels: 

  • Single-trip. This type of business travel insurance is best if you do not travel frequently in the span of a year. As the name suggests, this type of insurance is enough to cover the essentials and business equipment for a single trip and it won’t cost too much. 
  • Annual business travel insurance. If you are a frequent traveler, annual business travel insurance is suited for you. In this scenario, with a yearly business travel policy, you will end up saving money instead of buying single-trip policies for every business visit.  
  • Domestic business travel insurance. If you are based in the US but travel often, you might consider buying domestic business travel insurance. This type of insurance will cover you anywhere you travel in the US. This is valid for anyone who travels long distances within their home country.
  • International business travel insurance. If you often travel outside of your home country for business, you need to buy international business travel insurance. International insurance will cover you and your business equipment globally, no matter where you are traveling from. 

Business travel insurance can also come in an individual package, covering you individually— or in a group package, covering a team headed out on a business trip. 

Business Travel Insurance Costs

Business travel insurance should cover 9% or 11% of the overall trip, but the cost of a business travel policy depends on many components: 

  • Age— travel insurance generally tends to be less expensive if you are younger, between your 20s and 30s, and more costly if you are over 60.
  • Activities— some people often participate in different activities and sports while on a business trip. If you choose an insurance policy to cover the extra costs of leisure activities, you will pay more.
  • Destination— if you are traveling to specific destinations such as the US or Canada, you will be required to pay more due to the high medical costs in those countries. In fact, some travel policies do not cover the US at all, so make sure to check your plan in advance. 
  • Trip duration— the longer your trip takes, the more you’ll be required to pay for your insurance policy. 

What Does Business Travel Insurance Cover?

Business travel insurance policies usually cover the following: 

  • Business equipment and tools, i.e., phone, computer, business books, stationery, samples, merchandise, etc. 
  • Documents related to your business in case of loss or theft. 
  • Company money that you use to pay for the business trip. 
  • Medical insurance covering emergencies, including repatriation. 
  • Baggage delay, loss, or theft. 
  • Trip cancellation fees. 
  • The costs of sending a colleague to replace you in case something happens. 

Business Travel Insurance for Self-Employed

If you are a freelancer or self-employed and travel several times within a year for business, you should invest in business travel insurance. But, first, check with your bank to see if they offer some sort of coverage that might suit your needs through your credit card – although these policies usually provide only basic benefits. 

Corporate Business Travel Policy

A corporate business travel policy is a type of insurance that a company buys to protect its employees when traveling for business. Your employer pays for this type of business travel policy, and the coverage plan offers different benefits depending on what package your employer paid. In case your company provides business travel insurance, you don’t have to buy your plan. 

What Is Business Travel Accident Insurance?

Business travel accident insurance (BTA) is an added benefit to your business travel insurance in case of accidental deaths and dismemberment while you are away on a business trip. 

A BTA plan will usually cover the following: 

  • Emergency medical and/or air evacuation. 
  • Treatment out of the country. 
  • Accidental death. 
  • Dismemberment and permanent disability. 
  • Reparation or return of remains. 
  • Flight accidents. 
  • Natural disasters. 

If you want a more detailed policy and your business trips are in dangerous places, you can add the following benefits to your BTA: 

  • Kidnap/ransom 
  • Political evacuation
  • Hijacking 
  • Rescue
  • Hostage situation 

Buying BTA Insurance: Is It Worth It?

While accidental death, dismemberment, or permanent disability are not on your mind when you go on a business trip, travel is often unpredictable. As a result, you may pay huge amounts of money to cover accident costs. Having BTA gives you peace of mind knowing that you are covered for any possible outcomes, especially when traveling outside of your home country. So, while you may end up paying slightly more for BTA coverage, it may be worth it down the road. 

What Is the Difference Between Business Travel Insurance and Travel Insurance?

A business travel insurance policy is the same as a travel insurance plan with an added layer of protection regarding your business equipment and business travel accident coverage. You’ll find that you’ll also be able to cover additional costs that ordinary travel policies do not cover with business travel insurance. For example, having your expenses paid in case you fall ill and need a co-worker to replace you. 

Travel Insurance for Business and Pleasure 

Lately, most people who travel for business also use the trip for leisure. In this case, they even bring their family members to enjoy a holiday together after the business trip is over. However, in terms of travel insurance, this can get complicated. 

If you have travel insurance from your employer, it will only cover you, not your family. Plus, your business travel insurance won’t cover accidents caused by sports or activities on holiday. But, many providers offer a combined package to include sports and leisure activities in the insurance policy to avoid complications. So, make sure to check your policy for the added benefit of holiday insurance.

Further reading: Tips to avoid travel insurance scam and fraud

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