Corporate Travel Insurance: What to Do When Travel Goes Wrong
A delay when checking in at your hotel. Lost luggage. An item left behind in the hotel safe …
Even the slightest snafu in your travel plans can completely disrupt your experience or make your trip more stressful.
When you’re on vacation, interruptions are annoying, but when you’re traveling for business — even minor issues can be problematic.
You can protect every trip with business travel insurance, whether you:
- Manage travel for employees attending trade shows and corporate meetings
- Organize and schedule lodging for project-based stays or work crews
- Or do a lot of business travel on your own
Here’s everything you need to know about corporate travel insurance, including why you need it, how it can help, and where you can get it.
Table of Contents
1. Small Issues Can Cause Big Trouble for Business Travelers
2. What to Do When There’s a Problem With Your Hotel
3. What to Do When There’s a Problem With Your Flight
4. Protect Yourself With Corporate Travel Insurance
5. Should All Businesses Have Corporate Travel Insurance?
Small Issues Can Cause Big Trouble for Business Travelers
Have you ever arrived at your hotel only to find that your room isn’t ready for you to check-in?
Maybe you’ve encountered a delay or a snag in getting your rental car. Sometimes bad weather or overbooked planes delay your flight plans.
Minor trip interruptions are more than annoying. When you’re on a business trip, even a temporary delay can completely disrupt your experience.
Business travelers often take brief trips to attend a conference, a two-day trade show, or a single business meeting. So when travel issues occur, they have the potential to completely derail your trip and destroy it before it even begins.
As a business traveler or travel manager, it’s essential to know how to handle these issues when they arise.
You need to know how to rectify a situation promptly so that the trip can continue as planned. You need to know who to call and how to get a response so that you can conduct business as intended.
One way to do so is with a corporate travel insurance plan.
Travel insurance plans can help you remedy a situation on the spot so that the trip can continue with minimal disruption. They can also help you to recoup any lost money after the fact.
Having travel insurance is a must for small businesses, large corporations, and government entities whose employees travel frequently.
You may also like: 12 Important Do’s and Don’ts of Business Travel Management
What to Do When There’s a Problem With Your Hotel
No matter how big the hotel chain or how many stars it has, there’s always a chance that a problem could surface when you approach the front desk to check in.
Sometimes it can be a small problem, such as your room isn’t ready because of a late check-out and the housekeeping staff is still cleaning it.
In some situations, it’s a big problem, such as the hotel has overbooked their rooms in anticipation of trip cancellations. When there are more guests than there are rooms, some guests get “walked” to a different hotel and have no choice but to stay at a separate property than the one they originally booked.
Occasionally, a conversation with the concierge may be all it takes to remedy the situation and get into your room. If you’re a frequent guest or a member of the hotel’s loyalty program, there’s a good chance the concierge will work some magic to get you into your reserved room.
Unfortunately, that’s not always possible.
The best way to handle a situation such as this is to prevent it from happening in the first place, and Hotel Engine can be a huge help.
Protect Yourself With Hotel Engine
How and where you book hotel rooms makes a difference. There’s a reason why businesses of all sizes choose Hotel Engine as their go-to hotel booking platform.
Hotel Engine partners with over 700,000 hotels worldwide, providing you with a ton of options for your stay. You can reduce your risk of overbookings and room delays by booking corporate and business travel through Hotel Engine.
Because Hotel Engine and their hotel partners work together to ensure that business travel goes as smoothly as possible.
By booking through the Hotel Engine platform, you reduce the risk of experiencing common issues travelers face when checking into a hotel. Hotel Engine also has 24/7 assistance services, so if you do encounter a problem at check-in, you can contact the member experience team to resolve the issue on the spot.
Hotel Engine also saves you money and allows business travelers to save up to 60% on business lodging. Because they partner with so many hotels around the globe, Hotel Engine is able to negotiate exclusive discounts for members who book their reservations through the platform.
Businesses are always looking for ways to save money on corporate travel, and Hotel Engine is 100% free to use. It costs nothing to become a member or use the service, and the more often your employees book hotel stays, the more money you can save.
See also: Don’t Be Disrupted by Overbooking: Know Your Rights When Your Hotel Overbooks
What to Do When There’s a Problem With Your Flight
Flight cancellations, overbooked flights, and baggage delays happen all the time.
There’s little you can do if an airline cancels your flight or your bags are delayed because of bad weather, a natural disaster, or another emergency. But under “normal” circumstances, there are things you can do to re-book yourself on a new flight or prevent getting bumped from your original flight reservation.
Having elite status with a specific airline can make a huge difference in how they treat you as a traveler. Fly the same airline as much as possible to work your way up to a status-level membership. Airlines are much more likely to bump a first-time passenger than a frequent flier.
Whether or not you have a business travel insurance plan, it’s crucial always to book business travel with a corporate credit card. These have built-in travel protections that make it easier to get reimbursement if something goes wrong. Securing a business class ticket also affords you additional protection that booking a coach ticket does not.
Speaking of airlines, read: Get to Your Flight Faster with these Airport Security Tips
Protect Yourself With Corporate Travel Insurance
The more frequently your employees travel, the more important business travel insurance coverage becomes.
From providing immediate travel assistance to making it easier to get travel reimbursements, here are some of the most significant benefits of getting travel insurance before taking your next business trip.
Trip Interruption/Cancellation Coverage
Business travel insurance policies offer a wide range of protections should your trip be canceled or delayed.
Depending on the policy you choose, it can reimburse you for expenses incurred while you’re delayed at the airport. You can recover costs caused by missed flight connections. The policy can reimburse you for expenses that arise due to unforeseen circumstances that delay, interrupt, or cancel your trip altogether.
Business travel insurance is not healthcare insurance. Yet, it can cover medical expenses incurred when a traveler needs an emergency medical evacuation or suffers an on-the-job injury that requires medical assistance.
Should you need emergency care in a medical facility while you’re on the job, corporate travel insurance may cover all or some of your medical expenses.
One thing that travel insurance covers that you may not even realize you need is evacuation protection. Should a natural disaster or emergency occur, travel insurance can cover the transportation expenses you’ll have to pay to flee from a dangerous location to a safe one.
Reimbursement for Baggage Loss and Personal Item Loss
If your luggage gets lost or you leave personal effects behind on your flight or in your hotel, corporate travel insurance can help you recoup those costs.
Some insurance policies reimburse you if a delay in collecting your baggage disrupts your travel. Many policies offer protection and reimbursement for lost, left behind, or stolen items while you’re on your trip.
With a life insurance clause in your business travel insurance policy, you can provide your employees (along with their heirs and beneficiaries) with financial protection that your company could otherwise be on the hook for. From accidental death to the loss of limbs, speech, hearing, or sight incurred on a business trip, this type of coverage is essential.
Without it, a business can be held liable for damages, just as if an employee got hurt in the office or while performing the regular duties of their job.
For the most part, business travel insurance makes it easier to get reimbursed for losses after the fact. However, many insurance companies provide 24/7 assistance to help remedy situations and issues in real-time.
More Ways to Protect Your Interests
Sometimes trip cancellations and travel interruptions are the faults of the traveler themselves. For example, if you come down with the flu, suffer an injury, or contract a virus that makes it impossible for you to travel, you may need to cancel your trip — and that can cost you money.
As a member of Hotel Engine, you can enjoy immediate travel assistance in the moment. That travel assistance can protect you from having to pay for a hotel room if you cancel your reservation on short notice. Hotel Engine’s Flexible Cancellation Program provides even more peace of mind by allowing travelers to cancel hotel rooms until noon on the day of arrival without having to pay any additional penalties or fees.
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Should All Businesses Have Corporate Travel Insurance?
If you have a small business where you occasionally send an employee on an out-of-town trip, you might not think corporate travel insurance is necessary.
Whether you’re a small business that sends one or two employees on the occasional trip or a large organization with dozens of employees that travel regularly, corporate travel insurance is essential.
Think of corporate travel insurance as part of your overall risk mitigation strategy. Every trip you book costs you money. Without insurance to protect against trip cancellations, trip delays, and unforeseen circumstances that interrupt travel, you can hurt your bottom line.
When travelers have a short window in which to arrive at their destination and conduct business, even a brief flight delay or a minor snafu with your hotel reservation can cause complications that can wreck your entire trip.
A delayed flight could cause an employee to miss a business meeting. An overbooked hotel can cause a delay in getting to a trade show or a networking event on time. A laptop left behind in your hotel room or rental car could prevent you from getting back to business when you return home from your trip.
In situations like these, the money you’ve spent on business travel can become a complete waste — unless you have travel insurance for protection.
Corporate Travel Insurance Reduces a Business’ Liability
Because many travel insurance policies cover medical expenses, having a policy in place can reduce your liability if an employee is injured while traveling for business.
If your employees fly overseas, ensure that your travel insurance policy covers international travel. Some policies restrict coverage to domestic travel, while others provide more comprehensive coverage to protect travelers even when conducting business around the world.
To find the best travel insurance plan, research and compare quotes and policy terms from different insurers. Policy prices vary depending on the terms you choose. Sometimes exclusions apply, so it’s crucial to know precisely what coverage you’re getting and what your policy doesn’t cover.
If you have an insurance agent that you’ve purchased other policies from, contact them first. They may offer business travel insurance and might be able to bundle your new policy with your existing policies to save you more money.
Related: Full Guide to Trip Risk Assessments to Keep Employees Safe
With business travel coverage from a reliable insurance company, you can protect both your traveling employees and your bottom line. Without it, companies can lose time and money from trip delays and even be responsible for medical bills if an injury occurs during business travel.
Protecting yourself with corporate travel insurance benefits your business and your employees. Without it, you’re both at risk.
Join Hotel Engine’s free platform and enjoy up to 60% off business lodging now!
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.