What is business travel insurance?
As well as offering cover typically included in a standard travel insurance policy, business travel insurance offers additional cover aimed at people who travel abroad for work.
It can cover expensive business equipment you’re taking with you, like smartphones and laptops, or help with the costs of flying a colleague out to replace you if you need to head home in an emergency.
Business travel insurance can give you peace of mind when you travel for work, so you can concentrate on getting the job done.
What does business travel insurance cover?
While working abroad, business travel insurance could cover you for all or some of the following:
- Loss or damage to business equipment and personal belongings – your laptop, tablet, computer and smartphone are all essentials when travelling on business.
- Extra travel expenses – if you miss any flights, either on your outbound or inbound journey.
- Replacement colleague cover – this could cover some or all the expense if you’re unable to attend a particular event and a colleague has to be sent in your place.
- Business money – to cover loss or theft of large sums of money, which you might need to take with you on business.
- Cover for UK trips – because not all your business trips will be overseas.
- Sports equipment cover – business isn’t always all work and no play, this could include cover for golf clubs if you’re planning to tee off while you’re away.
Remember to check the policy details before you buy business travel insurance, as cover levels may differ among insurance providers.
How much does business travel insurance cost?
The cost of business travel insurance depends on several factors, including:
- Activities – taking part in any sports or events considered high risk could raise your premium.
- Pre-existing medical conditions – if you suffer from a health condition, your premium is likely to cost more as there’s more risk of you needing medical treatment while you’re away.
- Length of your trip – the longer you’re travelling, the longer you’ll need cover, which will raise the cost of your insurance.
- Where you’re going – if you’re travelling outside of Europe or to a destination with high medical costs, then you can expect to pay more.
- Your age – travel insurance tends to be cheaper for younger people.
Customers with pre-existing medical conditions
If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean your claim is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.
If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.
Do I need single-trip or annual business travel insurance?
It depends on how often you travel for business during the year.
If it’s just a one-off trip, then a single-trip travel insurance policy could work out cheaper.
But if business takes you away more than twice a year, an annual policy might offer better value. And don’t forget, a multi-trip business travel insurance policy could cover you for any trips you take within the UK too.
While annual travel insurance covers you for unlimited trips during the year, there may be a limit applied to the length of stay for each trip. In most cases this is 31 days, although some providers will cover longer trips for 42, 60 or 90 days. Check your policy wording carefully to make sure you’re covered for the full length of your trip.
Frequently asked questions
What else does business travel insurance cover?
Travel insurance for business trips typically includes cover included in a standard travel insurance policy, such as:
- Medical treatment abroad –this can include emergency medical treatment costs to cover hospital charges and ambulance fees. It could also cover the costs of getting you home after medical treatment abroad. Remember to tell your insurance provider about any pre-existing medical conditions as not doing so could affect any claims you make.
- Cancellation and curtailment –if you have to cancel or cut short your trip for a valid reason, such as illness or sudden bereavement.
- Baggage and belongings – offers cover if your luggage or personal possessions are lost, damaged or stolen.
What type of business travel insurance do I need?
It depends on your business needs. If you regularly work abroad, it’s worth considering a multi-trip travel insurance policy offering cover for a whole year. If you’re only travelling once or twice a year, single-trip policies might be more cost-effective.
Where you travel to is just as important. If your business only operates within Europe, you may save money by finding a policy that’s limited to European travel. But if you travel globally, a worldwide commercial travel insurance policy should cover you. Be sure to check the list of destinations covered, as some policies may exclude specific countries.
Does business travel insurance have any exclusions?
Policies vary but travel insurance for business typically excludes:
- Personal valuables – while your work equipment might be covered, your personal belongings may not be. You can normally add on cover for your luggage if it’s not included.
- Undeclared pre-existing medical conditions.
- Claims resulting from drug taking or alcohol intoxication.
- High-risk activities – if you’ll be taking part in extreme sports, you may need to add on extra cover.
- Travel to destinations against FCDO advice.
Does business travel insurance cover a working holiday?
This varies among providers and policy types. Standard business travel insurance will cover you for a business trip but might not offer cover if you’re working abroad for a long period.
Read the policy wording carefully and compare providers to find the right cover for your needs. Depending on your plans and situation, you might need specialist travel insurance for work abroad.
Be aware that if you’re planning on working in a destination against current FCDO advice, then your travel insurance won’t cover you.
How do I make a claim on my business travel policy?
The claims process varies among providers but, typically, you’ll need to:
- Report a crime to the relevant local authorities as soon as possible. You may have a 24-hour deadline – and get a copy of the police report.
- Speak to your insurance provider as soon as you can. They’ll have a 24/7 overseas emergency helpline. You’ll often need to consult them before receiving any medical treatment. Otherwise, you’ll usually have up to 31 days to claim.
- Keep any evidence that supports your claim. For example, police reports, receipts and boarding passes.
Can I use my GHIC/EHIC on business travel?
Yes, you can use your GHIC, or a valid EHIC, if you’re travelling to Europe for business or pleasure. This will give you access to state-provided healthcare in EU countries.
However, a GHIC won’t cover private medical treatment, repatriation costs or non-medical issues like lost baggage or cancellations, so you’ll still need travel insurance.
Does my bank or credit card company provide cover?
Some credit card providers and packaged bank accounts include travel insurance. However, it’s likely to only cover leisure travel and holidays, so might not be suitable for business travel.
You may find some business credit cards offer travel insurance specifically for business trips. Just remember to check the policy wording carefully – it may only offer basic cover, which might not be enough for your needs.
Am I covered by ABTA or ATOL?
If you’ve booked through a travel company, you should check with them. ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) and ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) usually only cover disruptions to package holidays, although some ABTA members may have protection for accommodation-only bookings.
Some flight-only purchases might be covered by the ATOL protection scheme, but not if they’ve been booked directly through the airline.