Business Travel Insurance

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: please check the latest government travel advice that sets out what you need to do, if anything, before you travel abroad and before you return home. You should also check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. Travel rules can change at short notice, so check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

Should I compare business travel insurance quotes?

If you regularly work abroad, it’s a good idea to have business travel insurance. It’ll give you cover in case your travel plans fall victim to missed flights and it can protect expensive equipment, such as laptops and smartphones, while you’re away on business.

There are two main types of business travel insurance:

  • Single-trip travel insurance – if it’s a one-off business meeting.
  • Annual travel insurance – if you travel regularly, even if just more than once a year, a multi-trip policy could still work out cheaper.

If you’re employed by a large company, check whether you’re already covered by its corporate travel insurance before buying your own policy.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, the price you pay for travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. However, there are still many providers out there and you should be able to find affordable cover. Whatever happens, don’t be tempted to lie to an insurance provider, because if you do and then need to make a claim, it could be rejected.

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

Why do I need business travel insurance?

If you’re on a business trip abroad, the last thing you want is the cost and inconvenience of dealing with a lost laptop or a cancelled flight.

That’s where business travel insurance comes in. As well as offering the cover typically included in a standard travel insurance policy, it offers additional cover aimed at people who travel for work.

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 – this may cover you 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 – this could cover loss or theft of large sums of money, which you might need to take with you on business.
  • Cover for UK trips – not all your business trips will be overseas, this could cover you should you encounter problems within the UK.
  • 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 any business travel insurance, as cover levels may differ among insurance providers.

How much does business travel insurance cost?

Many factors can affect the cost of your business travel insurance:

  • Activities – taking part in any sports or events considered higher risk could raise your premium.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions – 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 that’s considered higher risk, then you can expect to pay more.
  • Your age – travel insurance tends to be cheaper for younger people.

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.

While annual travel insurance covers you for an unlimited amount of 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?

Business travellers will also benefit from most of the cover included in a standard travel insurance policy, such as:

  • Medical treatment abroad – typically this can include emergency medical treatment costs to cover hospital charges and ambulance fees. It could also cover the transport costs of returning home after medical treatment abroad if you can’t use your original ticket. 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 – this could offer cover 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. Be sure to check the list of destinations covered before agreeing, as some policies may exclude specific countries from their cover.

If you travel globally, a worldwide policy will cover you, wherever you go. Again, it’s important to check the list of countries before you sign up as some might still have restrictions. You should also expect to pay more for a policy that covers the USA, Canada and the Caribbean, as these countries typically have much higher medical costs.

Does business travel insurance have any exclusions?

Like many insurance policies, you’ll likely find that there are some exclusions with business travel insurance. You can often pay extra to fill in these gaps, but you may want to consider checking some of the below, to make sure you’re covered.

Common exclusions can include:

  • Personal valuables – while your work equipment might be covered, your personal belongings may not be.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions – if you try to claim for an illness or injury that’s a recurring issue, your insurance provider may reject your claim.
  • Irresponsible behaviour – if you injure yourself, lose or have something stolen due to negligence or while intoxicated, you might void your claim.
  • Specified activities – if you’ll be taking part in extreme sports or other high-risk activities, you may not be covered.
  • Travel to destinations against FCDO advice – an insurance provider won’t look favourably on ignoring guidance.

Does business travel insurance cover a working holiday?

This will vary between providers and policy types. You may have thought, if you’re working from home anyway, why not start working abroad? Standard business travel insurance will cover you for a business trip, but working abroad (especially if for longer than a month) can be different.

To make sure you’re covered properly, 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 a more specialist policy.

Be aware that if you’re planning on working in a destination against current FCDO advice, your travel insurance will be voided.

How do I make a claim on my business travel policy?

Claims processes can vary from one insurance provider to the next. We recommend that you read your policy details carefully, before travelling, to avoid any unexpected trouble. As a general rule, though, we advise the following:

  1. If you’ve been the victim of crime, report it to the relevant local authorities as soon as possible – preferably within 24 hours. You’ll need a copy of the police report to make your insurance claim.
  2. Speak to your insurance provider as soon as you can. They’ll have a 24/7 emergency helpline that you can contact from overseas. You can then provide them with any crime reference numbers or consult with them before receiving any medical treatment. If it’s a non-emergency, you’ll usually have up to 31 days to make your claim.
  3. Gather any evidence that can be used to support your claim, for example, police reports, receipts if you needed to replace items or a boarding pass – if you’re claiming for a delayed flight.

Find out more about making a travel insurance claim

Can I use my GHIC/EHIC cards on business travel?

Yes – you can use your GHIC, or a valid EHIC card, 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 is not a substitute for travel insurance. It won’t cover private medical treatment, repatriation costs or non-medical issues like lost baggage or cancellations. You’ll still need travel insurance, even for short business trips to Europe.

And although the new replacement for the old EHIC card is called a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), it’s only valid in EU countries – you can’t use it outside of Europe.

Does my bank or credit card company provide cover?

It’s worth checking. Some credit card companies and packaged bank accounts include travel insurance as a perk. However, they usually only cover leisure travel and holidays, and it 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 – if they only offer basic cover, it 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 their 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.

With the right business travel insurance policy, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re covered for everything you need.