What is Business Travel Insurance?

business travel insurance

Unexpected issues can arise on business trips. If you or your employees regularly travel for meetings, special events, or other business-related tasks, travel insurance may be a worthwhile investment. Read on for a guide about what this type of insurance covers and how it benefits businesses.

What Exactly is Business Travel Insurance?

Business travel insurance is one of the most important types of business insurance for frequent travelers. There are numerous plan types available, so coverage varies. However, it generally covers unexpected issues that arise during trips.

How Does Travel Insurance for Businesses Work?

Corporate travelers often incur unexpected expenses like medical care, evacuation, or lost or damaged belongings. Travel insurance covers many of these costs to keep expenses predictable for businesses. Typically business travel insurance can be purchased when booking a trip or a few weeks before leaving. However, some providers offer annual policies for those who travel frequently.

Why Business Travelers Should Take Out Travel Insurance

Many business travelers incur unexpected costs during trips. Here are some ways travel business insurance benefits users:

  • Reduce financial losses: Even just one serious issue that arises during a trip may lead to major expenses for a business. Insurance may reduce the overall costs for a company by avoiding the need to cover things like medical evacuations or lost equipment.
  • Keep costs predictable: Though travel insurance for business does increase the cost of each trip, it is paid upfront and at a rate that is easy to budget for. This makes planning business expenses easier throughout the year, rather than waiting for unexpected travel issues to arise.
  • Maintain flexibility: Many business travel insurance plans include cancellation coverage. This may allow your business to reschedule trips if something else comes up that is more beneficial.
  • Improve travel safety: Many plan details also cover medical care or evacuation. This can improve the health and safety of your team while traveling.
  • Provide peace of mind: Even if nothing serious does arise, knowing that you have coverage provided can reduce stress and make business travelers more comfortable.

What is Covered by Small Business Travel Insurance?

Insurance for business travelers can vary by plan and provider. However, there are several main categories that are often included.

Trip Cancellation

Trip cancellations that are made within the allotted time period and for a covered reason may be refunded with this type of coverage. For example, if the event you were traveling for gets canceled, you shouldn’t have to worry about covering the fare.

Medical Care

Medical expenses can really add up, especially during travel. If you or a team member requires emergency medical care or emergency medical evacuation during a trip, this type of coverage should kick in, especially in areas that aren’t covered by traditional medical insurance.


Disruptions like flight cancellations or lost luggage can require extra hotel stays or purchases. Your insurance plan may cover these additional costs, as long as they result from uncontrollable issues like canceled flights.

Business Equipment

If you’re traveling with expensive business equipment, loss or damage may be covered by business traveler’s insurance. For example, if the samples you’re bringing to a trade show are lost by the airline, travel insurance may pay to replace them.


what is business travel insurance

If business travelers need to be evacuated due to an extreme weather event, terror attack, or another uncontrollable issue, many plans cover getting to a safe location.

Read More: how much does business insurance cost

What is Not Covered by a Business Travel Insurance Plan?

Plans vary, but here are common expenses that are generally not included in business traveler’s insurance:

Pre-existing Medical conditions

If a traveler has a known medical condition before the trip, most insurance policies will not cover any complications or medical treatments arising from that condition while traveling.

Known Disasters or Pandemics

If there’s a disaster or pandemic that was known or forecasted before booking the trip, the insurance might not provide coverage. For instance, if a hurricane or viral outbreak was predicted before making travel arrangements, the policy might exclude related cancellations or disruptions.

Missed Flights Due to Personal Errors

what is business travel insurance

If you or your team member misses a flight because of personal mistakes like misreading the flight schedule or arriving late at the airport, the insurance typically will not cover the costs of rebooking or accommodations.

Flights Purchased with Loyalty Points

In most instances, if you’ve booked your travel using frequent flyer miles or loyalty points, the insurance might not reimburse the full monetary value of the ticket. They might, however, offer to reinstate the miles or points.


How Much Does Business Travel Insurance Cost?

The cost of business travel insurance plans varies based on the cost and location of each trip, but many fall around 5 percent of the total trip cost. Certain destinations where medical care or evacuation cost extra may come with added costs, and businesses traveling with expensive equipment may also pay more for policies.

actor Affecting CostDescription
Base Cost PercentageTypically around 5% of the total trip cost.
Trip LocationCosts can vary based on destination. Certain locations where medical care or evacuation is expensive may increase the insurance cost.
Medical Care & EvacuationDestinations with higher medical or evacuation costs might result in more expensive insurance premiums.
Business EquipmentTraveling with expensive equipment can increase the cost of insurance to cover potential loss or damage.

How to Choose the Best Business Trip Travel Insurance

what is business travel insurance

The best business travel insurance varies based on your company’s needs and budget. However, here’s a guide to help you get the most relevant coverage.

  • Consider the type of travel: Domestic and international travel come with different concerns. For example, you may be more concerned about medical coverage for international trips if your medical insurance doesn’t cover care overseas.
  • Add up the number of business trips: If you take multiple trips each year, consider annual travel insurance to avoid paying separately for each trip.
  • Weigh your biggest concerns: If you’re on a tight budget, you may have to choose between coverage for flight delays or lost equipment. Consider what’s most likely to occur or what would cost your company more.
  • Look at coverage limits: Policies have maximum limits on what they’ll reimburse for each category. If you travel with expensive equipment, make sure your policy will actually pay the full amount if it is lost or damaged.
  • Look for 24-hour assistance services: If your provider has an administrative office that is always available to answer questions, you may be more likely to get the coverage you need quickly.

How to Get Travel Insurance for Your Business

what is business travel insurance

If you’re ready to get insurance coverage for your next business trip, here’s how:

  • Book your trip: Most travel insurance is booked for a specific trip. And the cost is calculated based on the arrangements. If you’re looking for annual travel insurance, skip this step.
  • Find a provider: Your business insurer may offer travel insurance, so check with them first. Other major travel insurance providers include Allianz Travel Insurance products, Generali Global Assistance, Nationwide, and The Hartford.
  • Consider coverage options: These providers may offer different types of plans for various expenses like emergency evacuation or trip interruption, so consider your biggest concerns when selecting a plan.
  • Compare quotes: You may also compare providers or plans based on your budget. Tools like TravelInsurance.com make it easy to compare rates.

The Benefits of Business Travel Insurance for Employee Morale

  • Boosting Employee Confidence: Business travel insurance can significantly enhance employee morale and confidence. Knowing they are covered in case of emergencies, employees are likely to be more at ease and focused during their business trips.
  • Supporting Employee Well-being: Travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, evacuations, or disruptions, shows employees that their well-being is a priority for the company. This can lead to increased loyalty and job satisfaction.
  • Encouraging Willingness to Travel: Employees who might be hesitant to travel, especially internationally, may feel more comfortable knowing they have comprehensive insurance coverage. This willingness can open more opportunities for business expansion and networking.
  • Stress Reduction: Travel, especially for business purposes, can be stressful. Insurance that covers unexpected situations like flight cancellations, lost luggage, or medical emergencies can significantly reduce this stress, allowing employees to focus on their work objectives.

Aligning Business Travel Insurance with Company Travel Policies

  • Integrating Insurance with Travel Policies: For maximum effectiveness, business travel insurance should be an integral part of the company’s overall travel policy. This ensures uniformity in coverage for all employees and adherence to the company’s risk management strategies.
  • Customization Based on Travel Patterns: Businesses should customize their travel insurance based on the frequency, nature, and destination of employee travel. For instance, companies with frequent international travel may prioritize policies with extensive medical and evacuation coverage.
  • Policy Awareness and Training: Ensuring that employees are aware of the travel insurance policies and understand how to use them is crucial. Regular training sessions can be conducted to inform employees about the procedure to claim insurance and whom to contact in case of emergencies.
  • Review and Update Policies Regularly: Travel risks and business needs can change over time. Regularly reviewing and updating the travel insurance policy to align with current risks and travel trends is essential for continued protection and relevance.

The Impact of Business Travel Insurance on Company Finances

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: While business travel insurance comes with a cost, it’s important to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Compare the potential financial risks of uninsured travel incidents against the insurance premiums to determine if the investment is justified.
  • Financial Protection in Emergencies: Insurance can safeguard the company’s finances against significant unexpected expenses during business travel, such as medical emergencies or legal issues.
  • Budget Planning and Forecasting: Including travel insurance in the annual budgeting process can aid in better financial forecasting and planning. It provides a clearer picture of the total cost of business travel over a year.
  • Long-term Financial Stability: Investing in comprehensive travel insurance can contribute to the long-term financial stability of the company by avoiding sudden financial setbacks due to travel-related incidents.

How Business Travel Insurance Enhances Corporate Responsibility

  • Demonstrating Duty of Care: Providing business travel insurance is a tangible demonstration of a company’s duty of care towards its employees. It shows a commitment to safeguarding their well-being while they represent the company.
  • Aligning with Corporate Ethics and Values: Companies that prioritize the safety and security of their traveling employees through comprehensive travel insurance align with high standards of corporate ethics and values.
  • Building a Responsible Corporate Image: Companies known for taking good care of their employees, especially in situations like business travel, tend to have a positive corporate image. This can be beneficial for brand reputation and employee attraction and retention.
  • Fostering a Culture of Safety and Well-being: By integrating business travel insurance into the company’s policies, businesses foster a culture that values safety and well-being. This culture can extend beyond travel to other aspects of the business, contributing to a healthier and more productive work environment.

Does Travel Insurance Cover Going out of Business?

If an airline, accommodation, or tour company goes out of business after you’ve booked with them, the cost may be covered by travel insurance. However, the business must be a covered supplier through your insurance company.

When Should you Buy Business Travel Insurance?

Purchase business travel insurance as soon as possible after booking a trip. This ensures that changes or cancellations are covered — you cannot get reimbursed if you purchase travel insurance after these changes are made. In most cases, buying insurance at least two weeks before a trip is sufficient.

Read More: best small business insurance companies

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.