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As the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic reinforced, if you’re doing business around the globe, it’s important to consider the safety of your traveling employees. And, while health is a foremost concern, business travel can present risks as unique and as numerous as the cultures, politics, and geographies of the world. 

Business travelers at risk

According to a 2021 Chubb survey, more than 80% of business travelers believe they’re missing important cues when they can’t meet clients, vendors and other business partners face to face.*

But whether heading to a sales call or a week-long conference; whether assigned to a Third World city or an offshore drilling rig, today’s traveling employees face unprecedented and growing dangers. Threats can come from a pandemic, a pickpocket, or a pipe bomb; from a riot that prevents access to transportation, or a major hurricane that cuts off availability of clean drinking water.

Here are some facts about the evolving global travel risks and how to help prepare your employees:


Evolving global travel risks 

Prior to COVID-19, most people thought of travel risks as lost luggage, canceled flights or property stolen out of a rental car. But even then, those relatively minor inconveniences were just some of the myriad hazards that business travelers face.

 

  • Illness and accidents — On any business trip, an employee might have a heart attack or get hurt in a car accident. Now, as we’ve learned that some infectious disease has no geographic boundaries, illness is even more of a risk. And the potentially devastating consequences from any medical incident can be compounded by overwhelmed or inadequate local medical treatment facilities.
  • Petty theft, travel scams and potential cybercrime — Business travelers have long been targeted by local criminals. When in a strange land, using an unfamiliar language and currency (and likely jet-lagged and in a different time zone), and focusing on business, even the savviest traveler can fall victim.
    With the rapid growth in the incidence and sophistication of international cybercrime, what was once the inconvenience of a stolen item can now lead to disastrous vulnerability. The security of an employee’s personal information as well as the entire company’s network can suffer as result of a company laptop or device in the wrong hands.
  • Terrorism and civil unrest — Political and social changes across the globe create real danger for business travelers. Even if not physically affected by a violent act, traveling employees can experience negative fallout and incur expenses related to the crisis. This threat is continually evolving and no longer limited to previously perceived high risk countries. 
  • Natural disasters — Major adverse weather and natural events (earthquakes, wildfires) are occurring more frequently around the globe and often without enough warning to evacuate employees ahead of time.

Airport charging station

How to guard against employee travel dangers

The ways to mitigate travel risks are: prepare; proactively inform; provide accessibility — and select your insurance partner carefully.


  • Prepare employees with critical pre-travel information — The more that’s understood about a destination (like local area intelligence, market practices and regulations, real-time health and security risks, and potential weather events), the greater the ability to properly plan and make informed decisions.
  • Proactively stay in touch with employees and management — It’s essential for business travelers and those back in the office to stay in close contact with each other. Whether alerting the employee to simple itinerary changes or keeping risk managers and HR in the loop during a dire foreign catastrophe, a communication plan is critical.
  • Provide emergency accessibility — When your employee is in trouble in a different culture and time zone, a quick and knowledgeable response is vital. Have resources in place to properly and immediately assess and address health crises, security issues, or other potentially dangerous situations.
  • Partner with an insurance company that is as global as your employees are — Of the business travelers Chubb surveyed* 86% agree that travel insurance makes them more comfortable and 81% will pay more attention to their travel insurance. If you’re doing business internationally, your travel insurance partner should be: 
    • An organization with a global footprint that can provide locally compliant, consistent travel insurance protection all over the world.
    • An insurer that can customize a travel insurance policy for your specific protection needs and that offers Out of Country Medical benefits and other inconvenience benefits like trip interruption, trip delay, and lost baggage.
    • A collaborative partner with the expertise and resources to help minimize your employee travel liabilities.

Chubb combines the ability to write policies in 232 countries with tools like: Worldview SM and Multinational Research Tool to facilitate information gathering; an online travel assistance portal to provide up-to-the-minute information, communication, local and location alerts; and 24/7 Emergency Assistance that offers a network of third party resources around the globe.

Just about wherever your employees travel for you, we can provide appropriate insurance solutions — and help ensure that your company has what it needs to do business around the globe.

 

This document is advisory in nature and is offered as a resource to be used together with your professional insurance advisors in maintaining a loss prevention program. It is an overview only, and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with your insurance broker, or for legal, engineering or other professional advice.

Chubb is the marketing name used to refer to subsidiaries of Chubb Limited providing insurance and related services. For a list of these subsidiaries, please visit our website at www.chubb.com. Insurance provided by ACE American Insurance Company and its U.S. based Chubb underwriting company affiliates. All products may not be available in all states. This communication contains product summaries only. Coverage is subject to the language of the policies as actually issued. Surplus lines insurance sold only through licensed surplus lines producers. Chubb, 202 Hall's Mill Road, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-1600.