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Business travel – getting riskier by the minute!

Is it only me but every time I turn on the t.v. or listen to the radio there seems to be another international crisis emerging somewhere in the world.

Civil unrest military conflict and now deadly diseases are seemingly common place and it’s making life difficult for the business traveller.

Most businesses are sensible and arrange annual business travel insurance policies which provide cover for medical costs, cancellation and delay amongst other things; and whilst most of the policies are issued on a worldwide basis it is dangerous to automatically assume that you are covered irrespective of the final destination. In certain instances Insurers still need to be notified about travel to high risk areas and there are two categories of countries that they need to be made specifically aware of.

Firstly, countries where they consider travel to be a material fact such as, Afghanistan, North Korea Somalia and Chechnya should be notified.  Cover is usually available for Afghanistan and North Korea subject to additional information and this would usually result in an additional premium being charged.

Then we have countries where there are UN/US or EU sanctions in force.  In these instances if it is legal for your business to go it is legal for the insurer to provide cover and policy cover applies. You therefore need to check the Foreign Office website to make sure that you’re not contravening any sanctions. These will usually prohibit trade with certain individuals or within specific industries (e.g. military, oil and gas). However in some countries all trade is sanctioned so no cover is available e.g. Iran.

If you’re considering travel to a sanctioned country it is worth providing information to insurers so they are aware and can provide additional guidance.

Finally – Ebola – most insurers have not made any changes to their policy wordings but anyone who is considering travel to an infected area should be aware that if you contract the disease you will be quarantined and you will not be allowed to leave. Again, information about infected areas is available from the Foreign Office website. If travel is planned to an area which becomes infected and the government subsequently advises against travel then the policy covers the reimbursement of travel costs already incurred.

You should be aware that there is no cover for cancellation of travel to nearby areas if the government has not actually issued advice not to travel there – that would just be deemed as disinclination to travel which is excluded.

Andy MorleyOf course international travel is necessary for many organisations and with a few careful checks you can continue your activities with peace of mind.

If you have any doubts on travel please contact ProAktive and speak to one of our experts.

By Andy Morley, Managing Director.

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