Corporate travel – risks & insurance issues from COVID-19

Corporate travel covers cancellation, medical or other travel expenses relating to and “unforeseen circumstance” or personal injury during business travel. Cover can extend to leisure travel for nominated persons.

Insurers’ positions responding to COVID-19 are varied. When the insurer considers COVID -19 as a “foreseen circumstance” there is likely to be no cover for any event in relation to COVID-19 after that date. Many insurers have declared different dates as to when COVID-19 was a “foreseen circumstance”.

In the lead up to the travel ban, insurers’ preference was for insureds not to travel following the outbreak. Some insurers were allowing for cancellations, refunding “unearned” pro-rata premiums.

Steps to take
  1. Cancel any upcoming travel in the next 90 days.

  2. Contact your travel agent, airline and accommodation providers to seek a refund or to make alternate arrangements based on existing ticketing, prior to submitting a claim.

  3. When safe to travel again, view WHO and ‘Smart traveller’ websites for the latest information.

  4. Coverage and renewal – should your business have no potential cancellations, and therefore no upcoming trips, the policy should be lapsed at renewal. If your business is dependent upon travelling immediately after the bans after lifted, premium rates are likely to be lower for renewing clients as opposed to clients that have let policies lapse and are now seeking new business quotations.