A growing number of U.S. businesses are finding that employee business travel is just another one of those essential elements to doing business in today's market. Whether an international or domestic location; done by car, plane, or train; and in the context of a meet-and-greet, client meeting, or seminar - employers are discovering that they frequently have a number of employees traveling the roads and skies. Most travel destinations don't put employees at risk from inordinate levels of danger. That said, by its very nature, travel poses some degree of risk.

Business Travel Accident (BTA) insurance is one option that employers have to help protect employees, as well as the families of their employees, from the financial repercussions that could follow an incident while an employee is traveling on business. It also helps to lessen a lot of the complications and inconveniences that business travel often entails. Employers should keep in mind that BTA plans aren't intended as coverage for regular employee commuting, such as employees commuting to and from home and their normal work location.

Employers will usually find that BTA coverage is very flexible, as many carriers allow the employer to tailor the coverage to the specific travel needs of their business. For example, an employer can decide whether they'd like to cover a traveling employee during just the ride or flight to their destination or the entire length of the trip. Another area that employers often want to customize is what employees are covered, as some employers may want the coverage to only apply to employees that travel on a regular basis.

Most business travel accident policies include the following key features:

  • Emergency evacuation services
  • Repatriation of remains
  • Relocation benefits - the employee, as well as any family traveling with the employee, will be covered during travel related to a relocation.
  • Pre-trip planning - this service includes travel visa/passport assistance, information on the destination's culture and currency, and immunization recommendations applicable to the destination.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) - if a dismemberment injury or accidental death occurs while the employee is traveling on business, the policy will pay either a face amount to the employee for his/her loss of limb, loss of sight, loss of hearing, paralysis, or other dismemberment -or- 100% of the face amount to the deceased employee's survivors. There will be a maximum AD&D face amount per employee and an aggregate maximum for any single accident that involves multiple employees being injured. Of note, terrorist acts often automatically lower the maximum and BTA benefits will be paid independently of other coverage(s), such as workers' compensation benefits.
  • Emergency medical - this feature includes upfront payment of medical bills, which is often required for those traveling abroad, in anticipation of reimbursement by the employee's primary medical plan and transportation to a medical care facility with the appropriate quality of care available for the employee's medical emergency.
  • Emergency travel assistance - assistance with stolen or lost or travel documents, emergency cash advances, legal referrals, medical referrals, assistance with stolen or lost luggage, and interpreter assistance are a few of the emergency travel features.

In summary, BTA is an insurance option that adds to the attractiveness of your business's benefit plan. Existing and potential workers often weigh the benefit offerings of an employer very heavily against what a job entails. Considering that business travel adds some degree of risk and inconvenience to a job, supplementing your existing benefit plans with BTA coverage can be a tool to help you retain existing employees and attract new employees that are willing to travel. Best of all, among the various employee benefits products, BTA coverage has some of the most affordable rates.

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