With the growth of any company inevitably comes the need to send employees to a domestic or international business travel every now and then to do business dealings, attend conferences or seminars, and the like. However, business travel, especially to an unfamiliar territory, carries exposure to various risks be it fortuitous events or not. Employers are bound under the duty of care to mitigate these risks and safeguard the safety and well-being of their employees during travel. Failure to do so could put the business continuity at stake since most of the employees sent out are key employees or prized personnel.
To protect your most important asset against the risks they face, here are the things that you should do to create a travel risk management plan.
Make a risk assessment.
Taking into consideration the gender, age, travel experience, and the kind of business activities that your employees have to do, identify and calculate the risks that they have to face such as but not limited to:
- Health Risks
Is there a contagious disease in the place they are headed to? If yes, how good is the local government in responding to this health issue? Is there easy access to medical facilities?
Do the employees have pre-existing diseases that could be triggered by travel? Are they appropriately vaccinated against any infectious disease that they might contract from their travel destination?
- Safety Risks
What is the weather condition in the area? Is there a recent terrorist attack, kidnapping, political demo, election, or civil unrest?
- Travel Risks
Are you and the employees ready for unexpected scenarios such as trip cancellations, missed flight connections, sudden travel ban, lost baggage, or injuries the employees could run into?
- Fortuitous Event Risks
Are you also prepared for natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis?
- Establish a plan to respond to a crisis.
Based on the assessed risks, create a detailed and well-documented plan on how the employees and your company should respond to emergencies or unexpected challenges as they come up.
Devices or apps that allow quick communication and easy tracking of the employees should be present especially when they are in high-risk areas. Protocols must be in place that enable the employees to make a distress call. They should also know the contact numbers of the travel point-person, the home country’s embassy, and the 911 equivalent. Most importantly, the plan ought to include the clear action steps to be taken to enable the company to assist the employees in crisis and evacuate them to a safer place as needed.
3. Invest in a business travel insurance policy.
Life insurance policies may not be enough. They may not provide adequate protection to safeguard the health, well-being, and safety of your employees as they embark on a trip. For better peace of mind, secure a business travel accident insurance policy. Aside from medical expenses and death and dismemberment benefits, it could also cover for risks faced by employees who go on local or international trips to war-zone areas. Worker’s compensation on top of the life and health insurance coverage are also paid on covered accidents. Coverage can also be provided for non-employees like members of the board of directors or consultants.
4. Educate and prepare your employees.
Make a pre-travel briefing to communicate to your personnel the assessed health, safety, and fortuitous event risks they face. Give them a heads-up as well on the existing driving rules, public transportation, cultural etiquette, the local dialect, food, and other pertinent information that they need to be aware of regarding their destination. Educate them on the risk management plan and business travel insurance policy, and ensure they are aware of the protocols that would equip them to adjust to challenges or respond to crises as they arise.
Companies should take proactive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees while the latter is on field for the sake of the business. Aside from the possibility of litigation, if the employees felt they were neglected during a travel crisis, it also poses danger to the name of the business that could lead to lost customers’ or business partners’ trust. Covering for unexpected losses as well as rebuilding a ruined reputation are hard; hence, your company should place utmost importance in preparing for and taking action in such cases. As most wise people say, it is better to be prepared than to be caught by surprise.
About Moody Insurance Worldwide
Moody Insurance Worldwide, a division of Moody & Associates that was founded in 1914, is a leading provider of risk management programs and insurance coverage to individuals and businesses across the East Coast. We write all sizes of businesses, with technical expertise in many key industry areas, and provide personal insurance programs for estates and high net worth individuals. Our licensed, experienced commercial account managers can work with you to determine the coverage that you need at a competitive rate. Contact us today at (855) 868-0170 to learn more about what we can do for you.