Boss Lady

6 tips for business travel

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Travelling, even for business purposes, is almost always an exciting prospect. No matter how tired or jet-lagged you are, it’s human nature to feel a little bit enthusiastic about visiting a new place. But what if something goes wrong, and you aren’t prepared for the worst or the inconvenient? If your flight is cancelled, or you’re caught in a storm, or you’ve simply lost your luggage, you need to know what you’re covered for. So here are 5 tips for business travel and getting the most out of your travel insurance:

1. Know what you’re covered for

Even if the travel insurance is company funded, you still need to know what it involves. Most international travel policies will cover medical expenses, emergency medical assistance, dental expenses, legal liabilities you might have, rental vehicle excess, damaged, lost or stolen luggage, credit card replacement or reimbursement in the case of fraud, cash replacement in the case of theft, family emergency costs, alternative travel arrangements, trip cancellation (if you give enough warning), and journey disruption. If you aren’t sure, or are involved in booking insurance with your employers, check out an insurance comparison site.

2. Journey disruption

If for any reason, your journey gets extended or disrupted because of a matter out of your control, your travel insurance provider should cover you for this. For example, if a connecting flight is delayed or postponed overnight or cancelled altogether, your insurance provider will usually reimburse you for any costs that might ensue during that period. So alternate travel costs, overnight accommodation, or anything else along those lines should get paid back to you.

3. Read the latest travel news and warnings

Even domestically it’s important to do a little research into the next place you visit. If you’re about to take a trip to a location that has extremely volatile weather, or political instability, you will need to be prepared for it. The last thing you want is to be stranded because aggressive or simply bad weather has resulted in cancelled or delayed flights or other modes of transportation. Be aware of the environment that you’re visiting, and it will help you to be prepared and cover yourself earlier. Whether it’s cheap flights to Cape Town or first class to New York, make sure you’re covered.

4. Know that you can extend your policy

Most people forget to extend their policies if they end up staying longer in a location they’re travelling in for work. But if you want to stick around London for an extra week, you absolutely should. Just make sure you update your travel insurance for that time period, because it’s so easy to forget, and that’s where something could easily go wrong. You also need to know what you can claim during this period; non-refundable flights, travel agent fees, activities and pre-paid accommodation can all be refunded if you happen to cancel your trip or something affects this for reasons outside of your control.

5. Remember your phone!

It’s so easy to get so caught up in your trip overseas that you forget to bring something that will really help you in case you get caught in strife. The earlier you can contact your insurance company about an emergency, the better, and it will be even more useful if you can let them know that you need help while you’re over there. They will generally tell you what the best next steps will be. But if you don’t have your phone, you can’t contact them, and that’s not ideal either! You can either buy an international phone plan, or simply purchase a SIM card over there (if it’s an overseas trip).

6. Know what you need to take home for your claim

Another common mistake is returning from a business trip and not actually being able to claim insurance because of lack of proof of an event. This will vary between different providers and is very dependent on the loss but you generally will need: a copy of your insurance claim number, a medical report from a certified practitioner (if you need medical treatment while on your trip), an invoice, a receipt to show proof of purchase (flights, accommodation etc.), and a police report from the local authorities where loss occurred.

At the end of the day, you have to do what suits you best in order to get the best possible value out of your trip. If you do happen to come across extreme or nasty circumstances, you will need to be prepared so that you don’t get caught unexpectedly. With just a few easy changes to your mindset and your luggage, you can set yourself up for the best and most successful business trip possible. Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain!

About Bessie Hassan

Bessie Hassan is the Australian Head of PR and Money Expert at Australia’s largest financial comparison site, finder.com.au. She is passionate about helping people find better deals and save money, and regularly blogs on the topics of money and finance. If you have any questions for Bessie, please feel free to email her at [email protected]

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