Attacks are indiscriminate and can happen anywhere and at any time. This is a worrying – if not terrifying thought for business travellers, who find themselves away from home and their family for work frequently. The question at the top of their minds has become: “Is it still safe to travel?”
Although nobody will be able to give travellers a definite answer on whether their destination is free from attacks, what travel consultants and companies can tell road warriors to ease their mind is that the risk of being the victim of an attack remains low.
So who should your travellers call if disaster does strike? Besides their family and closest friends, their travel consultant should certainly be first on their alert list.
Ryan Potgieter, former GM Flight Centre Business Travel, explains that your travel consultant is one of the best people to help evacuate corporate travellers quickly and safely. Travel consultants should give your company’s travellers easy options to return home or to leave the place of danger. Says Potgieter: “Within minutes, a travel consultant can book travellers on the next flight, or re-accommodate them in another hotel in a safe area of town.”
Although companies will do anything in their power to keep their travellers safe, the question may arise who will foot the bill if employees decide they want to return home or if they want to cancel their upcoming trip because of a terror attack?
If your travellers are hurt in a terror attack…
If terror strikes while your travellers are away and they get hurt in an attack, you can rest assured that most travel insurance companies, such as South African-based TIC would cover your employees’ medical expenses and all expenses related to any injuries they sustained as a direct result of a terrorist attack. Cover is also usually provided for accidental death and total permanent disablement as a direct result of terrorist attacks.
If your employees don’t want to travel anymore…
Your company’s road warrior is scheduled to travel to Amsterdam in the next 14 days, but a terrorist attack takes place and they want to cancel their trip. TIC will allow them to cancel a trip if a terrorist incident takes place within 14 days of departure in the city to which your employees are travelling. They will reimburse prepaid, non-refundable travel costs, because the company purchased insurance before any incident occurred.
Is your employee travelling to The Hague instead of Amsterdam, and considering cancelling their trip? You’re out of luck – the travel insurance provider will only pay you back if travellers are heading to the same city where a terror attack took place.
If your employees want to come back home…
Your employee is in London and a terror attack occurs while they are in the city. They’re not hurt, but they just want to go back home to their family. TIC will reimburse for prepaid, non-refundable travel costs if travellers want to cut their international holiday short as a result of a terrorist incident occurring in the same city as noted on the prepaid itinerary.
What will not be covered?
Travellers will not be covered for cancellation or curtailment if they decide to travel to the same city where a terrorist incident took place during the past 60 days.
What does this mean? Imagine your travellers are scheduled to fly to Paris in a month’s time. Shortly after arranging their travels, a bus explodes in the city. You feel nervous, so you decide to purchase travel insurance for their trip. Two weeks later, another bomb shakes the French capital, and the travellers decide they want to cancel your trip. Your travel insurance would not cover trip cancellation because you purchased the plan within 60 days of a terrorist incident occurring at the destination.
The intricacies of travel can be confusing to say the least. The advice of a trusted TMC, like FCBT, can help you select the best policy to suit you and your business.
Get in touch with your FCBT Account Manager today and review your TIC policy.