The new calendar year marks the time for planning and scheduling corporate travel and attendance at conferences and trade shows. However, with the uncertainty of COVID-19 set to continue and the added challenge of new variants such as Omicron, we have been receiving plenty of questions about how insurance policies will respond in the event of COVID-related border closures, cancellations, or illness. Here are the key items to keep in mind when planning your 2022 corporate travel calendar.
Please note, the following information is based on Chubb Insurance Australia’s policy wording. This is the facility Honan has in place for Corporate Travel and Personal Accident cover. Over the years, the policy has been expanded and enhanced to provide bespoke cover for our clients (and accompanying spouses/family) undertaking private travel overseas. You must always consult your broker as other insurers have different policy coverages, conditions, and exclusions.
WHEN REVIEWING YOUR CORPORATE TRAVEL INSURANCE
At the time of renewal or when placing a new Corporate Travel policy, ask yourself:
1. Do you have adequate coverage?
- Do you have the right cover and are your limits high enough for the risk exposure to the Directors and Officers?
- Is leisure travel included?
- Do you currently require cover for anyone over 85?
- Will anyone be undertaking extreme leisure activities?
2. Do you have enough trips declared for the 2022 period?
This includes international, interstate, and intrastate trips, along with business and Directors & Executives’ leisure travel.
During the height of the pandemic, many clients were presented with the option of Hibernation cover, which permits ten domestic and one international trip. If you have Hibernation cover in place, speak to your broker about changing the policy to reflect all travel. If this is not updated, there may be an exposure to the business and in turn, it could impact the outcome in the event of a claim.
Please note, a return trip should be declared as 2 trips when completing proposal forms.
COVID-RELATED SICKNESS FAQs:
1. Are Directors & Executives covered for private travel?
At the time of publication, private international travel is permitted and cover for leisure trips can be incorporated within the Corporate Travel policy for Directors and Executives only. Please advise your broker of any upcoming leisure trips.
2. Will my insurance respond if the Covered Person, a Close Relative, Close Colleague or Travelling Companion of the Covered Person is a close contact with a positive or suspected positive case of COVID-19 and directed by a health authority to quarantine, preventing the Covered Person from commencing/continuing the Journey as planned?
Unforeseen circumstances which are outside the control of the Policyholder or Covered Person for: Loss of Deposits, if the Journey is necessarily altered or cancelled prior to commencement; or Cancellation and Curtailment Expenses, if unbudgeted additional or forfeited Travel or Accommodation Expenses or out of pocket expenses are necessarily incurred while on a journey, then this will be covered under the policy.
3. Whilst on a journey, is an insured person covered if they…
- are diagnosed with COVID-19? The policy will cover Overseas Medical Expenses and Emergency Medical Evacuation Expenses.
- are diagnosed with COVID-19 during the journey and subsequently suffer temporary total disablement or temporary partial disablement as a result? Your policy will provide Weekly Sickness benefits, provided Weekly Sickness Benefits are insured under the policy.
- must quarantine immediately due to a COVID-19 diagnosis? The policy will cover additional accommodation/cancellation costs.
- die as a result of COVID-19? The policy will reimburse funeral expenses.
- must return home early because a close relative in their country of residence has a life-threatening COVID-19 prognosis (as diagnosed by a medical practitioner)? The policy will cover additional travel that you may need, or alternatively, any cancellation costs.
Provided that the Covered Person is travelling within the rules, limitations, and guidelines of both the origin and destination locations associated with such travel, then vaccination status does not affect cover.
WHAT IS NOT COVERED?
1. International or domestic border closures
Where travel is booked at a time when entering the destination was permitted but the border to that destination subsequently closes before the insured person is due to depart, and consequently, they seek to cancel their journey, then there is no cover available under the policy for loss or expenses associated with that change to border rules. There is also no cover for cancellation or curtailment expenses should the status of a border change during an insured person’s journey.
2. Border crossing quarantine costs
There is no cover for any costs associated with an insured person going into mandatory quarantine to cross a border.
3. Travelling against Government advice
There is no cover for any loss or expense for a journey to a destination where the Australian Government, through its Foreign Affairs and Trade department (via Smartraveller or foreign equivalent authority that is responsible for travel advisories in the insured person’s country of residence), has (prior to the journey commencing) issued a Level 4 – ‘do not travel’ warning (or foreign equivalent), recommending against travel to the destination due to the high risk of contracting COVID-19 in that country or region.
4. If an individual is breaking the rules
If the insured person is travelling whilst unvaccinated in a region where vaccination is mandatory for such travel) then cover may be affected under General Exclusion 2:
No cover for benefits with respect to any loss, damage, liability, Event, Bodily Injury or Sickness which directly or indirectly:
results from any intentional self-injury, suicide or any illegal or criminal act committed by the Policyholder, a Covered Person, a Spouse/Partner or Dependent Child. This exclusion does not apply to the Policyholder or any Covered Person who is not the perpetrator of such act or who did not know or condone any such act, however, in all cases, a Policyholder cannot benefit under this Policy from such act of a Covered Person.
As you make travel plans, is crucial to keep your broker informed to help ensure you have the right policies in place. Feel free to reach out at any time to discuss your corporate travel insurance requirements.
Client Manager – Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions
Please note that this article reflects Chubb Insurance Australia’s policy wording. This is the facility Honan has in place for Corporate Travel and Personal Accident cover. Other insurers have different policy coverages, conditions, and exclusions.
The above information was correct at the date of publication (11.01.22). Please check with your broker for any updates to the policy.