Preparing for New Risks: The Importance of Organizational Travel for Businesses and Other Entities – Risk & Insurance

Why Travel Insurance is Essential for Business and Leisure Travelers

Traveling for business or leisure has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people combining work and play during their trips. However, this trend, along with geopolitical risks and other factors, has prompted risk managers to reevaluate their travel insurance policies. Whether you’re a business executive attending international meetings or a student participating in a study abroad program, it’s important to consider the potential risks you may face while traveling.

In 2023, companies spent an estimated $1.03 trillion on business travel expenditures, and experts predict that business travel spending will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024. This surge in travel is not limited to business travelers alone; organizations such as nonprofits and universities are also sending individuals on sponsored trips. After months or even years of staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are eager to explore new cities and countries.

The New Risks of Business and Leisure Travel

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a range of new risks for travelers. Quarantine policies, in particular, became a concern for those traveling internationally. Additionally, the rise of “bleisure” travel, where individuals combine business and leisure activities during their trips, has become increasingly popular. Employers often support this trend as employees return from such trips feeling refreshed and focused.

However, the risks that traditional business travel insurance policies were designed to address still exist. One key reason organizations invest in travel insurance is to ensure that their travelers have coverage in case of injury or illness. Medical providers in foreign countries may not recognize insurance from the traveler’s home country, making it essential to have appropriate coverage.

The Basics of Travel Insurance

When organizations sponsor travel or individuals travel on behalf of an organization, it is their responsibility to ensure the well-being of their travelers. Travel insurance policies play a crucial role in providing protection during emergencies. A basic travel insurance policy for sponsored travel typically covers emergency accident and sickness medical expenses, accidental death and dismemberment, and travel assistance. It may also include coverage for evacuations, both medical and non-medical.

Many countries require certain insurance coverage as a visa requirement for entry. A more comprehensive travel insurance policy may also include benefits for travel inconveniences, such as trip interruption, delays, loss of baggage, or personal effects.

Insurers are now making critical insurance information easily accessible through insurance cards or mobile apps. Some companies even include contact information for travel assistance providers on travel itineraries to ensure that travelers know what to do in case of an emergency. Mobile apps can provide access to intelligence reports, help find doctors or hospitals, and enable travelers to request emergency services.

Adapting to the Needs of Today’s Travelers

Accident and health insurance carriers have a history of adapting their policies to meet emerging risks, such as war, terrorism, or political evacuation coverage. With the rise of bleisure travel, insurers are tailoring policies to cater to this new type of traveler. Some insurers offer options to extend coverage from the business portion of a trip to the leisure portion.

Insurers also play an active role in risk management for business travel. They assist organizations in creating risk mitigation plans to protect the health and well-being of their travelers. If a traveler is going to a country on the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory list, insurers may recommend additional planning to ensure the traveler’s safety.

As travel frequency continues to increase, it is crucial for organizations to work with insurers who understand the evolving risks and can adapt policies accordingly. Employers have taken the time during the pandemic to reflect on their travel policies, making them better prepared for the changing landscape of business travel.


Travel insurance is essential for both business and leisure travelers. With the increasing popularity of blended travel, geopolitical risks, and other factors, it is crucial to have adequate coverage to protect against potential emergencies. Insurers are adapting their policies to meet the needs of today’s travelers, offering options for bleisure travel and providing risk management support. As travel resumes, it is important for organizations to prioritize travel insurance program design to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees.

About the Author

Courtney DuChene is a freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. She can be reached at [email protected]

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