One Business Travel Insurance Tip You Can’t Afford Not to Consider

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Business Travel

Paula has a women’s accessories wholesale/retail business with a global clientele. Most of her retail sales are through her website. But three times a year, she attends major fashion trade shows where she closes crucial wholesale contracts. Attending these shows in Los Angeles, New York and Mexico City requires her to be on site for at least two weeks at a time. She brings several cases of samples with her, and a mini-office setup that allows her to do business while away from her home office. She also entertains current and potential customers in a hotel reception suite, and brings with her display items for that purpose.

If Paula were forced to cancel one of these trips, it would be a financial disaster to her business. So she has her daughter, who is planning to join her in the business full time once she finishes college, accompany her on the trips. The daughter has been prepped to handle the trade show in case she can’t attend.

However, Paula has no control over the safe arrival at the trade show site of her considerable amount of luggage required for the trip. Nor can she guarantee that her sample cases will arrive on time. If her luggage and sample cases are lost or even delayed for a certain amount of time, she could suffer financially in a variety of ways.

Paula knows she needs business traveler insurance in case her flight is cancelled or she loses her materials. However, that may not be enough to protect her business. What else should she consider?

There are a variety of travel insurance plans that can protect Paula from flight cancellations, lost luggage and sample cases, and more. Websites such as help you comparison shop for travel insurance and choose the one that best fits your travel profile.

These same plans offer coverage in the event a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, earthquake or crippling snow storm, that could lead to the cancellation of one of the trade shows.

But many business travelers frequently overlook one very important factor beyond their control: their health, and that of family members covered by their insurance who are traveling with them. If Paula has an HMO-style coverage plan, she may well be out of network while at the trade shows. Especially when she is out of the country, her coverage can be quite limited.

“If Paula gets something simple like a bladder infection while in New York, she’s no longer looking at a simple $20 co-pay to cover her treatment,” says independent insurance agent Andrew Pibal of Portland, OR. “That same infection out of network can cost $700. If you are out of the country, it becomes exponentially more expensive. And if she has a true health emergency, she could be thousands of dollars out of pocket.”

Insurers offer a range of short term health policies that can prevent the cost of accident or illness while traveling from spiraling out of control. Pibal recommends buying such a short term policy only for the length of time you intend to be traveling, unless you are leaving your network for an extended period of time. Such policies can include transportation to a speciality hospital in a foreign country in the event of a serious medical emergency–an investment that could well save your life.

A one-month policy might run you $18 to $30, but could save you thousands in medical and related costs. It’s one thing to lose your luggage and have to go on a shopping spree in New York or L.A., knowing your insurance will cover it. But it’s quite another to face a huge uninsured medical bill, one that could set your small business back months or years because you failed to get out-of-network coverage. So, when considering your business trip insurance needs in the future, make sure a short term health insurance policy is on your check-list.