After years of rising business travel spending, the airline industry and international business travel industry are expected to see a slowdown due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. American Airlines is expected to cut its international business travel by 25 percent in 2021, which will certainly have an effect on how businesses send out their employees for international deals.
However, even with the cut in international travel, it’s still important for companies to ensure employee safety while abroad. Whether your company has three employees or 3,000, taking precautions to ensure safety should take precedence. By doing so, companies can prevent legal, financial, and reputational fallout in the long run.
Discussing the Legal Risks
Employers that fail to meet their duty of care obligations operate with the risk of expensive lawsuits or even facing criminal charges filed against them. Under duty of care, companies are legally liable to safeguard their employees’ health and safety. Countries in North America and throughout Europe all have comprehensive duty of care legislation.
Failure to uphold duty of care obligations can result in civil and criminal liabilities for individuals, not just major companies. In Germany, for example, a company’s liabilities for health-related costs actually extend to any members of a family of expatriates who, while visiting them aboard, become ill or injured.
Travel Risk Management Plan
In recent years, rising travel risks, such as political, environmental, and health-related threats, have reinforced the need for businesses to implement organization-wide travel risk management plans. Businesses who fail to put travel safety protocols in place can end up jeopardizing not only their employees’ well-being, but also set themselves up for major legal, financial, and reputational consequences.
A strategy around risk management can provide a company with response procedures in the event someone in the company who has traveled abroad for business encounters a medical or security emergency. This ensures that a company is prepared, and their employees receive the help they need, when they need it.
A risk management plan should include specific coverage to protect against major financial losses. This points to such items as kidnap and ransom coverage, which can be vital in the event a situation like this occur. While no company and no employee should have to worry about the potential of a kidnapping situation, it’s important to prepare for the worst with comprehensive coverage.
Looking at the Security Landscape
Whether it’s terrorism or COVID-19, many areas of the world are experiencing their own unrest, both politically and socially. Providing employees with information regarding the political and health statuses of a country prior to departure will help to prepare them for unexpected security issues while abroad. It’s also important to ensure that employee benefits packages include security services for employees traveling to areas that are deemed to be high risk.
Implementing a comprehensive travel risk management plan can help businesses avoid a wide variety of pitfalls. And while not everything can be avoided, taking precaution can at least limit exposure to financial and legal issues related to employee safety.
About The Hilb Group
Deciding what coverage you need and what limits and deductibles make the most sense can be tricky. Founded in 2009, the Hilb Group has been helping clients to make sense of their options and make the smartest choices for their circumstances. Whether you need Warehouse Insurance or any other type of business or personal coverage, we encourage you to contact our friendly, experienced, and capable team today. Call us at (800) 776-3078 for a consultation.