The recent awful bombings in Istanbul have again raised concerns regarding the likelihood of us being exposed to such incidents whilst travelling for business or even when holidaying with our families.
Most businesses have some form of travel security and safety programme in place (well hopefully they do). This ensures their employees are safe and secure. There is also various legal requirements to demonstrate and meet any ‘duty of care’ requirements.
In my experience commercial organisations receive additional support from their travel and accident insurance policies that they have in place.
These types of polices are ofcourse a given for anyone travelling. Insurance companies attract businesses with various add-on benefits and amongst them is travel risk awareness and intelligence. This in simplistic terms is pre-trip advice and guidance on the destination the person is going to and will often also include realtime email notifications for relevant alerts on any security or safety issues after the booking is made and during the actual period of travel.
Another very useful service is the ability to call a ‘hotline’ 24/7/365 and ask any questions, highlight concerns or just simply ask for some general travel advice. These types of services are invaluable to ensure travellers are suitably aware of risks and allow the traveller/employer to make informed decisions which may impact their trip and ultimately their safety.
As a business traveller and someone who manages a travel security programme I get this and I can’t stress enough the importance of it.
BUT….When I travel for personal reasons and I make my annual 2 week pilgrimage, I also make sure I have travel insurance. So why is it that I don’t receive such valuable information from my travel insurance provider? There doesn’t even appear to be an option to ask for it.
I appreciate that if you book via a travel agency they will provide some updates but this is generally based on the FCO’s advice (which by the way is available on their website anyway) and is normally out of date and in response to a serious incident.
I did some research and I couldn’t find any mention of these services for personal travel insurance. I think it’s time that travel insurance companies begun to earn their money and show a level of ‘duty of care’ to its customers.