With the spring travel season arriving and new countries to explore, what should you do to prepare for a safe travel experience? How can you protect employees while traveling internationally? Before you pack your bags, here are some helpful tips to consider:
Comprehensive International Insurance PolicyInternational Coverage
There are four primary components which include foreign business auto rental, foreign commercial general liability, foreign voluntary workers’ compensation, and foreign travel accident/sickness. The standard insurance coverage territory includes USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and US islands. In most cases, once you leave these areas, your institution no longer has protection in place unless you purchase foreign insurance coverage. The insurance is affordable and is priced based on the # of trips, the countries you are visiting, # of employees going and your length of stay. This protection includes Emergency Assistance 24/7/365 anywhere in the world to help employees and their companions who travel overseas with medical, legal and/or personal emergencies.
Kidnap & Ransom Insurance
Another increasingly important coverage is Kidnap, Ransom and Extortion (K&R) Insurance. In certain parts of the world, kidnapping and extortion of Americans has become a multi-million dollar business. The essential components of a K&R policy is to understand the response plan and who will provide a successful rescue. The best defense is to be fully informed about the threats and be prepared to respond to incidents of this nature. A K&R policy is a good strategy to help protect your employees and safeguard your institution. Here is a recent article which highlights the high risk areas for kidnap & ransom.
Before You Leave
- Sign your passport and fill in your emergency information.
- Give copies of your itinerary and passport data page to your management team along with family your family and friends for emergency use.
- Bring a copy of your international insurance assistance card, kidnap & ransom card, and health insurance card which has important contact information in the event of an emergency.
- Let your bank and credit card company know your travel plans to avoid having your accounts frozen for unusual activity.
- Carry a letter from your physician describing your prescriptions and medical conditions. Confirm with your health insurance company that your coverage extends internationally.
- Find out customs restrictions for the country you are going to, as well as for returning to the United States.
- Research your destination to stay safe. Learn about necessary vaccinations and health precautions.
- Pay special attention to health warnings such as Zika, Ebola, West Nile etc. Precautions should be taken & a determination made if conditions are unsafe to travel. Here is a recent blog post on Zika precautions.
- Check the security settings on laptops and other electronic devices, including access to your networks and legacy systems. Inform employees of procedures to follow if they suspect a data breach or system compromise.
- Bring a copy of your international insurance assistance card and kidnap & ransom card which has important contact information in the event of an emergency.
Assistance Abroad While on Your Trip
- Enroll in the Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP) a free service to allow U.S. citizens and national traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. STEP can be found at https://step.state.gov/step/.
- Contact information for U.S. embassies, consulates and consular agencies overseas may be found at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies.html.
- If your family needs to reach you in an emergency, they can call 888-407-4747, and the State Department will relay the message to consular officers in the country you are visiting.
Most importantly, remember to take precautions by planning ahead so that you and your staff can travel confidently.