Finding the best business travel insurance for business travelers

Written by Jennifer Simonson / January 16, 2023
Reviewed by Kara McGinley
Fact checked by Heidi Gollub

Key points

  • Business travel insurance can cover trip cancellation, interruption and delay, medical and emergency evacuation, lost baggage and stolen personal belongings.
  • Not all travel insurance plans cover work equipment.
  • Consider buying business travel insurance if you are self-employed, traveling overseas for business or planning to add leisure time to your business trip.

While business travel insurance might not be the first thing you think of when preparing for a business trip, a comprehensive travel insurance policy can help protect you from financial loss. 

Business travel insurance may make sense for you if you are self-employed and footing the bill for your business trip, or if you are traveling internationally and are worried about the cost of medical care abroad. It may also be a smart purchase if your company won’t reimburse you for extra expenses if you experience flight delays or need to cut your trip short because of an emergency back home.

Inside this article

  1. What does business travel insurance cover?
  2. What to look for in a business travel insurance plan
  3. Do you need medical evacuation insurance?
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

What does business travel insurance cover?

Business travel insurance bundles together several types of coverage, which typically include:

  • Trip cancellation insurance.

  • Trip interruption insurance.

  • Trip delay insurance.

  • Travel medical insurance.

  • Emergency evacuation insurance. 

  • Baggage insurance. 

  • Death and dismemberment insurance.

Coverage types and amounts vary depending on the travel insurance plan you buy.

“Travel insurance may cover trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, medical expense and baggage for both leisure and business,” says Christina Tunnah, spokesperson for World Nomads. 

“The specific outcome of a claim, however, depends on the nature of the loss,” she says. “No matter what type of policy you choose, be sure to read the policy in its entirety so you understand any limitations or exclusions.”

Trip cancellation insurance for business trips

Trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you for 100% of the insured cost of your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses, such as airline tickets and hotel reservations, should you need to cancel your trip because of a reason listed in your policy. 

Reasons that are acceptable for trip cancellation benefits typically include severe weather and injury, serious illness or death of you, your traveling companion, or a family member. 

Some travel insurance plans, such as AIG Travel’s Travel Guard Deluxe, will allow you to cancel if your business partner is injured, becomes seriously ill, or dies. The Deluxe plan also provides trip cancellation benefits for select work reasons, such as unexpected job loss, employer-initiated transfer more than 100 miles from home, and being required to stay and work during the scheduled trip. 

Trip interruption insurance for business trips

Trip interruption insurance can reimburse up to 150% of your insured trip expenses when you need to end your business trip early for a reason in your policy. 

If you have a death in your immediate family and need to return home early, trip interruption benefits could cover the cost of transportation to the airport and a last-minute flight home. It can also reimburse you for non-refundable expenses like a hotel room that you will no longer need if you cut your trip short. 

Trip delay insurance for business trips

If your connecting flight is delayed or canceled, travel delay insurance can cover the cost of unexpected expenses you incur, like a meal at the airport or a night at a hotel. 

Trip delay insurance typically has a waiting period before benefits begin, so check your policy to see how many hours the delay must be before you can file a claim. Also, look for the daily and overall maximum benefits per person. If your trip delay insurance only provides $250 in coverage per day, that might not be enough for a taxi and hotel room. 

Travel medical insurance for business trips

When on your business trip, if you get hurt or sick, travel medical insurance can help pay for medical care, imaging tests, lab work, medicine, and a hospital stay. This can be particularly valuable if you travel to a country where your U.S. health care plan does not provide coverage. 

Emergency evacuation insurance

If you are badly injured or become severely ill in a remote location or underdeveloped country, emergency evacuation travel insurance covers the cost of transporting you to the nearest adequate medical facility for treatment. On some occasions, this coverage pays to fly you home for treatment. It may also include coverage for repatriation of remains if you die on the trip. 

Baggage insurance

If your luggage or personal items are lost, damaged, or stolen, baggage insurance can cover the depreciated value of your belongings. This is typically secondary insurance, which means you’d have to file a claim with your airline or homeowners insurance first.

Baggage delay coverage can reimburse you for extra expenditures if you are without your bags for a period of time. There is usually a waiting period, such as six or 12 hours before benefits begin. If your bags still haven’t arrived after the waiting period, you can buy replacement items and file a claim for reimbursement. Be sure to note the maximum coverage limit per person as baggage delay coverage might only be a few hundred dollars.  

Many travel insurance plans do not include coverage for lost business equipment, so be sure to read your policy for exclusions. 

Death and dismemberment insurance

Business travel insurance often includes accidental death and dismemberment insurance. This might cover death or dismemberment that happens while traveling on public transportation, that results from a common carrier accident, that happens in any way except on a common carrier or that occurs at any point during your trip. Read your plan for details. 

What to look for in a business travel insurance plan

Business travelers should look for plans that include coverage for rental cars, business equipment, travel delays, and trip cancellations. 

While most trip cancellation insurance policies cover emergency situations like the death of a family member or severe weather, some policies also cover business-specific cancellations. 

The Explorer plan from World Nomads, for example, includes trip cancellation coverage for certain business reasons, such as your company’s acquisition, merger, or bankruptcy, physical damage to your company from a natural disaster, vandalism or theft, and a requirement to stay by your boss. 

If your business trip requires you to travel with equipment, make sure it is covered under your policy. 

Allianz offers an annual AllTrips Executive insurance plan that covers both personal and business travel for an entire year. The AllTrips Executive Plan offers benefits for business equipment. If your business equipment is lost, stolen or damaged, Allianz will reimburse reasonable costs for equipment rental, replacement or repair. The policy covers up to $1,000 for replacement or repair and up to $1,000 for business equipment rental, per person, per trip.

Not all insurance plans cover work equipment. Insurance providers like World Nomads exclude coverage for professional equipment. If your bags are stolen, your personal belongings may be covered but your work devices or work-related gear like samples or trade show materials would not be, Tunnah says. 

Do you need medical evacuation insurance?

Medical evacuation insurance is a good idea if you are traveling abroad to remote islands or regions of a country that have limited medical facilities or staff, says Scott Adamski, AIG Travel’s Head of Global Product Development. 

If this were to happen on your business trip, you might be close enough to get to a local clinic, but it might not be sufficient if the injury sustained requires advanced imaging or emergency surgery. In that case, you would need to be quickly transported to the nearest metropolis. 

Having medical evacuation insurance would be critically important because the costs associated with medical evacuations are expensive. 

“Even just from the Caribbean to Miami, an air ambulance will come with a five-figure cost, and we have seen many evacuations that land in the six figures. Because payment has to be confirmed before the air ambulance will even take off, travelers need to consider where the funds would come from,” Adamski says. 

He adds that while some group health policies offer coverage for evacuations, they may come with a coverage limit of $5,000 to $10,000. In the case of a $100,000 evacuation, you might be responsible for the balance. Facing such a financial burden while trying to get home could be overwhelming. A travel insurance plan with sufficient medical evacuation coverage would be vitally important in a case like this.

Most comprehensive travel plans include coverage for emergency medical transportation, but coverage amounts are typically lower in the more basic plans. If this is important to you, look for a plan with a high coverage limit.

Travel insurance company Travel Guard offers a coverage enhancement called “Medical Bundle” that doubles the coverage limits for medical expenses and evacuation on certain travel insurance products.

Frequently asked questions

What does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance covers your financial investment in a trip and extra money you spend because of unforeseen events that happen before and during your trip. 

A comprehensive travel insurance plan will include several types of coverage, including trip cancellation, trip delay, trip interruption, emergency medical care, emergency medical evacuation, baggage delay, and loss. 

When comparing travel insurance plans, look for what is covered and excluded from coverage, the daily and maximum coverage amounts, and the waiting times before coverage begins. 

What is not covered by travel insurance?
What is business travel insurance?

About the Authors

Jennifer Simonson

Jennifer Simonson

Jennifer Simonson covers everything from business to the wine industry to international travel. Outdoor adventure, water parks and all things Texas are by far her favorite beats. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Travel + Leisure, Texas Monthly, Smithsonian Magazine, Fodor's, Lonely Planet, Slate and more. You can follow her on Instagram at @storiestoldwell.

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 Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

I am the deputy editor of insurance and an experienced journalist and editor. My work and insights have been featured in MSN, Lifehacker, Kiplinger, Propertycasualty360 and more.

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Heidi Gollub

Heidi Gollub

Heidi Gollub is the lead editor of insurance. She was previously the assistant managing editor over insurance for U.S. News & World Report.

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