Navigating your way through insurance for travel risks

07 March 2017

Part of the challenge when managing corporate travel risks is determining the insurance required. 

Businesses can cover many standard ‘people’ risks through a combined personal accident (PA) and corporate travel policy. 

This will provide unlimited cover for the medical expenses, emergency travel and repatriation costs for injury or illness. It also provides access to services and support from a third-party travel assistance company. 

In other respects, however, cover is more limited, particularly for security threats in higher risk territories. Most PA/travel policies have small limits of indemnity and restrictions – including exclusions of certain territories – for risks such as terrorism, hijacking, kidnapping and political violence. 

“On a PA/travel policy, cover for a company’s personnel against these sorts of malicious events is very limited,” says Lucy Higgins, Broker at JLT Specialty. 

This is where specialist kidnap and ransom (K&R) policies come in. Despite the name, these policies respond to a much wider range of perils, from the recent ‘active shooter’ and lone-wolf terrorism attacks seen in Europe and the US, to illegal detention, hostage siege, extortion and even cyber extortion. 

JLT Specialty’s K&R team – part of our Credit, Political and Security (CPS) team – has developed a policy covering this broad scope of ‘people’ security risks. The policy also spans cover for emergency evacuations as a result of political crisis, natural disaster and industrial catastrophes. 

A comprehensive K&R policy will overlap and complement an underlying PA/travel policy, by providing specialist support from expert response consultants as well as financial indemnification. 

These response consultants will complement a company’s existing crisis management framework. They provide advice and assistance for hostage negotiation, media handling and family liaison, and will remain on the case until its conclusion. 

“Because crisis events involving employees can happen anywhere and at any time – be it a road traffic accident, accidental injury, hostage siege or natural catastrophe – businesses need to be fully equipped to deal with any type of situation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their staff,” says Higgins.

“Companies should be working closely with their travel manager, as well as their insurance broker, to fully understand the crisis management resources available to them, so that they can then implement a holistic crisis response plan to safeguard their workforce." 

With the right plan in place, companies can show their staff that they take their health and safety seriously, explains Higgins.

She adds: “By having a comprehensive crisis management plan in place, staff will know immediately who to contact. This is crucial because the faster the response, the faster the crisis can be safely resolved.”

For more information, please contact Lucy Higgins, K&R broker on +44 (0)20 7528 4253 or email