Will Your Travel Insurance Get You Mel Gibson?

Have you seen a film that has made you afraid to travel? Films like ‘Taken’ and ‘Ransom’ should serve as a warning to prepare properly with travel insurance. Spare a thought for the businessmen that travel all over the world on behalf of their companies; they have their business travel insurance to lean on, but not Denzel Washington to come to the rescue.

Hollywood is in the business of exaggerating for effect. Nonetheless, there have been plenty of movies where one poor character gets abducted and the hero has to find them.
Who can forget the ordeal of Meg Ryan’s husband in “Proof of Life” when he is held in a jungle in South America? Such films make you wonder how risky travelling really is, and if your travel insurance will pay for Russell Crowe and the helicopter to get you out.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office is a good place to start when planning a journey; it has the latest safety advice about travel to countries around the world, as well as guidance on local customs. Make a visit to the FCO site part of your preparations before your trip, along with checking your travel insurance policy and arranging a transfer to the airport.

Abductions Abroad

In recent years, we’ve heard plenty about abductions abroad, but should we be concerned? In the startling drama “Man on Fire,” Denzel Washington is a bodyguard who goes to extreme lengths to secure the whereabouts of the kidnapped Dakota Fanning. “There were twenty four kidnappings in Mexico city in the last six days,” she says just before she’s taken.

In one scene, a kidnapper pleads, “I’m just a business man,” before Denzel blows him up. What people don’t realise is that it’s usually the businessmen rather than the children that get abducted. Often, larger companies will have bespoke business travel insurance with separate kidnap cover to help deal with the problem.

Because they are associated with large amounts of money, businessmen are targeted for abduction almost every day around the world, with businesses are contacted directly by the kidnappers. What’s alarming – and is not common knowledge – is that companies with special business travel insurance frequently don’t report incidents, sometimes because it can be dangerous to do so, and often because they things are resolved quickly.

Real Cover for Business
Kidnapping aside, if while travelling an incident prevents you from making it to the meeting, more conventional business travel insurance will cover the costs of sending someone to take your place at the boardroom table. This may not be much of a comfort to you, but your company at least can feel more secure.

Usually (and thankfully) you’ll need business travel insurance for mundane reasons like lost luggage and illness. Good Business travel insurance policies will provide a 24-7 emergency telephone service to call if you need medical advice. Hopefully that will be the only call for help you’ll ever have to make.

If you are a frequent traveller, annual business travel insurance will work out a better deal, but make sure you have adequate travel insurance cover, because you can’t always rely on Mel Gibson to save the day.

Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of Journey’s Travel. Their commercial travel insurance website, Insuremore, offers business travel insurance and a quick and easy online claims feature.

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