Nearly half of people surveyed would refuse to go on a business trip to a location they consider dangerous unless their employer provided them with emergency medical and other services, according to a survey by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
Twenty-three percent of business travelers indicated that they would refuse to go on the business trip; 21% said they go but would refuse to go on the next trip; and 14% would go but look for a new job after returning.
Many employees, however, said they would take the trip if their employers provided access to one or more services. Forty-two percent would go if their employer provided access to reliable emergency medical services, while almost half (47%) would travel if their employer provided pre-travel information about the country. Thirty-eight percent would take the trip if their employer provided access to legal assistance abroad.
The Chubb Travel Risk Survey also showed that 61% of travelers said they would be concerned about how to locate a qualified doctor in the case of an emergency while traveling overseas, and more than half (52%) would not know how to find a trustworthy translator to assist with medical and legal issues. Fifty-five percent would not know whom to contact if they lost their passport or other forms of identification, and 51% would want to know how to find a lawyer.
“The data shows that there is an opportunity for insurance agents and brokers to help their clients create global travel risk management plans and employee benefit programs that include accident and health products that provide services before and during the trip,” said Jim Villa, senior vice president of Chubb Accident & Health. “This is becoming a greater need especially as many companies expand their businesses into more remote or politically sensitive areas around the world. Organizations that fail to address the risks may lose employees as the economy improves, and even face reputational damage and legal liability.”
The Chubb survey also found that employees are acutely aware of the risks they face while traveling, but do not always prepare for trips — further demonstrating the need for employers to provide their employees with information and services.
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A large number of business travelers (58%) would change their travel plans in the event of an elevated terrorist threat. Changes include canceling the trip (21%), rescheduling flights to non-peak times (27%), using alternative transportation such as a train or bus (22%) or flying out of a smaller airport (16%).
However, when it came to other preparations to minimize risk, employees were more complacent. Only 35% indicated that they would research the hazards related to their destination before the trip. More than 60% of travelers don’t carry copies of their prescriptions; nearly 40% don’t carry an extra supply of their medication; nearly 35% of travelers don’t carry copies of identification with them when traveling (photo I.D., driver’s license, passport); and 35% don’t carry copies of emergency contact information. Furthermore, only 57% surveyed carry copies of their travel itineraries.
“Travel offers considerable economic opportunities to businesses, but it also carries, at times, enormous and costly risks and liabilities for employers and potential financial and emotional burdens for employees and their families. Agents and brokers can help to relieve these pressures and exposures,” said Villa.
The telephone survey of 500 employed individuals across the United States was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, an independent public opinion and market research firm, in late 2011.
The member insurers of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies form a multi-billion dollar organization providing property and casualty insurance for personal and commercial customers worldwide through 8,500 independent agents and brokers. Chubb’s global network includes branches and affiliates in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. For more than 50 years, Chubb has offered accident and health insurance solutions to employer groups and credit card enhancements to financial institutions. More information on Chubb’s accident and health products can be found at: chubb.com/businesses/accident/chubb4688.html