Mental and physical health is important no matter where you are. Given the global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s imperative to understand your international insurance options, coverages, and exclusions. These international policies and provisions are designed to protect your team worldwide in the event of an incident. To offer clarity into the options available and quickly get you the help you need, we’ve created a list of frequently asked questions. This includes information about:
- Global business travel accident (BTA) insurance
- International/expatriate medical insurance
- Local country insurance policies
- Global Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) for mental well-being
Global business travel accident (BTA) insurance
Do I have the right coverage in place?
Are there any possible exclusions with COVID-19?
The below lists the typical options that BTA policies offer through most insurance carriers.
- Out of Country Medical: Covered
- The BTA will cover COVID-19 while employees are traveling outside of their home country. Upon return to a home country, coverage will no longer be offered under the BTA. The employee should use their local health insurance or relevant social healthcare options at this time.
- Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D): Does not apply
- A death as a result of the COVID-19 virus is not covered under the AD&D insurance because it is not classified as an accident.
- Security Evacuation: Not covered
- There is no coverage under the Security Evacuation portion of the policy, as pandemics are listed as an exclusion on these travel policies.
- Medical Evacuation: Potentially covered
- Generally, there are no exclusions for pandemics for medical evacuations.
- That being said, the provider can only secure medical evacuation if they are able to based on terms and conditions of each insurer and the availability of flights and travel restrictions.
- Trip cancellation coverage: Varies
- Trip cancellation coverage varies greatly across policies. Coverage depends on the specific rider and language within the policy. Insurers generally cannot answer if there is or isn’t coverage, so please refer to your policy for specific information.
International/expatriate medical insurance
Does my international medical insurance cover COVID-19?
- For the majority of policies:
- There are no exclusions for COVID-19 and contracting the virus covered similar to any other medical incidents.
- Telehealth and other virtual services are generally available for employees to speak directly with a healthcare professional without the need to visit a medical facility.
- Some international medical insurance policies will have exclusions to certain countries (e.g. worldwide coverage except North America).
Local country insurance policies
These policies vary by country. Please check local policies to determine if there are any exclusions regarding COVID-19.
Mental well-being and Global Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
If you do have an existing EAP, now is a great time to remind your employees that it is in place. If you have not yet implemented a global EAP, now is a good time to discuss future options.
As with any pandemic, guidelines and recommendations are changing rapidly, so please always seek and verify information from leading global and local health authorities.
Here at ABD, we have global expertise with specific subject matter experts (SME) in travel, international medical and global EAPs. Through our partnership with the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), we have team members on the ground in 100+ countries that are experts in their home country. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for consultation on how to best protect the well-being of your employees globally.
World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Map https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html