Corporate focus on duty of care during the pandemic has changed the mindset of travellers on safety and security now that business trips have resumed and travel has been picking up in the last six months.
According to corporate travel managers (CTMs) who attended the recent CTC (Corporate Travel Community) Singapore Corporate Travel Summit, travellers now take travel insurance and travel risk management more seriously compared to pre-Covid.
A buyer in the pharmaceutical sector told TTGmice: “More travellers are making sure they know what they are covered for, versus go first and ask only if something happens. It is also because many countries still require proof of cover, including Covid-19 treatment.”
In addition, the CTM is “keeping an eye” on ISO 31030, a comprehensive standard for managing travel risk and the evolving expectations of travel risk management due to climate change, geopolitics, etc.
A counterpart in the banking sector – with a global workforce travelling domestically and internationally – commented travel insurance pre-Covid was less important compared to planning for the trip.
He continued: “There is more awareness now after educating travellers on the value chain starting with the pre-trip. Travellers know what to do and by working in tandem with the risk management supplier, get pre-trip advice and knowledge of where they are going to.”
Benson Tang, executive director, corporate travel, Informa Markets and executive director, CTC by Informa Markets, observed: “Due to Covid-19, many firms are now prioritising health, well-being and the safety of their employees during a business trip.
“Travel insurance pre-pandemic primarily covered travel inconveniences such as lost luggage, trip cancellations, flight delays, etc. Another noticeable trend is the inclusion of telemedicine consultation services by some insurers,” he said.
But it was “business as usual” in the case of a global consultancy, where its CTM explained: “It all depends on the company structure and whether or not the management has bought into the importance of safety and security (pre-Covid). The baseline for MNCs compared to regional corporates and SMEs would also be different.”
Tang continued: “Overall, firms are taking a more proactive and comprehensive approach in managing corporate travel insurance.
“Travel departments are also leveraging closer relationships and professional advice from cross-departmental support such as from human resources, procurement and finance.”