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Widening the safety net on employee travel

At a glance

  • The number of multinational companies sending employees abroad rose 25% in the last decade
  • The agricultural, chemical, construction and engineering sectors are expected to have the biggest increase in overseas expansion
  • Zurich is further expanding its global reach to help your clients protect their employees abroad

As companies throw their nets wider and expand into new territories, employees are travelling further afield, increasing the potential risks they face.

For some companies, these new territories may include emerging markets, which present new opportunities for companies, but also place their employees in increasingly remote or potentially dangerous locations. Health issues, such as travel-related infections or infectious diseases, become amplified without access to adequate care.

Travelling to countries like Brazil, Russia, India, and China presents various potential risks from things like political turmoil, civil unrest, and terrorism.

Further afield

The number of multinational companies that send employees abroad has increased by 25% over the last 10 years, according to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, with further growth of 50% predicted for the next decade.

Companies can be held legally responsible if something happens to one of their employees while they are working abroad. However, some businesses might be unaware of their legal obligation and duty of care.

Rising destinations for business travel:

  • China’s lower tier cities (e.g. Chengdu)
  • India’s lower tier cities (e.g. Jaipur and Bhopal)
  • Brazil
  • Russia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • South Africa
  • Mexico
  • Malaysia and Saudi Arabia
  • The Philippines and Vietnam
  • Argentina

Cartus Corporation Global Survey 2012

A company should limit its employees’ exposure to risk as much as possible, which should include pre-deployment briefing on security, medical and local issues prior to travelling abroad.

Businesses should also have comprehensive insurance cover in place to ensure employees can get help when they need it. For example, an employee who has a medical emergency in a remote location might need an air ambulance, so that they can be transported to where the necessary care is available.

By working with CEGA – specialists in providing medical assistance to those in challenging or hostile locations around the world – Zurich is further expanding its own global reach.

The agricultural, chemical, construction and engineering sectors are those where the biggest increase in expansion abroad is expected in the near future, according to the Cartus Corporation Global Survey 2012.

Emergency response

Ensuring access to a quality emergency response service becomes more important the further afield employees venture. CEGA is the only UK-based emergency assistance provider that has its own integrated air ambulances. With complete control over its fleet, it can respond quickly – whether this involves emergency care in remote areas, or bringing travellers home.

Read the brochure for Zurich’s Personal Accident and Business Travel policy

Brian Armstrong, UK Products and Propositions Manager for Accident and Health at Zurich, said: “From illness to accident, a vast range of eventualities can befall employees when they’re abroad. Zurich recognises the needs of businesses when it comes to protecting their employees, and has the ability to provide a product that ticks all the boxes.”

The Zurich Emergency Medical and Travel Assistance helpline is a 24 hour, 365 days, dedicated response service phone line, offering access to services such as multilingual physicians, nurses and travel assistance specialists.


Brian added: “To make Zurich Travel Assistance medical provision as holistic and responsive as possible, Zurich forged a partnership with CEGA, who has the ability to service the key industries and challenging travel hotspots that are most likely to require specialist assistance.

“CEGA’s network is well-researched and very extensive, and as a result it has partnered with a number of overseas providers that enable it to source quality care for our clients, while ensuring costs are controlled and reasonable.”

Global reach

Through Zurich’s Accident and Health IPZ solution, firms can structure compliant global programmes of cover that apply across multiple territories.

To ensure companies are making good on their duty of care, this type of global progamme ensures insurance is provided where it is needed and local service needs can be met.

Image © Getty

For more information, get in touch

Brian Armstrong | UK Products and Proposition Manager | 07875 886 735

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