The modern workforce is on the move. A comprehensive threat response product is needed to keep your people safe from a growing range of travel threats. By Ian Robinson, head of UK personal insurance, AIG and Jon Gregory, global head of crisis solutions, AIG
Business travel has never been more necessary, with large corporates seeking new markets, suppliers and raw materials in what is an increasingly interconnected world. Travel is growing ever-easier and more affordable, but as it does, this increased global mobility is introducing new challenges and concerns for employers. Chief among these worries is the need to prioritise the safety and security of business travellers.
Traditional medical-related risks remain a prominent threat for business travellers and risks that will always exist, no matter where in the world a member of staff travels. From the less-travelled areas of Western Africa to the more mature business hubs in the US, getting access to timely, reliable and safe medical assistance will always be of the greatest priority. The wellbeing of staff can only be met adequately if companies have access to a robust medical network that is available 24/7 – anything less can put members of staff at great risk.
But, of course, in the new age of international assignments, business travel risks extend beyond the need for quick and dependable medical assistance. Within the macro trends of globalisation and increased global mobility are a range of heightened exposures: natural catastrophes, pandemics, terrorism and political instability, among others.
The way in which businesses are expanding is introducing a range of threats, as multinational organisations move into regions that are more complicated and less stable. China’s Belt & Road initiative and major energy and infrastructure projects in the Middle East and South America are just some examples of mass expansion that have contributed to a surge of business travellers and expats – all of whom are travelling during a time of heightened geopolitical tensions and into locations where political instability exists.
At the same time, the terror landscape is fast-evolving, with a growth in workplace radicalisation, violence and ‘active assailant events’, increasing the need for crisis response, security and repatriation.
Protecting people, business
These dynamics bring major risk implications, to which employers must be much more alert. First and foremost, there are the aforementioned challenges over employee well-being and duty of care. Then there are other corporate considerations, arising directly from these people and business travel risks – business interruption, brand/reputation and liability issues.
In discussions with our clients, we asked how we can support them as they develop and grow a more international footprint. A modern and mobile workforce requires more than a conventional travel accident policy. Increasingly, clients are seeing the value in a more comprehensive threat and consultancy response product, which marries the traditional coverage and travel management and medical injury support with a range of intelligence-led and crisis response services.
Answering people risk concerns around the full remit of potential threats – terror, political instability, natural disaster, pandemics and epidemics, and criminalisation – we’ve enhanced our business travel policies to better respond to the changing risk landscape. It brings together security protection, crisis management, evacuation and repatriation, and medical assistance, all under one umbrella.
A life line
AIG’s Lifeline Plus provides clients with a travel assistance mobile app that includes, among other features, a one-touch ‘help’ button and security travel alerts. It offers security training for business travellers, the latest intelligence and country reports, and an optional Crisis Plus Extension that responds to more than 20 different potential or actual crises, from the criminal to the catastrophic.
For any business travel risk, we want to work with clients to understand their exposures and risk appetite, to offer certainty of cover and access to a global consultancy network that can support them, whatever the threat or concern. We recognise that today’s business traveller is exposed to varying and complex risks, and that the nature of business travel risks is fast evolving. Our new, enhanced product offers peace of mind.