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Category Archives: Business Travel

Travel Insurance: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Photo courtesy of Anete Lūsiņa via UnSplash

To Buy or Not to Buy? That is the Question!

We are living in some challenging times, to say the least. Maybe you routinely skip over that box asking you if you wanted to protect your trip with travel insurance, however, it may be time to give it a second look. With the uncertainty that is facing much of the world with COVID – 19, travel insurance is quickly becoming a hot commodity. Read on to find out what to look for, and what to avoid in good coverage.

Read That Fine Print

There is always plenty to read in the fine print of any insurance policy, travel insurance is no different. Now we all know that insurance companies do not remain profitable by paying out claims, but you want to stay away from companies with highly restrictive underwriting. How do you do that? It’s pretty simple really. Look for companies with more lenient reimbursement policies. Here are some things you will want to see:

  • Cancel for Any Reason
  • Personal or Family Illness
  • Trip Cancellation or Disruption
  • Emergency Medical Care / Transportation

These are just a few of the many circumstances that may be listed under your coverage, but do make sure you read the policy to make sure it will suit your travel needs. For example, you deciding to cancel your trip a week out because you feel like the weather may be bad is not trip cancellation. If a tour operator or an airline has canceled – that is trip cancellation. See the difference? BUT, if you have a Cancel for Any Reason policy, you are good to go. Cancel for any reason policies are going to be about 40% more expensive, but well worth the cost and peace of mind in today’s current climate. They do exactly what they say – reimburse you regardless of the reason. These policies can reimburse you up to 75% of travel costs. Cheaper policies won’t cover travel plans if you cancel by choice (even if the choice was a good one) again, these are things you will need to consider before you buy. You will get what you pay for.

Does Travel Insurance Cover COVID – 19 Issues?

Well, it can. Many travel insurance companies are altering their coverage parameters in this unprecedented time. But buyer beware, COVID – 19 related travel issues generally will not fall under the “unforeseen circumstance” umbrella anymore. Once the disease became so widespread that it evolved into a pandemic, it was no longer unforeseen. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be covered, but it does mean you need to understand the policy you are buying, the time frames for cancellation and cancellation reasons. Make sure you are asking the right questions about coverage so you don’t encounter any issues should you need to cancel a trip, despite the reason.

Corporate and Group Travel Partners

If your job involves a lot of group travel execution, this is a great time to reach out to some of your travel partners to recommend some good travel insurance. People that work in the travel and transportation industry will generally know reputable carriers. Turn to your travel and transportation industry leaders to see if they currently partner with a company that can cover your individual, group or executive travel plans. Who better to trust than people you already partner with?

The travel landscape is radically changing. Whether it’s that vacation you’ve been waiting for all year, or resuming those business trips that have been put on hold, travel insurance may just be the little bit of security that we are all looking for right now.

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Tips for Travel Insurance

As the world starts to gradually re-open, you may be anxious about new surroundings. With a lot of uncertainty and restrictions around airplane travel, regional and domestic trips are expected to see a jump this year. As you plan your next trip with Hermes Worldwide, consider the many benefits of travel insurance.

Besides the peace of mind afforded by travel insurance, it’s a smart economic investment to help protect your wallet. The cost of a travel insurance plan varies based on your age, the cost of your trip, and whether you add an upgrade, but any plan cost is much less than the potential cost of a disruption to your travel plans, whether it’s a cancellation due to illness, a delay due to horrible weather, or a medical emergency away from home.

Are you seeking total security and flexibility when you travel? (Many are nowadays!) Upgrade your plan with the Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) option. This upgrade allows you to cancel your plan for literally any reason at all, including reasons not normally covered by the plan. In the wake of the pandemic, many other travel insurance plans have stopped offering this sought-after upgrade, but we’re happy that we can provide this important option to our travelers. Just be sure to buy your travel insurance plan early – there are time-sensitive benefits, including CFAR, that are only available if you buy your travel insurance shortly after your trip deposit. (For the Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Exclusion Waiver, you must buy your plan within 14 days of your initial trip deposit; for the CFAR upgrade you must buy your plan within 30 days of your initial trip deposit.)

The best news? Hermes Worldwide already has a plan available for you to use. Choose from the regular tour protection plan or the plan with CFAR to secure the plan that meets your coverage needs and budget. Learn more and get a free quote today at my.travelinsure.com/uma/hermesworldwide.

As always, read the plan documents carefully to fully understand your coverage. If you have any questions or need help picking the best plan for you, email customercare@travelinsure.com or call 1-855-874-0156.

Picking the Right Venue for Your Event

Not everyone is a skilled event or meeting planner, for those that have either elected (or been selected) to plan a large or small scale event, there are a lot of choices out there. Read on to find out what successful event and meeting planners consider when selecting a venue.

What kind of event is it?

This is the place to start. The needs for large corporate events is obviously quite different than those of weddings or social events. Many venues cater to both, but stop to consider the type of environment that you are hoping to create. I’ve planned weddings in spaces that were geared more for the corporate crowd, and it can be quite challenging to create the kind of romantic ambiance that most couples desire for their wedding. Meetings also have different needs than weddings, so while a venue may be a beautiful setting, it’s important to know if an event venue will be able to provide you with what you need to have a successful event. 

Location, Location, Location

This is an important consideration for a number of reasons. Take into account the accessibility of the event venue in relation to where the attendees are coming from. Business meetings held off site of the hotel will require some form of ground transportation, perhaps on a very large scale. Ground transportation companies work with event planners daily providing them with group transportation, and there are many options to work with, but definitely something to keep in mind while making this choice.

Hermes Worldwide Transportation, Denver Colorado

Catering 

Many venues have onsite catering, which is a very convenient feature, however, I’ve worked with a number of venues that don’t provide it as well. Regardless of whether or not you are using onsite or off, generally whoever is providing the catering will be the one providing the service staff as well. Generally venues have preferred vendors that they will be happy to put you in touch with if you are not familiar with any caterers.

Inside or Outside?

If you are in charge of planning a social event, outdoor spaces weather permitting, can create amazing events. Some things to remember when making this choice. 

  • Guest Attire – Women in heels walking around in grass will make for some crabby women
  • Regional Weather – If you have some sketchy weather that changes at the drop of a hat, have a back up plan inside should you need it.
  • Vendor Access – Bear in mind what vendor you will be using and how they will get what they need to your event
  • Wireless Internet/Electricity – Make sure your event venue can accommodate these needs.
  • Handicapped Guests – Think about any guests you may have and mobility issues concerning stairs, remote locations or wheelchairs on uneven surfaces.

These are just a few of the many considerations you will be making while planning your event. Employing a little out of the box thinking will go a long way in making sure that you are thinking like an event planner and all of your bases are covered with the right event venue.

Early bird registration for GBTA Convention 2014 ends on February 14

It probably seems like last year's convention in San Diego just ended, but it's again time to make plans for the Global Business Travel Association's (GBTA) conference  this year held in Los Angeles. The event runs from July 26 through 30, and registration is currently open.

The organization is offering an early bird pricing scheme for anyone who registers on or before February 14. Anyone who takes advantage of this great deal will save between $500 and $750 on fees. 

Other promotions currently offered by the GBTA for this year's convention include: 

  • Bring your boss – Active GBTA members can register one of their supervisors at the discounted member rate. 
  • Fast Pass – These are are available for each day of the general session and allow attendees to enter the general session prior to doors opening to the public. 
  • Professional association discounts – Active members of Meeting Planners International (MPI) and the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) can attend the convention at the GBTA member rate. 
  • Team discount – Buyers who attend the conference in a group of three or more can receive a $100 discount on each registration. 
  • VIP registration – Attendees who choose to purchase this benefit will have access to exclusive registration lines for check in and preferred seating areas during general sessions and special events. 

In addition to the above, the GBTA offers a limited number of scholarships to buyer members who are actively involved in the business travel industry. 

Are you planning on attending this year's convention? Contact Hermes Worldwide today to learn about how we can provide your business with coaches in Los Angeles.