The main purpose of business travel insurance, just like private travel insurance, is to cover emergency medical care and return transport home as well as necessary assistance provided by the insurer, like medical evacuation in an emergency. In this context, it must again be explicitly pointed out that a political evacuation from an area of conflict is not included.
Dedicated cover for “passive war risk” and additional modules
Some business travel insurers also provide for coverage of the “passive war risk” in their insurance wordings. However, this coverage is not common practice. “Passive war risk” means that a (business) traveler is unintentionally, suddenly and unforeseen confronted with military action and its consequences. As long as the traveler does not actively take part in a war (or in riots, etc.), he is also covered in the event of this “passive war risk”. In order to “mitigate damage” (often a separate provision in the conditions), he must endeavor to leave the region of conflict as fast as possible, if he is able to do so.
If the insurance tariffs include an additional module to cover interruption and/or rebooking of a journey in combination with an assistance module, this assistance can provide appropriate support, even if there is no medical emergency. When there is also a travel cancellation insurance module, the travel costs will be reimbursed, at least partially and up to a certain limit. The “passive war risk” may or may not be included for such additional modules, depending on the insurer.
Repatriation and medical care on site
Even if the “passive war risk” is covered: the crucial question is whether insurance claims can be made locally in an area touched by war and which service can be provided by the insurer. What are the actual conditions on site? A repatriation in a very serious medical emergency by an ambulance jet is in fact made impossible by the situation of war. This is the hard practice and reality. For instance, the Ukrainian airspace is currently closed to civil air traffic. This means that patient transport by plane is currently not allowed in this area.
Appropriate emergency medical care in a regular hospital is also in question, and local transport there may not be possible. Insurance service based on local support can therefore no longer be guaranteed in war zones.
The “passive war risk” is also an issue in pure accident insurance (payments for the consequences of an accident – permanent disability and accident costs): some insurers include this special clause, some not.
How can a service be offered for political evacuations from regions of conflict?
There are special service companies which, in addition to other advisory service, can also carry out political evacuations. Here, our partner works together with a cooperation partner. Depending on the business travel insurer, our cooperation partner can also take over assistance services.
Unfortunately, there are more and more areas of conflict worldwide. Since employers are generally fully liable for the well-being of their employees on business trips, in addition to business travel insurance to cover emergency medical evacuation measures, there will have to be considered political evacuation measures as well. As the events in Ukraine show, one cannot rely on the expectation that there will always be enough time to leave an area of conflict.
Source: Guido Teutsch; Business travel insurance in the event of war – “passive war risk” and evacuations (March 9th, 2022), URL: https://www.greco.services/en/news/ukraine-business-travel-insurance.html (March 9th, 2022)