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How to mitigate risk when sending employees abroad

For employers, finding the best talent is often the difference between success and failure when it comes to doing business. Put the right people in the right role and then playing to their strengths can oftentimes lead to great things simply because your employee has been set up to flourish. Of course, finding the perfect person for the job can be a daunting task, and even if you find them, it can still be tricky to get them to join your team. After all, the best candidates are in high demand, and other companies will be in the running to secure their services. This is why offering competitive pay combined with exceptional benefits to mitigate risk is so important in competitive industries.

Now, the definition of exceptional benefits can vary quite a bit depending on the nature of a job, but it can be widely agreed that positions that require a lot of travel are the ones that will also require the most benefits, as constantly jet setting around the world on business can be taxing on both mind and body, leading to health issues and burnout if not managed. As well, every country in the world has its own unique risks and dangers that must be accounted for in order to keep employees safe. Here, we discuss some of the best ways to protect your workers when they are travelling on behalf of your company.

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Planning and risk assessment

A recent article in the International Travel & Health Insurance Journal highlighted an insurer’s thoughts on how employers should mitigate risk by preparing for emergency situations that their employees could potentially find themselves in. Of course, the best place to start is with looking ahead, information gathering and planning. This means ensuring that employer and employee alike have done their due diligence to research the situation on the ground for any territory that the employee may travel to, including the political and social situations and the risk of terrorism in a given area. After all, some of the quickest ways to get into hot water in a foreign land is to walk into a heated political situation, or to unknowingly offend a local due to a cultural misunderstanding.

Beyond this other points for planning raised were:

  • Security briefings should be formally administered for relevant personnel.
  • A review of emergency protocols should be performed so that an employee mitigate risk by knowing what steps to take should an emergency arise.
  • Contingency planning in the event that a natural disaster occurs.
  • Companies should generally create a culture of open communication to encourage a discourse between employer and employees.
  • Classes focused on cultural learning for new countries.
  • The creation of ‘touch points’, which are times and methods of contact that need to be observed in order to mitigate risk and establish the safety of traveling employees. If a touch point is missed, it should raise red flags that something may be wrong.
  • After a trip is completed, a debriefing should be conducted to make sure that all other systems functioned adequately, and to identify any areas for improvement.


Products for international businesspeople

Having the above company policies in place will go a long way to mitigate risk and prevent serious problems when an employee is traveling abroad, but even so times will get tough at some points no matter what you have done to prepare. In these situations it is helpful to have insurance policies in place to help wherever possible. Here are some of the insurance products available that companies and their traveling employees can avail themselves of.

International health insurance

International health insurance is a great choice not only for people who travel for business, but also simply for people who travel often, even if it’s just for pleasure. The reason for this is because international medical insurance plans provide benefits for healthcare in virtually any country and any hospital worldwide (with a few exceptions). This means that a person can travel year round with the peace of mind that they will have medical costs covered, whether they are brought about by an emergency, or are the result of a scheduled out-patient procedure. Compared to normal travel insurance plans, which only cover emergency medical care, international health insurance plans provide much more coverage.

What about your local insurance? Well, it is unlikely that any local insurance plan that doesn’t specifically advertise itself as international health insurance will provide coverage outside of your home country. This often catches people who are not familiar with the details of their insurance plan off guard, as they will quickly find out that medical treatment that they received abroad is simply not covered due to their insurance policy’s geographic limitations. International health insurance plans, on the other hand, provide coverage both at home and abroad.

Emergency evacuation and repatriation

Whether it comes to an accident, illness or other disaster, being able to get to where you will be safe can be of the utmost importance. In the event that you need medical treatment abroad, but local medical facilities are ill equipped to address your particular medical needs, emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance will do what it takes to get you to a place that can properly take care of you. This might include a helicopter ride to another country if necessary, or even a flight for you and a caretaker back to your home country.

Accidental death & dismemberment and personal accident insurance

For those that work in particularly hazardous environments, such as in a position that requires working with heavy machinery, accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) insurance can be beneficial should an accident lead to a lost limb or death. Depending on how severe your injury is, you may be entitled to a large lump sum payment beyond whatever your health or life insurance covers to aid with medical costs, prosthesis, equipment for the home, or just about anything else you might want to spend it on. In the event such an accident causes the insured to pass away, this payment can then go toward taking care of their family.

For other serious accidents that do not lead to dismemberment or death, personal accident insurance also pays out benefits. In the event that an accident leads to the insured becoming permanently disabled, requiring a lengthy hospital stay, suffering damaged or destroyed personal effects, becoming a victim of theft, or suffing a number of other potential accidents, this type of plan can pay out a number of different benefits accordingly.

Go with Pacific Prime to mitigate risk

If you want to mitigate risk and give your company the best chance at obtaining top level talent for your workforce, contact the knowledgeable experts at Pacific Prime Hong Kong today. Not only can they help you to obtain comprehensive international group health insurance for all of your staff, they can include any additional kind of insurance coverage you need, including all of those mentioned above.

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