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Business travel cover tipped for long recovery phase

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Business travel insurance will lag behind the recovery trajectory of the wider travel insurance industry and will take years to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, GlobalData says.

While business travel accounts for a small proportion of the total travel insurance policies held by consumers, it still represents an important revenue stream for the sector, the analyst says.

GlobalData Senior Insurance Analyst Beatriz Benito says employees will likely return to their offices on staggered hours or a rotation basis, which will “contribute to a generalised feeling that it is still not entirely safe to carry on with life and business as usual, leaving many employees unwilling to travel for business purposes”.

As the coronavirus squeezes company budgets, the business travel insurance sector is also likely to take years to bounce back, she says.

If governments continue to recommend against all non-essential travel, scheduling business trips will be deemed a non-essential activity when technology can provide the means to run meetings remotely online, GlobalData says.

“Companies are still likely to continue keeping business travel to a minimum,” Ms Benito says.

While the recovery of the travel insurance industry will be largely dictated by the ability and willingness of holidaymakers to travel, the impact of COVID-19 will have longer-lasting effects on business travel, she says.