Global inflation has led to greater political anxiety, prompting companies to pay attention to the dangers, delays and disruptions that can hamper business travel and, in the worst case scenario, endanger workers, according to a travel risk expert.
In the current environment, interest in travel insurance and risk management is increasing like never before, especially after the global upheaval caused by the covid-19 pandemic, said Eeva Ruuska, director of intelligence in Mexico City, covering the Americas for Riskline, a provider of travel risk assessments and other services for companies.
“The cost-of-living crisis, shaped by record inflation, is escalating civil unrest and travel disruptions are constant,”; said Ruuska, who presented at Riskworld, the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc.’s annual conference in Atlanta.
In addition to political concerns, business travelers must contend with major outbreaks of disease, some caused by changing weather patterns and wetter conditions that can create greater risks of mosquito-borne diseases and pathogens that accompany flooding.
Other risks include organized crime in America, more military checkpoints, possible escalation of the war in Ukraine and rising worldwide tensions with China – all of which could lead to cybersecurity issues affecting travel. A recent example is a Russian-linked hacker that targeted air traffic control in Europe in April, causing travel delays and disruptions, Ruuska said.
Seamless international travel is unlikely, she said, and preparation is important, as travel insurance is no longer an option.
Planning ensures companies “can be ready to respond with an integrated approach,” she said, adding that better data helps create risk and insurance strategies.
“There is data and information available for risk modelling, and with this we can identify threats and potential impacts,” she said.