Safety Tips for Business Travelers

If you travel for work, you know that the experience can be exciting, hectic and sometimes dangerous. With schedules jam-packed with meetings and barely enough time to eat, business travelers tend to prioritize fulfilling their work obligations over ensuring their safety. But neglecting your basic safety—especially while traveling for work in an unfamiliar city—can be perilous. Next time you are traveling for work, follow these simple tips to ensure your trip is both successful and safe:

  • Only use licensed taxis. Using an unlicensed taxi can force you to pay an exorbitant rate and can threaten your safety. Only hail taxis from legitimate taxi companies.
  • Guard your cellphone and keep it charged. In an unfamiliar city, your smartphone is your most important tool. Keep it charged and operational to ensure you can access the Internet and place calls in case of emergency.
  • Follow basic safety precautions at your hotel. This includes requesting an upper-floor room with an interior entryway to deter anyone from breaking into your room. Also try to keep your room number and last name a secret to prevent someone from making fraudulent charges or gaining unauthorized access to your room.
  • Be cautious when speaking with strangers. Refrain from being especially friendly and chatty with strangers—you may unknowingly disclose personal or sensitive information or become so comfortable that you do not realize your new “friend” just stole your wallet.
  • Be cautious when drinking alcohol. After a long day of traveling for work, your impulse may be to have a few drinks to relax—but do not let a few drinks turn into many. Limiting your alcohol intake can help you avoid any legal or personal mishaps and can ensure you are rested and ready for the next day’s meetings.
  • Only access legitimate Internet connections. Hackers can disguise phony connections as legitimate ones in public places and steal your sensitive data. Ask the facility’s employees to identify the official Wi-Fi connection for you.
  • Create a business travel plan. Plan ahead to avoid any potential emergencies or unexpected setbacks. Include information such as your hotel reservation number, your flight data and your co-workers’ contact details in your travel plan.

Insuring Your College Student

Sending a child off to college is a significant milestone that represents the culmination of years of planning and hard work. As you prepare for the start of the semester, you should consider how your insurance needs may change with your son or daughter away at school.

Protecting Your Student’s Belongings

It is crucial that you are aware of the rules and limitations of your coverage when it comes to your son or daughter’s dorm room. Many homeowners policies consider a dorm room as an extension of your home, so items your child keeps there may be covered to some extent. However, if your child has lots of expensive electronic equipment or furniture, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.

If your child lives off campus, his or her possessions may not be covered by your homeowners’ policy. In that case, you may want to consider renter’s insurance, which the National Association of Insurance Commissioners says ranges from $15 to $30 per month. Renter’s Insurance will cover possessions in the student’s off-campus apartment or house as well as provide liability coverage if anyone is injured in the residence.

Changing Auto Coverage

If your son or daughter moves more than 100 miles away from home to attend school and does not keep a vehicle there, your car insurance premiums could decrease by as much as 30 percent.

Keeping Your Child Healthy While On Campus

Many students can stay on their parents’ health plans during college, but usually they must be full-time students, taking 12 hours or more in a semester. However, these restrictions vary greatly by state, and coverage could become even more complicated if your child is attending an out-of-state school.

For example, if you have a managed care plan, you probably have geographical limits and should consider whether your child will be able to access an in-network health care provider nearby. Your student also may not be covered if injured while playing intercollegiate athletics, so be sure to check your policy and the school’s policy on coverage for athletes.

If you find your child does not have coverage under your plan for any reason, you have a few options. Most universities have their own health plans, but some policies have high deductibles and low coverage maximums. A few do not offer any coverage for any conditions present before entering the university, so purchase carefully. Otherwise, you may consider an individual policy for your student.