University of Oxford Travel Insurance

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University of Oxford Travel Insurance


Due to the ever increasing demands on the University travel insurance policy due to the type of travel undertaken and the increasing number of claims made, it has been necessary to alter certain non-essential benefits in order to continue to provide the necessary and comprehensive emergency assistance package. These changes are summarised below:

  • Personal Money: the limit for personal money has been reduced from £10,000 to £3,000.  It is recommended that travellers only carry small amounts of cash when they travel from both a security and safety perspective.
  • Please note arrangements for cover for University cash can be made with the Insurance Office, where it is viewed as absolutely necessary for cash to be carried, and subject to the necessary risk assessment process.
  • Personal Belongings: the limit for personal belongings has been reduced from £10,000 to £5,000. Travellers should consider carefully the need to carry valuable items when travelling. If high value personal items must be taken then travellers should consider a private insurance arrangement to cover such items.
  • Please note: University owned items are covered under the University’s contents insurance policy, subject to the usual terms and conditions of cover.
  • Delay Benefit: the delay benefit (currently Nil for the first 4 hours, followed by £50 for each subsequent hour up to a maximum of £250) has been removed from the policy.
  • Personal Accident: the personal accident maximum benefit has been increased from £50,000 to £100,000

The changes will take effect from 1 August 2016. For persons who have already arranged their insurance and/or departed before 1 August 2016, the previous limits will apply.

The University provides travel insurance for University employees, students and volunteers travelling within the UK or worldwide on University business.

  • Employee is any person under a contract of services or apprenticeship, work experience or secondment with the University and includes those employed on a temporary or casual contract. It does not include consultants engaged on consultancy contracts.
  • Volunteer is any person approved as a volunteer by the department and University, acting under the University’s direction and control, and not receiving payment for time either from the University or any other organisation.
  • Student includes all current student members of the University and includes visiting students under the supervision, direction and control of the University.

For cover to be operative the traveller must be acting on University business

Cover is not automatic. To arrange insurance please refer to the relevant How to Arrange Insurance pages in the left hand menu.

In order for cover to apply travellers must comply with the Safety Office guidelines on Overseas Travel and Safety in Fieldwork.

Country information is available to travellers from the Assistance Provider website: The password for the website is the last four digits of the emergency contact telephone number: +44 (O)20 7173 7797

Important points regarding cover can be found below and within the Confirmation and Summary of Cover.

Further information regarding cover is also available from the FAQs here, or in the left hand menu bar.

Update March 2017 – Flight Ban on Laptops/Electronic Device

The US and UK have announced new carry-on restrictions banning laptops on certain passenger flights.

The UK Ban applies to direct inbound flights from six countries

  • Turkey
  • Lebanon
  • Jordan
  • Egypt
  • Tunisia
  • Saudi Arabia

The US Ban applied to direct inbound flights from 10 Airports

  • Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan
  • Cairo International Airport, Egypt
  • Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Kind Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait International Airport
  • Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco
  • Hamad International, Doha, Qatar
  • Dubai International, UAE
  • Abu Dhabi International, UAE

It is noted that the Dubai International Airport is the world’s busiest International Airport with many connecting flights and this is included in the US Ban.

For US bound passengers, the advices are not clear and the size of an electrical device could cause problems with interpretation, especially when it comes to larger phones or so-called phablets, such as the iPhone 7 Plus.

The UK has offered clearer parameters:  nothing bigger than 16 cm (6.3inches) long, 9.3cm (3.6inches) wide or 1.5cm (0.6nches) deep will be allowed into the cabin.

This will mean, if you are flying from a Country and have a connecting flight in any of the above listed countries/airports, you will need to adhere to these rules as generally you do not have access to your hold luggage in between flights.

Source:  BBC News articles, 21/03/17


How will this effect cover under my Travel Insurance?

Providing you are adhering to these new rules and have taken reasonable care when packing your electrical items that need to go on the hold luggage cover will be in place as per usual. If there is any uncertainty the Insured should contact their airline for further advice.

Please take note that a laptop only in a soft bag/case being put in the hold will not give it much protection from being moved about by the baggage handlers.  Therefore ensuring your laptop is packed in your case, preferably a hard shell case, wrapped/packed in your clothing to give it some form of protection and would be taking reasonable precautions.

Should an Insured Person suffer a loss from Damage or lost belongings, they should contact the airline in the first instance to follow their procedures and if no coverage is provided by the airline, then you should submit a claim following the usual claims process.

 Areas and activities that require referral to the Insurance Team prior to travel

  • Travellers visiting Areas Requiring Referral,

              due to the level of risk:

  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Somalia
  • Guinea
  • Any other territory where there are current cases of Ebola, the World Health Organisation can be used as a source of information with regards to the Ebola Pandemic.

Please note that an additional premium will be payable for travel to the above countries.  Referrals can take up to six weeks, please therefore allow substantial lead-in time to process this cover.

due to trade restrictions:

The University’s insurance broker has a global trade sanctions policy which must be followed. Under the terms of this policy, activities which have a connection to certain countries or regions automatically have to be referred to their legal/compliance teams. Similar processes are in place for Insurers, who must also follow their own internal procedures.

  • Crimea (Ukraine)
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Sudan and South Sudan
  • North Korea
  • Myanmar

Please note that referrals can take up to six weeks, please therefore allow substantial lead-in time to process this cover.

Activities requiring referral

    • Aviation Risks/Piloting/Aircrew
    • Off Shore Activities, Trawler men/women, Fish Farming, Merchant Shipping and Ships Crews
    • Mining Risks
    • Police/Fire/Ambulance services
    • Foresters/Sawmills/Tree Surgeons
    • Abattoirs and Slaughter Houses
  •  Travellers over the age of 75 (cover restrictions may apply)
  •  Travellers participating in dangerous/winter sports

In all cases, please contact the Insurance team.


Key Exclusions

The following is a list of some of the key exclusions on the policy

  • The first £50 of any claim (this is the policy excess)
  • Personal travel
  • Theft from an unattended vehicle
  • Insurance for hired motor vehicles whilst abroad; cover should be arranged with the hire company taking the highest indemnity limit offered to ensure you are fully covered.
  • Costs involved in an airline/carrier going into liquidation
  • Family members

Please note: The traveller must take all reasonable steps to avoid or minimise any loss or damage and to recover any property which has been lost or stolen

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

The University’s travel policy includes cover for emergency medical expenses resulting from a pre-existing medical condition, however, cover will not operate in respect of journeys taken against the advice of a Qualified Medical Practitioner or where any existing medical condition is not under control and it is foreseeable that medical assistance may be needed on a journey

It is strongly recommended that if you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition you visit your GP prior to travelling in order to check that you are fit to travel and undertake the duties intended. This will ensure that in the event of a claim, evidence is available to confirm you were not travelling against medical advice and that any existing medical conditions were considered under control at the start of your Journey.


EHIC Cards

Travellers should obtain an EHIC Card (this is free to all applicants who are eligible.) where appropriate. This card provides reciprocal medical treatment within the EU countries. To apply go to the NHS Website for further information. Please note having an EHIC Card will not provide a full range of medical cover or repatriation costs due to a medical condition and it is therefore always recommended that full Travel Insurance is also taken in addition to maintain complete cover.


EHIC Cards for Students on Long Term Placements/Secondments

Students who undertake Secondments/Long Term Attachments or Internships organised by their university department may be eligible to apply for an EHIC.  A separate procedure applies for students who undertake Long Term Placements – please see the undernoted link for further information and application process.

 EHIC Cards: Procedure for refusal of acceptance

There has been some mention in the media of hospitals/clinics’ refusal to accept the EHIC Card in some participating EEC countries.

If an EHIC Card is refused as payment by a hospital – do not offer your credit/debit card as payment, but immediately contact the emergency provider, who will be able to provide the promise of payment or direct you to a hospital/clinic who will accept such proof of reciprocal arrangement.

Personal Medical Information

Travellers are advised that, in the event of a claim for medical expenses, you will be required to provide personal medical information (by way of the claim form) to the University Insurance Team. This is required by the Insurer in order to settle the claim. In the event that the traveller wishes to keep this information confidential from the University Insurance Team, arrangements can be made for the information to be sent direct to the Insurer.


Insurance Cover for Cash

Carrying large amounts of cash outside the UK is discouraged. Some cash, in the region of £50, is acceptable to cover immediate expenses but the emphasis is on carrying either a University credit card or the traveller’s own card (for later recompense).

The University does NOT provide insurance cover for University cash taken outside the UK. If, under exceptional circumstances, there are no safer alternatives, the Insurance Office may be able to make special arrangements for cover. This will be limited to £2,500 and a charge will be made to the department for this. Claims settlement is subject to a £250 excess. Cover will only be considered on the production of a detailed and approved risk assessment.


Travelling for more than 12 months

Please note that special terms apply to travellers who are abroad for longer than a year. Please contact the University Insurance Team for details.

Other Information

If you are planning a trip or fieldwork, or you are a supervisor or expedition leader, the University Safety Office offers several training courses presented by qualified instructors:

The courses emphasize the practical application of the risk assessment and the planning process.

The University Occupational Health Service can advise on the health risks associated with travel to your field site/country.

The University Travel Requests page provides a quick way of getting travel and accommodation quotes from the University’s travel agents.