Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible to take out University travel insurance?

If you are an employee or student of the University of Oxford, or an official volunteer of the University who is not paid by any other institution, and you are travelling on University of Oxford business you may take out the University travel insurance.

I am engaged by the University as a consultant, can I use the University travel insurance?

No the University travel insurance is not available to consultants

What is the maximum age for cover under the policy?

The age limit is 75 years of age. If you are over this age you will need to contact the Insurance team who will advise whether cover can be made available

Is insurance cover automatic?

No – all travel insurance must be applied for within your department and you must adhere to Safety Office and Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)  requirements with regard to the completion of risk assessment (where required). Once approval for the trip is given you may then apply for the insurance by completing the .

Is cover world-wide?

Yes – providing all Safety Office requirements in respect of risk assessments are completed where necessary and appropriate authorisation for travel has been given.

In addition, for safety reasons travel to some countries requires referral to the Insurance team prior to travel.

Due to Trade Sanctions travel to certain countries requires a separate Sanction Questionnaire to be completed and submitted to the University’s broker for cover to be provided – please see the Insurance pages for details of the countries concerned and contact the Insurance team for a questionnaire.

Can I be covered to travel to an FCO flagged area?

Yes, if travel is deemed essential and it is deemed safe for you to travel by your head of department. University insurance will only cover you for this if the Safety Office has advised on the suitability of your risk assessment and your travel has been approved by your Head of Department. 

What if the FCO advice changes whilst I am in the country?

IF FCO advice changes whilst you are in country and advises against all or all but essential travel, you should make contact with your supervisor immediately. You need to review your situation and your risk assessment. You will still be covered while this process takes place. If the situation deteriorates to the extent that you need to leave the country prematurely you must contact the Emergency Assistance Provider

Do I have to take my EHIC card if I am travelling in Europe?

Yes, if you require medical attention which would be free with your EHIC card, the EHIC card should be used.

If I wish to take a family member with me when I travel will they be covered?

No, the University insurance does not extend to cover family members

Can I be covered for travel within the UK?

Yes - UK Travel is covered providing the usual procedures for arranging cover are followed. Please bear in mind that medical cover will not be covered but all other sections of the policy are provided.

Is it necessary to arrange travel insurance for trips within the UK?

Cover is not mandatory, and the decision to take cover out for UK trips depends on whether cover is needed. For example if personal belongings are being taken or if there is a risk of cancellation which will incur costs (such as internal flights). 

What is the maximum travel period?

The travel period is unlimited – but the policy conditions do change and the policy excess is increased to £100 where travel is more than 365 days at any one time.

Can I visit more than one country?

Yes – you must note each country you will be visiting and the specific dates of travel on your travel insurance application form for cover to be in place.

Are my personal possessions covered?

Yes your personal possessions are covered, however please note the following policy condition: “The Policyholder shall take all reasonable steps to avoid or minimise any loss or damage and to recover any property which has been lost or stolen.”

Items valued over £500 must be identified on the Travel Insurance Application Form. Please see our Summary of Cover for limits that apply.  We strongly advise you do not take valuables or items of sentimental value unless you are not worried about them being lost or stolenPlease also think of the threat of personal safety where items of value are worn.

What is the policy excess?

The Policy excess is £50 unless travelling for more than one year, where the excess increases to £100.

Is my departmental property covered?

Your departmental property (laptops/mobile phones/tablets etc.) is covered under the University’s Contents Insurance for world-wide All Risks.  However please note that a £2000 policy excess applies.  Certain other policy exclusions may apply in the case of a claim.
Departmental property must NOT be noted on the Travel Insurance Application Form under the personal items.  Please ensure that all departmental laptops are encrypted before travel.

Am I covered under the policy for holidays?

No – the University’s travel insurance is a bespoke Business Only policy for the University of Oxford and does not provide cover for an individual traveller’s holiday.  You should therefore ensure that if you intend to take holidays within your University travel that you have the appropriate private holiday insurance in place.

This also applies for long-term travel (over one year).

Cover is provided for incidental personal time only, e.g. evenings and weekends during working weeks away, cover is not provided for travel outside of the working area if flights are involved.

I am travelling to a conference and plan to take personal time before and/or after the conference, what will be covered?

If the personal time is incidental, e.g. 2 days after a week’s conference the whole trip will be covered by the University travel insurance.

If the personal time is longer, personal travel insurance will have to be arranged by the traveller. If the University is paying for the flights, the University travel insurance can cover these flights to and from the conference location, but this will be limited to flight cancellation costs only. 

Will I be covered under the policy if I travel while I am pregnant?

Yes – although we recommend that you check with your GP/midwife before you travel for any advice.  It is also advisable to check with your airline/carrier to ensure that they will provide flights – some airlines have different requirements.

Will I be covered under the policy if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

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 or Occupational Health 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.

Are volunteers covered for travel under this policy?

Yes, providing you are an official volunteer of the University approved by the department, under the University’s direction and control, and are not receiving payment for your time either from the University or any other organisation. You must be travelling on University business and observe the Safety Office requirements.

I am taking a sabbatical, can I apply for the University travel insurance?

If you are acting solely on University business during the whole of your sabbatical and not for example being employed or working for another institution for any time (for payment) and are under the University’s direction and control; effectively travelling with the sole purpose of carrying out research on behalf of the University, then you may be covered by the University’s travel insurance. As with the policy generally this would not cover personal time other than a small amount of incidental time. If you are involved in non-University business or are taking personal time you would need to arrange private travel insurance.

Can University of Oxford employees based outside the UK use the travel insurance?

Yes, cover can be provided if you are travelling from outside of the UK.

My work for the University requires me to travel to my home country – can I be covered for this?

Yes, providing the predominant reason for your travel is to carry out University business and the University requires you to travel to this country in order to carry out that business and providing you are returning to the UK after the work is complete.

Cover will not be provided for personal time and the following restrictions will apply:

  • Emergency medical expenses will only be covered if you are not entitled to free medical care within your home country
  • Personal items will only be covered if you are travelling outside of your home residence overnight for work purposes and they are not covered under your household insurance cover

Emergency repatriation will not apply

I am travelling home for personal reasons and wish to carry out research/fieldwork whilst I am there; can the University insurance policy cover me for this?

The University policy would only apply during the times you are carrying out work for the University and the following restrictions will apply:

  • Emergency medical expenses will only be covered if you are not entitled to free medical care within your home country
  • Personal Items will only be covered if you are travelling outside of your home overnight for work purposes and they are not covered under your household insurance cover
  • Emergency repatriation will not apply
  • Cancellation cover will not apply

Permission to carry out the work must be obtained and insurance cover arranged in the usual way.

I am taking part in an official internship arranged through my department as part of my course, can I be covered?

Yes the University travel insurance can be used.

I am taking part in a privately arranged internship that is not organised through my department, and is not required for my course, can I be covered?

No, private travel insurance should be arranged

I will be travelling to take up research as part of my “Year Abroad” Studies but before I depart I wish to return to my home country to visit family.  Will I be covered for my outbound flight to the country of research?

Yes you may depart from another country (other than the UK) and this will be covered (providing it is on University business.)  This would also apply to a return to your home country at the end of your “Year Abroad.”  However any holiday (such as a Christmas break) which you may wish to take back home will be deemed to be private holiday and as such this will not be covered by the University Travel Insurance – you should therefore arrange your own private travel insurance for such trips and any other private holiday or leisure time.

Whilst on my research I may wish to take up skiing/diving or another “hazardous activity“ as a leisure activity will I be covered under the Travel Insurance?

These are activities that require referral, please contact the insurance team. 

I will be required to undertake diving activities during my research – will the University insurance cover me?

There are certain restrictions to our policy cover concerning diving activities and you should contact the Insurance team for advice.

I intend to hire/borrow a motor vehicle in the country of my research – can University insurance cover this?

No.The travel insurance does not provide any motor insurance cover. If you hire/borrow or buy a vehicle abroad then you must ensure that you arrange local fully comprehensive motor insurance and also ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy. When arranging the insurance you should check the exclusions in the cover you buy.

The above also applies to motor cycles and we would strongly advise the use of a safety helmet when either driving a motorcycle or riding as a passenger.

If I have to return home early due to a death in the family or illness would this be covered?

Referral will be required to the insurer.  Where a death/illness in the family occurs the insurer will require sight of certain documentation and referral to the Insurance team is advised.

If I am taken ill during my trip what is the procedure?

If you are taken ill we advise you to contact the emergency provider (details on the Insurance website) they will be able to advise you of the nearest medical centre for the treatment required or advise you on medicationIn addition they may also be able to settle medical bills directly. On your return to the UK you will be required to complete a claim form and return it to the Insurance Team together with any receipts you may have in respect of costs paid.  The Insurance Team will liaise with the insurer to settle the claim.

What happens if I am so ill I need to be repatriated?

If repatriation on medical grounds is required – you MUST contact the emergency provider for their approval. Failure to do so will result in your costs not being paid.  Repatriation is back to the UK – however repatriation can be made to the traveller’s home country if requested. It must be noted that once the traveller returns to their home country all medical treatment and costs will cease and any further costs for return to the UK will not be covered.

I have had my baggage/laptop stolen – how do I claim?

  • To make a claim you must obtain a Police Report.
  • Advise your department.
  • Complete a  and send to the Insurance Team together with the Police Report and any original receipts for any item valued at £500 or over.  You will be required to replace all lost/stolen items and these must be the exact same model as that stolen – or if this is no longer available then the nearest equivalent.  You will be required to provide receipts for the purchase of the replacement goods and documents will be submitted to the insurer for consideration and settlement nett of the policy excess.

Please Note: Claim forms (only) must be submitted to the Insurance team within 28 days of return to the UK.

Please note the following Policy Condition applies:

“The Policyholder shall take all reasonable steps to avoid or minimise any loss or damage and to recover any property which has been lost or stolen.”

Can I start buying replacement items, lost or stolen, without consulting the Insurance Team?

We would strongly advise contact with the Insurance team prior to purchasing replacement items, and following the claims procedure. If you do not do this, we cannot guarantee the claim will be met.

If I lose/ have stolen my designer watch/ fountain pen will insurance replace it?

It is usually expected that valuable items such as engagement rings/watches etc., are insured under the Traveller’s own home contents insurance policy, or other personal policy.  The advice is to not take anything with you of significant value (financial or sentimental) or that you are not prepared to lose. If your personal policy will not cover the claim, upon receipt of evidence of this, the claim will be given consideration subject to terms and conditions of the policy.

I have to apply for a visa for my travel.  If it is not issued in time for my travel will I be able to claim?

When applying for a visa, it is always recommended that a Summary of the insurance cover is attached to your application.

If your visa does not arrive due to your late application you will not be able to claim for any loss.

I am on long-term fieldwork, but may return to Oxford for certain periods of time and then return to the same field work location, do I submit this as one trip or separate trips?

These should be declared as separate trips.

I am an Emeritus Professor, can I take University insurance?

Yes, if you are acting on University business and fall within the category description for volunteer. i.e. providing you are an official volunteer of the University approved by the department, under the University’s direction and control, and are not receiving payment for your time either from the University or any other organisation. You must be travelling on University business and observe the Safety Office requirements.

I am a Visiting Academic to the University – Can I use the University’s Travel Insurance for cover to travel to a conference?

Providing you are travelling to the conference on University of Oxford and not your own employing institution’s business then you are eligible for the University’s travel insurance.

I am employed on a casual contract, can I take out the university travel insurance?

Yes if you are on a casual employment contract and travelling on University business you may apply for the University travel insurance.

Is an electronic signature acceptable on the insurance application?

In exceptional circumstances electronic evidence that the application has been seen and approved will be accepted, e.g. via e-mail correspondence, rather than a signature

What is the procedure for insurance to be extended/ dates of travel changed?

Once the necessary approval has been given, the department administrator should provide the Insurance team with the change of details in order for the insurance to be altered.

Can travellers use Airbnb?

The University does not prohibit the use of Airbnb; the risks related to the accommodation should be assessed in the usual way.