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Safeguarding Work Away


The person travelling is responsible for obtaining appropriate insurance before leaving Cambridge to work or study abroad.

Travel insurance should be comprehensive, appropriate to the activity being undertaken and last for the full duration of time spent overseas. 

The University has a Business Travel Insurance Policy to provide cover FREE to employees and postgraduate students whilst working/travelling abroad on University-approved business. Additional personal travel insurance may be required if you intend to engage in certain leisure activities, participate in sports, to extend your stay, take dependents or travel for personal reasons.  Please check the policy exclusions.   

Undergraduate students are responsible for arranging their own insurance when required, unless travelling as part of a University-arranged group field trip supervised by University staff.

The remaining information is only applicable to people who are eligible for University’s Travel Insurance.

Medical electives - Insurance information

Do not assume that you are covered by the University’s Travel Insurance automatically.  To be insured, you MUST register on-line prior to travel.

Please note the following exclusions and conditions:

  • Incidents occurring prior to you arranging insurance are not covered;
  • Work away must be for University business purposes and essential to your work or your degree.  Travel for non-University business purposes is not covered;
  • Activities or locations that have not been approved in advance by your department are not covered. Departmentally approved activities and locations must still be checked against the list of insurance exclusions as not all will be covered;
  • Return to the UK at any time will terminate the insurance and you must reapply (connecting flights at a UK airport do not qualify as "returning to the UK");
  • Accidental loss or damage to mobile phones, devices or laptops (theft of devices, phones or laptops is covered);
  • University insurance does not cover students writing up their thesis. This is irrespective of whether they are going home to write up or to another country.

The above exclusions have been previous causes for invalid claims where the traveller or the departments has become liable for costs.  Please see the Travel Insurance FAQ section for more details.

The University’s travel insurance policy is in the University’s name, therefore, if you apply for cover you will be a traveller under the University’s policy, and you will not have your own personal insurance policy. This means that if you would like to take out additional personal insurance e.g. to cover additional activities or holiday to a different country, you can do so without any difficulty.

Below are real examples of invalid claims; where costs had to be borne by the individual or the department - all of these trips were approved and paid for by University departments:

Department approved Invalid claim
40 day multiple-country trip where only 9 days were actual work and the trip included travel to some countries for personal reasons. Medical costs for injury whilst participating in a sporting leisure activity in a country visited for personal reasons.  No claim.
Employee to fly to visit family in another country after a conference before returning to the UK.

No claim.  Costs for change of travel arrangements from the conference to country for family visit.

Students to take part in a 'non-university' competitive sporting event whilst on a student business trip. Medical costs for sports injury.  No claim.

PG Student returns to home country after finishing field work, as the term ended and the student had no UK accommodation until the new academic year.

Became ill whilst in the field.  Rearranged flight to home country early to continue treatment - the policy provides pre-approved assistance to return to the UK only (NHS would provide the free health care). Costs to return to home country and ongoing treatment not covered.
Staff member had their own insurance which did not have the same level of cover as University insurance.  They asked the University to bear their additional costs. No claim possible against the University because the traveller had not taken out University insurance.


Insurance Section - Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance FAQs

Medical Elective