System Office of Risk Services

Study Abroad/Choosing Travel Insurance

General Coverage Information

Study Abroad / Choosing Travel Insurance

DISCLAIMER:University of Alaska provides this information as a matter of convenience only, and makes no recommendation regarding these resources. Travelers are encouraged to make their own decisions about their trip insurance needs.

What’s trip insurance?

Travel insurance, or trip insurance, really is for emergencies that you might encounter on a trip. Trip insurance is intended to step in and provide you with combinations of money and services you need to help you with that emergency. You decide which emergencies you want to cover, and at what limits. Typical types of emergencies may include: medical (providing help finding doctors, providing translation, funds for medical care, flights home); political unrest (information about the situation; hotel costs, extraction, flight home); natural disasters (information about the situation; hotel costs, extraction, flight home).

Who can use this information?

Students, faculty and staff might be interested in trip insurance in situations that include but are not limited to the following:

No Insurance If you have no travel insurance, you should consider purchasing coverage. Premiums vary, but you can choose a premium you can afford for some level of protection while you travel.
Limited Insurance You may have insurance from your tour or program, but when you review the coverage, find that coverage or limits are not adequate for you. The coverage may exclude something, including but not limited to mental health, repatriation, evacuation, pre-existing conditions, high-risk activities – which may be important to you and your trip. You may need to seek coverage from another insurer.
Before/After Tour Tour insurance does not typically extend if you are traveling on your own before and after a tour. Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover these periods.
Personal Medical Benefits While you have personal medical benefits in the United States, your health card will not be acceptable at overseas hospitals. Will you be able to pay for medical services overseas, and then be reimbursed when you return home?
Workers Compensation/Travelers Services While the University of Alaska provides Workers Compensation for injuries that arise from your employment overseas, medical bills must be paid to the overseas hospital and then reimbursed after your return. The University of Alaska arranges with an insurance company for travelers services to help, but you must arrange in advance to make sure you have the contact information and that limits and services are adequate for your activities.
Employee Personal Travel Employee personal travel is not covered. Employees who are extending work duties with personal travel should consider a travel policy to cover the personal travel.

What is covered by a purchased trip insurance policy?

Travel insurance may be very limited, or it can cover many different types of services and incidents. Trips can cover both academic and leisure travel, although be sure to check for any exclusions. Some companies may exclude leisure travel. If you are planning a combined trip, be sure to either add coverage for both, or buy both kinds of policies. Travel insurance is not just for medical coverage. Coverage can and should include getting you back home no matter what emergency occurs: medical, political, natural disasters. Below is a SAMPLE table of benefits. Yours will vary, based on your own need. In your own policy, check coverages, limits and terms carefully.


Sample Benefits -- Yours Will Vary

Benefit Explanation Limit

Limits shown are EXAMPLES

NOT recommendations

Choose your own
Medical Benefits Coverage for medical expenses you incur on your trip. Make sure you are NOT REQUIRED to indemnify the company.

$ 100,000

$ 250,000

$ 500,000

Limit should be adequate to cover any disease encountered on this trip
Deductible Make sure you are comfortable with the deductible level, if any Some do not charge a deductible
Emergency Evacuation See where they evac you – nearest facility? Or back to your home country? To your home? 100% of medical benefits is preferred
Emergency Reunion Coverage for others to unite with you during serious illness and assist in illness & evac

Usually a sublimit

$ 3,000 - $ 10,000
Repatriation of Remains Return of body to home country in case of death

Usually a sublimit

$ 5,000 - $ 25,000
Political or Security Evacuation Evacuation due to political unrest occurring in countries being visited $ 25,000 to $ 250,000
Natural Disaster Evacuation due to natural disasters such as tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption $ 25,000 to $ 250,000
Trip Interruption Assistance with arrangements $ 1,000 – $ 3,000
Trip Cancellation Assistance with arrangements $ 1,000 – trip cost
Return of minor child / travel companion Assistance to minor child or travel companion if you are unable to accompany them due to death or illness $ 5,000
Home Country Medical coverage in your home country for illness that began overseas $ 10,000
Accidental Death & Dismemberment Sudden death; loss of sight or limbs $ 25,000 to $ 250,000
Lost luggage A variety of services available 24 hours a day, including but not limited to interpreters and referrals to doctors N/A
Optional coverages You may be able to purchase coverage for upgrades in coverage or “buy back” exclusions below Various

Check carefully ! Policies vary

Does your policy cover:

Leisure travel

Pre-existing conditions


Mental illness


Hazardous activities

Your needs

Check carefully!

Duration of coverage

Typically the policies start when you depart your home country and end when you arrive back at your home country on specified dates. Check the policy carefully, and check the dates carefully when enrolling.

Cost of coverage

The cost, or premium, may be quoted to you as a daily, monthly, per trip, or annual cost. Cost / premium will vary with how many types of coverages you choose, and at how high a limit. Make the choice based on how long you will be traveling, and what is the best value (not necessarily the cheapest) for you. What is the best mix of coverage, limits and services for you? Compare packages to get the best value for yourself and what you need.

Students receive substantial discounts for “study abroad” insurance, but must provide proof that they are enrolled students as a condition of coverage.

Access to coverage and service

As part of enrollment in travel insurance, insureds receive access to a 24 hour toll free number that can be called to access services when traveling, in order to report a claim or access help. Carry a copy of your policy with you. If you have more than one policy, understand which is primary, and which is secondary. Be sure to carry both.

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