Insurance FAQs

Please read the UCL Insurance Coverage for study abroad students FAQs to find out what you're covered for and how to make a claim if you need to.

To make a claim

Emergency enquiries and claims: If you require urgent assistance for a claim relating to a medical emergency, you are advised to contact RSA's Medical Emergency Assistance

the insurers on their helpline +44 (0) 208 608 4100, which is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

Non-emergency enquiries and claims: For all non-emergency claims, a completed claim form is required, with supporting documentation attached. Claim forms are held by the UCL Insurance Team, who can also assist with further questions you may have regarding the claim. 

Claim forms can be obtained from the UCL Insurance Team:

UCL Insurance Team's Travel Advice webpage

Who is UCL's insurance provider? 

UCL’s Insurance is provided by Royal Sun Alliance (RSA). All students undertaking a period of study or work abroad through the UCL Study Abroad programme are eligible for travel and medical emergency insurance coverage for their placement abroad, free of charge. Students undertaking short-term study abroad opportunities that are facilitated by UCL will also be provided with insurance cover.

What impact does Covid-19 have on my insurance cover?

RSA's insurance coverage is aligned with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office's (FCDO) guidance on overseas travel. 

  • If Travel is booked to a UK FCDO country or territory where there is not a travel advisory (i.e. a “green” area) then cover will apply in full; please see the policy benefits in the FAQ below for this information. However, please note any travel disruption claims (such as cancellation and curtailment) are limited to a maximum of £50,000 during the policy year because of Covid-19. There is a separate £50,000 annual limit for non-Covid related claims. 
  • If travel is booked to a UK FCDO country/territory whereby the UK FCDO travel advisory is 'against all but essential travel' (i.e. an amber zone) or 'against all travel' (i.e. a red zone) then cover will operate with the exception of Cancellation/Curtailment, Political Evacuation and Crisis Management.
  • If a trip is booked at such a time when the FCDO advice is green, but prior to departure or during a trip, changes to amber or red – then claims can be made for the trip cancellation/curtailment as this would be a change in circumstances, out of the traveller's control and unforeseeable

An example of a Political Evacuation would be situations of political unrest and military action in a country. In addition, Crisis Management would involve evacuation of personnel out of this situation

Emergency Medical Expenses cover applies regardless of travel advisories and includes the costs of emergency treatment for Covid-19 whilst overseas

How and when do I generate my policy cover note?

Students preparing to study abroad in 2021/22 have received information in the 'UCL Students Abroad in 2021/22' on how to begin this process. Following submission of the 'Declaration of Risk' document, we will provide step by step guidance on how to generate the RSA policy cover note. 

We advise you to print a copy of your policy cover note, giving a copy to your next of kin and keeping the PDF version saved on your laptop or phone to present if required (some students may be required to provide a copy of their cover note as part of a visa application or enrolment at their host institution)

What additional steps am I required to take if I am travelling to Russia or Ukraine?

Certain countries are subject to Government/EU/UN sanctions and from our list of host countries, this includes Ukraine and Russia. Before you can generate your policy cover note for travel to one of these countries, RSA requires you to complete a Sanctions Questionnaire.

Students preparing to study abroad in one of these countries in 2021/22 can find information in the 'UCL Students Abroad in 2021/22' on this additional step. 

What period of time will I be covered for? 

The policy will cover you for the duration of your placement (ie, from the first to last day that you are required to attend your study or work placement) with some additional coverage included before and after your placement to allow for travel to and from your host country. You will be asked to provide details of your travel dates within the online portal. No individual trip can exceed 12 months.  

Is it possible to extend the duration of my cover?

Any extensions to existing policies are handled on a case-by-case basis by the Study Abroad Team. Extensions to existing policies will only be considered in the case that your placement end date is later than previously anticipated. It is not possible to extend the policy for personal travel or holidays taken following your placement and you should ensure that you have arranged suitable private coverage for this.  

What are the RSA policy benefits?

The policy provides the following benefits:

  • Medical Expenses including Emergency Repatriation Expenses - Unlimited. There is no medical expenses cover on the policy in an individual's home country or country of permanent residence
  • Baggage - £10,000 per person (claims over £3000 subject to 25% of excess amount). An excess of £50 is payable on each claim
  • Money - £3,000 per person (claims over £3000 subject to 25% of excess amount)
  • Electronic Business Equipment - £3,000
  • Other Business Equipment - £3,000
  • Cancellation & Curtailment Expenses outside UK- £10,000 (A £50 excess applies for travel that was not booked through Key Travel)
  • Cancellation & Curtailment Expenses within UK- £2,000 (A £50 excess applies for travel that was not booked through Key Travel)
  • Personal Liability - £5,000,000
  • Travel Delay – Maximum Benefit - £500
  • Loss of Deposits - £1,000
  • Hijack – Limit £500 per day
  • Legal Expenses - £50,000
  • Death, Loss of Limbs /Eyes, Permanent Total Disablement –3 x annual salary
  • Temporary Total Disablement - £60 per week (Payable for a maximum of 104 weeks) & £25 per week for Temporary Partial Disablement
  • Single Event Limit - £10,000,000 any one event.

Further information can be found on the UCL Travel Insurance webpages

Does the RSA policy cover me for routine, ongoing medical treatment?

The RSA policy provides cover for medical emergencies but does not cover for ongoing, routine treatment. Please see below for information on accessing non-emergency medical treatment and care:

Placements within Europe

  • If you are a UK/EU citizen undertaking a placement in Europe, you can continue to use your existing European Health Insurance Card to access medical treatment until its expiry date. If you apply for a new card now, you’ll get the new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) instead of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Current information on the EHIC and GHIC cards can be found on the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Offive website
  • If you are a citizen from outside of the UK/EU, you should refer to your home country's guidance on the bilateral healthcare agreement in place between your hoem and host country, which may enable you to access non-emergency primary healthcare for free or at a subsidised rate

Placements outside of Europe 

  • If you are a UK citizen, please refer to NHS guidance on healthcare when travelling outside of the EEA
  • If you are a citizen from outside of the UK, you should refer to your home country’s guidance on the bilateral healthcare agreement in place between your home and host country, which may give you access to non-emergency primary healthcare for free or at a subsidised rate

The International Office at your host institution should be able to provide you with useful information in this respect. If you are going to be working rather than studying then your employer may provide health cover for you, or you will be able to advise you how and where to access primary healthcare.


Am I covered for extreme sports and activities?

If you plan to participate in what might be considered an ‘extreme’ sport or activity whilst abroad, please discuss the extent of coverage that may be in place for this activity with our Insurance Team in good time prior to travel.

Please remember that you are primarily covered for UCL business (e.g. your time as a student or on a work placement) and that leisure activities are included only on an incidental basis.

Am I covered for travel outside of my host country?

You are only covered for activities undertaken in your host country (or both countries if you are a ‘split-year’ student undertaking 2 placements abroad). Any travel outside of your host country (for example, a holiday you decide to take in another country during vacation time) will not be covered by the RSA policy and it is very important that you obtain private coverage yourself in good time before your trip.

Personal liability coverage

The UCL policy covers you up to £5 million if you cause damage to anyone/anything. This is known as civil liability insurance in France (where it is often a requirement). However, although the personal liability element of the policy would normally cover damage to third party property, insurers have stated that they define rented accommodation as property of the student and not that of a third party, as it is under the students care, custody & control. Students should confirm with their landlord whether there is insurance as part of the rent paid for damage caused to the property.

Are there any exclusions if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

There is no requirement to declare pre-existing conditions when you generate your policy cover note through the online portal. You will be covered by the policy as long as you are not travelling abroad against the advice of your GP.

Can I make a claim without the original receipts for items which are lost, damaged or stolen?

All claims will be considered on a case-by-case basis by UCL's insurers and they will advise you of the documentation or evidence that they require from you. Generally, RSA accept documents from websites or suppliers which state the replacement value of the item. For lost/stolen passports and driving licences you should attach (to your claim) evidence of the cost of replacing each document.

Settling a claim

It can take up to 4-6 weeks for RSA to settle a claim once they have the documentation and information that they require from you. 

Who should I contact if I have further questions about the policy?

Please contact the UCL Insurance Team if you have a question that is not covered by one of the points above: