Insurance Considerations for International Travel

Travel Assistance Card

Coverage Summary

International travelers on official University business, including employees, students traveling as employees, students in professional training programs, and volunteers under the University’s direction, are provided insurance coverage for:

  • Liability incurred abroad (including vehicle use)
  • Emergency medical care, and for employees - work related injury benefits
  • A suite of emergency assistance services, including emergency medical or emergency evacuation (for specific circumstances)

Students traveling abroad as part of a University approved academic or research activity (other than Study Abroad) are provided coverage for emergency medical care and emergency services in the same manner as University employees traveling on University business.  The program for emergency medical care covers unforeseen medical care needs only and does not cover continuing care for existing conditions or routine appointments. Travelers that anticipate the need for continuing medical care while abroad must make their own arrangements for coverage.  Liability coverage is also applicable for students traveling in an official University capacity (employee or volunteer), and when international travel has been approved as a required part of the student’s academic training program or curriculum.  University insurance coverage is not applicable for independent travel or independent research.

There are a variety of university policies and insurance programs that are applicable to travel abroad by faculty, staff, and students. This webpage provides an overview of the information that travelers should review well in advance of departure. Some types of travel and associated insurance coverage require advance registration and approval and have specific deadlines for submission of required information

Travel Authorization – All travel on university business must be authorized in advance by the traveler's home department. Additional information is available at: This policy applies to university business travel. Travel Authorization does not apply to students studying abroad, which has a separate application and registration process. 

Travel Safety and Compliance – Travel to potentially hazardous regions and travel that triggers specific compliance and insurance requirements must be reviewed and approved in advance. The governing policy is the Interim Policy for International Travel Safety and Compliance

Travel Registration – In addition to travel authorization described above, international travelers are required to register their itinerary online. The University International Travel Registry has been developed for this purpose. Registration on the site makes it possible for the university to locate travelers quickly in the event of an emergency, and the information collected also assists with the identification of any compliance requirements that may be applicable to the trip (see below)

If you are a University employee traveling abroad on business – The State of Arizona arranges international insurance coverage and access to travel assistance services while traveling in the course and scope of university employment. This includes traveling to conduct research, meet with colleagues, attend and speak at conferences, lead student travel, sabbatical travel, and any other travel on university business, regardless of the funding source for the travel. 

What's covered by the State program?

  • Worker's compensation benefits are provided for on-the-job injuries. This includes medical care and wage replacement for injuries determined to be compensable, and consistent with applicable statutes.
  • Liability coverage is provided for University employees and volunteers while acting within the course and scope of their employment duties, and for University students in professional training programs.
  • Emergency medical care, emergency evacuation, and repatriation are covered by the State insurance program.

What about Travel Assistance Services?

  • A suite of Travel Assistance Services are available to all faculty. staff, and students traveling on university business. A list of these services and phone numbers is available on the Travel Assistance Card. Additional resources (including pre-trip information) are available when you register on the Zurich Travel Assist website. You can register by selecting the “Need a password?” option and completing the registration form. When entering the policy number, please use GTU 3032184.

How do I access coverage or services?

  • Effective November 4, 2019, Zurich Travel Assist is the single point of contact for assistance, services, and claims. The Travel Assistance Card includes the Policy Number and a 24/7 telephone number (dedicated to Arizona Travelers) to obtain assistance and can be used as a wallet card. It is recommended that travelers print the card and take it with them, or save a copy to their computer or mobile device.

What is NOT covered?

  • The insurance program described above does provide emergency medical care if needed due to an accident or sudden illness, but it is NOT health insurance. It does not cover continuing medical care or medications for a pre-existing health condition, and does not cover other routine medical care such as an annual physical.  Travelers are strongly advised to review the applicability of their personal health insurance for international travel, and make arrangements for personal health coverage while abroad. Travelers may wish to purchase additional international insurance; contact RMS for guidance.
  • The State program described above is only applicable to university employees traveling for an authorized business purpose. It does not cover family members that may choose to accompany an employee on the trip. Further, additional travel that is in not connected to a university purpose is not covered. Examples include an extended stay in the region for vacation, or other non-university related purpose.
  • Export Control Regulations – Certain types of technology, equipment, software, and even presentation materials may require a federal license if transported outside the U.S. For expert guidance, contact the University Export Control Office well in advance of travel. The Export Control Office has also posted guidance regarding international travel at:
  • Defense Base Act (DBA) Insurance – This is a federal requirement for international travel that is associated with the U.S. federal government. There are two primary triggers when DBA must be obtained:
    • Travel abroad as part of a public work or service contract with the U.S. federal government where the University is a contractor or subcontractor
    • Travel to conduct work on a U.S. military installation abroad

    DBA is generally NOT required for travel under federal research grants, cooperative agreements with federal agencies, or other authorized university travel unless one of the two triggering criteria listed above are applicable. 

    DBA insurance coverage can be arranged in advance, or within 30 days after trip completion.  The departmental contact that handles travel paperwork must complete a DBA Insurance Application Form and submit it to Risk Management Services no later than 30 days after trip completion.  Email confirmation of DBA coverage will be sent to the traveler and their department.

  • For students enrolled in approved Study Abroad experiences, the Study Abroad Program Office in the Office of Global Initiatives arranges coverage for participants with an international insurance program through GeoBlue Contact your Study Abroad program representative for more information.
  • Students traveling abroad with University faculty or staff, or as part of a University program (except registered Study Abroad) are provided emergency medical coverage as described for employees above.  This is not health insurance, so students may wish to arrange international coverage through GeoBlue or other international insurance provider, especially if they have continuing care needs while abroad.
  • The State of Arizona also provides a very basic Foreign Travel Accident Insurance Policy for students and volunteers that travel abroad. The coverage is automatically effective during travel, and there is no cost to the traveler. However, this policy is only applicable as excess to any other valid and collectible insurance, has many exclusions, and has a maximum benefit of $25,000 per person for most incidents. For these reasons, RMS strongly advises students traveling abroad to evaluate their coverage needs, and make arrangements through HTH Worldwide or other insurance provider.

Employees who suffer an on-the-job injury while traveling abroad are advised to take the following steps as soon as reasonably practicable:

  • Seek emergency medical care as needed for treatment of injuries.
  • Contact Zurich Travel Assist (contact info is on the Travel Assistance Card) to open a clam for payment of treatment expenses.
  • Notify your home department of the injury and your medical status.
  • Ask your home department to complete a First Report of International Injury and submit it to Risk Management Services as soon as possible. For assistance with the form, contact the Worker's Compensation Coordinator in RMS at (520) 621-3626.

Travel in Mexico is subject to the university travel policies and procedures described at the top of this webpage. This includes advance travel review and authorization while the U.S. State Department Travel Warning remains in effect. 

An important additional factor affecting Mexico travel is vehicle use. The State of Arizona provides Mexican vehicle insurance for university vehicles driven into Mexico. Documentation of coverage is assembled in a packet that is specific to each vehicle, including certified copies of the vehicle's registration and title. The packet must be presented to border officials when crossing the international border with a university vehicle. 

Mexican insurance vehicle packets are obtained from the University Motor Pool when the vehicle is picked up during regular work hours.  For more information, contact the University Motor Pool at 520-621-5124, or check out their website.

Neither the State of Arizona nor the University of Arizona provides Mexican insurance for personal vehicles used in Mexico on university business. The University's primary rental vendors (Enterprise/National and Hertz) do allow rental vehicles to be driven into Mexico, however, these plans must be communicated to the representative when making reservations. There is an additional charge for Mexican Auto Liability coverage, however, the standard collision damage waiver (included in the University/State of Arizona rental contract) still applies. For additional information, contact RMS.

From the OFAC Website: The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. OFAC acts under Presidential national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze assets under US jurisdiction. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope, and involve close cooperation with allied governments.

University travel to sanctioned countries requires detailed advance review and approval to ensure compliance with applicable license requirements and travel restrictions. Sanctioned countries may or may not also be subject to U.S. State Department Travel Warnings. Consult with the University Export Control Office well in advance of any travel envisioned to a sanctioned country. For Information about current U.S. sanctions, see

All university travel that requires a federal license must be coordinated through the Export Control Office and requires significant lead time for review and license issuance.

International insurance programs and assistance services may have coverage limitations or not be valid at all for travel to sanctioned countries or in war zones. Contact RMS well in advance of travel to review any exclusions or limitations applicable to the destination country.