Insurance protects employees, students, property, and revenue. The University provides employees, faculty and students conducting international activities with insurance coverage such as General Liability, Commercial Auto Liability; Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Emergency Evacuation, Workers’ Compensation, Commercial Property and Business Income, Foreign Liability, and/or Defense Base Act Coverage.
In most cases this coverage is automatically provided by the University as part of its overall insurance and benefits program. In some instances, such as emergency travel assistance and evacuation coverage for students, the activity leader will be required to arrange for appropriate coverage by following the procedures outlined below. Regarding health insurance, since both students and faculty/staff individually arrange for their own health coverage, it is their responsibility to make sure that their health policy will be able to provide benefits in the countries in which they are conducting their international activities. For students this holds true whether students are enrolled in the BU Student Medical Insurance Plan or a plan held by their parents.
Additional insurance requirements may vary based on locations due to local requirements and the type of international activity conducted such as research, clinical work, and/or teaching.
Procedures to ensure adequate insurance coverage will vary based on the nature of the activity. The following information covers employee travel, student travel, leasing space or vehicles, and changes to ongoing activities.
Faculty and/or Staff
Detailed information for health insurance and disability coverage can be found on the Human Resources website. The Risk Management website provides detailed information about emergency travel assistance and workers compensation.
It is very important that all international travelers be covered by a comprehensive health insurance policy. All travelers should review their personal health insurance plan, as not all plans provide comprehensive coverage overseas. This is particularly important for travelers accompanied by family members or who will be including personal time in their travel plans. Of the plans currently offered by BU to its employees, only the Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO plan and BU Health Savings Plan provide non-emergency coverage out of network.
Travelers may wish to purchase additional insurance, which is available through many travel insurance companies.
Information on health insurance for University employees residing overseas can be found on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Out-of-Country Plan offered through BU Human Resources. For more information on how this plan might integrate with host country medical insurance, contact a Benefits representative in Human Resources.
Emergency Travel and Evacuation Assistance
All Boston University employees traveling outside the U.S. on University business are automatically enrolled for emergency travel and evacuation assistance provided by ACE, the University’s insurance carrier for foreign exposures. Since these services are already built into Boston University’s insurance program, employees traveling internationally on University business should not have to purchase emergency medical or political evacuation coverage.
Note that this program with ACE is not health insurance. It does not cover medical treatment. Rather, it provides services that complement each employee’s individual medical coverage for items that are not covered in a standard health insurance policy, such as emergency evacuation.
ACE provides the following services for Boston University employees traveling on University business:
- Medical Emergencies
o Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation
o Hospital Admission Deposit
o Medical Monitoring
o Dispatch of a Doctor or Specialist
- Emergency Political/Natural Disaster Evacuation
- Personal and Legal Assistance Services
o Pre-Trip Medical Referral Information
o Emergency Medication Arrangements and Transportation
o Embassy and Consular Information
o Lost Document Assistance
o Emergency Cash Advance
o Translations and Interpreters
- Online Security Information
Travelers are encouraged to carry the ACE Foldable Quick Card, summarizing these services, with them while traveling.
Further details on the services provided, including access to documents providing detailed information on these services and how to access them, can be found under Travel Assistance Services on the Risk Management website.
Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation laws prescribe certain medical, hospital, disability compensation, rehabilitation, and death benefits to be paid in the event of injury or death due to work-related accidents or illnesses. You are automatically covered by this insurance while you are employed by the University.
Massachusetts law requires that all students be enrolled automatically in the Boston University Student Medical Insurance Plan unless they certify that they are covered by a comparable, comprehensive health insurance policy. For students traveling overseas, that means a health insurance policy which provides comprehensive services at the destination as well as in the U.S. It is the obligation of each student to verify that his or her health insurance provides adequate coverage.
Students Participating in BU Study Abroad Programs
Details about health insurance and emergency travel assistance for students participating in BU Study Abroad programs can be found on at BU Study Abroad – Health & Safety.
Emergency Travel and Evacuation Assistance for Other International Activities
Administrators are responsible for ensuring that all students traveling internationally on a Boston University program are enrolled for emergency travel assistance to cover evacuation, repatriation, and other travel assistance services.
Students who have purchased the Boston University Student Medical Insurance Plan are automatically enrolled in worldwide emergency travel assistance services through OnCall International. Please review the PDF document, Aetna & OnCall Description of Travel Assistance Services, for a complete description of the services provided.
All other students must be enrolled by the administrator of the academic program into the On Call International program unless the program administrator can verify that adequate travel assistance and evacuation coverage is provided by the program vendor. Students can be enrolled in On Call International by contacting Aetna Student Health:
|Aetna Student Health
1 Charles Park
Cambridge, MA 02142
When contacting Aetna Student Health to enroll students in the On Call International worldwide travel assistance coverage, be sure to have the following information ready:
- Name of department/program/group traveling
- Full name of each participant needing coverage
- BU Identification number for each participant
- Date of departure/anticipated return date for each participant
- University contact/coordinator name, phone number, email address
For academic year 2011-2012, the premium cost is $36 per student/semester. Please note that all billing will be from Aetna Student Health directly to the department, which will pay a group bill for all students enrolled for coverage.
Administrators are also strongly encouraged to inform Global Programs and the Dean of Students prior to student travel on BU programs. This helps ensure a more systematic and coordinated effort in case of an emergency.
Vehicle rental: Review the Foreign Locations section under Automobile Rental Procedures on the Risk Management website, which provides guidelines and advice for renting a vehicle to conduct Boston University business.
Vehicle lease or purchase: Work with a local insurance agent to
- Properly register the vehicle in that location in accordance with local regulations
- Purchase the compulsory automobile liability mandated in that location. Include insurance covering physical damage to the vehicle.
Any vehicle purchased or leased internationally is required to have its primary insurance coverage purchased locally; this insurance must be arranged by the department owning the vehicle, and should be reported to Risk Management. The local coverage should include the minimum liability limits required by that location, as well as collision and comprehensive coverage with deductibles that the department can absorb. The University’s foreign automobile insurance program provides excess liability limits over those purchased locally.
Please refer to the Moveable Capital Equipment section of the Toolkit for information on how to acquire vehicles.
Purchase or lease of space: Any department intending to purchase or lease space internationally should review the global Real Estate section of the Toolkit and then get in contact with Real Estate Management, who will notify Risk Management on any applicable insurance requirement. A lease, as a rough guide, is a contractual agreement for use of a space that will run longer than a year, and is usually several years long.
Administrators of all global activities should contact Risk Management when changes occur that may impact insurance coverage in order to avoid a gap or lapse in coverage. Examples of such changes include major property purchases such as moveable capital equipment and vehicles.
For Further Assistance
The Office of Risk Management maintains appropriate insurance coverage based on what is known of the University’s needs. Types and nature of coverage are reviewed periodically. Risk Management can be contacted as a resource during the planning phase of any international activity if questions remain after reviewing the insurance and travel sections of the Global Programs website.
Boston University Global Programs is always available to answer questions about insurance, health and safety, or any other operational questions about international activities.