FAQs on Travel Insurance

If you are experiencing an emergency, require assistance or advice while overseas you should contact INTERNATIONAL SOS.
University of South Australia has partnered with International SOS to offer our staff and students medical, safety and security advice, referrals, emotional support and routine & emergency assistance when travelling or living abroad.
Any general insurance policy enquiries can be directed to the Insurance Office.

If you are experiencing an emergency, require assistance or advice while overseas you should contact INTERNATIONAL SOS.

In the event you need to make an insurance claim not managed through International SOS you may contact the Insurance Office who will provide you with a claim form and instructions.

All claim forms need to be returned to the Insurance Office for processing.

It is a condition of the University's insurance that electronic equipment be carried as cabin baggage.

If the carrier requires that your electronic equipment be placed in the hold (prohibiting you from carrying the items as personal cabin baggage) and no prior instruction or advice regarding this requirement was available prior to checking in you will also be covered as long as the electronic equipment is reasonably and adequately packaged and protected from theft or damage.

Any theft, loss or damage to electronic equipment must be reported to the police or the carrier and a written report obtained for your claim.

If you do suffer damage to your equipment - and you are overseas - please contact INTERNATIONAL SOS. If you have suffered damage and have now returned to Australia please contact the Insurance Office.

Electronic Equipment is defined by the policy as "any computers (including laptops, notebooks, tablets and palm pilots), digital cameras, mobile phones global positioning devices, personal music/recording/gaming devices and other items of a similar nature". This includes noise cancelling headphones.

Electronic equipment claims are subject to a $500 excess.

The following people are automatically covered by the University's travel insurance while travelling on behalf of the University anywhere in the world:

  • Staff.
  • Spouse and up to 2 children of Senior Staff.
  • Students on study related travel.
  • Research students.
  • Non-employees for whom the University arranges and in most cases funds travel.

You must contact the Insurance Office prior to travelling if:

  • your trip exceeds 180 days;
  • you are a staff member who's personal travel exceeds 50% of your trip;
  • you are a non-employee who has any personal travel in conjunction with your UniSA travel;
  • you are over 75 years of age; and/or
  • you have an existing medical condition which could require treatment while travelling.

The policy covers reasonable expenses incurred as a result of travel delays and cancellations. If you find yourself in this situation you are instructed to contact INTERNATIONAL SOS. You will be directed by the insurer on the appropriate action to take.

You must contact the Insurance Office to discuss any pre-existing condition that could require treatment while travelling or impact your ability to travel. Please do this at least 5 days prior to travel as the nature of your condition may require you to obtain medical clearance to travel.

Any medical clearance supplied will be treated as confidential but may be disclosed to our travel insurer for the purpose of confirming your cover.

Failure to disclose:

  • a pre-existing medical condition, or
  • medical advice that would reasonably preclude you from travel

may invalidate your travel insurance and as a consequence, you could become personally liable for any medical costs incurred during your travel.

Pregnancy: Any expected medical expenses relating to pregnancy or childbirth are excluded.

UniSA Travel Team bookings: If you indicate on your 'UniSA Business Travel Request form' that you have a pre-existing medical condition, travel cannot be quoted until your medical condition has been discussed/noted by the Insurance Office.

The Insurer will NOT pay claims which result from 'War, Civil War, invasion, act of foreign enemy, rebellion, revolution, insurrection or military or usurped power in:

  • Australia
  • a Covered Person's Country of Residence, or
  • any of the following countries: Afghanistan, Chad, Chechnya, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Israel, Somalia or Sudan.

This General Exclusion does not apply to Bodily Injury sustained as a result of Hijack (as defined in Section 3) riot, strike or civil commotion'.

If you have safety concerns about proposed University travel please discuss these with your line manager.

If you have any safety concerns while travelling please contact INTERNATIONAL SOS.

Cancellation, rebooking or loss of non-refundable deposits are covered if caused by:

  • the unexpected death, Serious Injury or Serious Sickness of a Close Relative, Close Colleague or travelling companion.
  • you being certified by a Doctor as being unfit to commence/continue your Journey following an injury or illness.
  • Serious damage to the travellers residential dwelling or place of business.
  • any other unforeseen circumstances outside the control of the University or the traveller not otherwise excluded under the Policy.

Disinclination to travel is not an insurable event.

Only if you are a Senior Staff member as defined by the policy, can your spouse and dependent children* be covered while accompanying you on authorised travel.

Please note that your spouse and children are not covered for any part of their travel if they are not accompanying you. If you have any concerns whether your spouse or children are classed as accompanying you, please contact the Insurance Office.

If you are not a Senior Staff member as defined by the travel policy then only you will be covered. Your accompanying spouse or child(ren) must seek and fund their own cover. If you have the appropriate approvals to have an accompanying spouse or child(ren) on business travel you are welcome to contact the Insurance Office for a quote to add them to the University's policy.

Other family members can not be added to the University's insurance and must seek and fund their own cover external to the University.

* Dependent Children include step, foster, or legally adopted children who must be: unmarried, under 19 years old (or under 25 if a full-time student) and dependent on you for support and maintenance.

Senior Staff includes:

  • Senior Management Group
  • Pro Vice Chancellors
  • Heads of School
  • Directors of Institutes/Units
  • Members of the Professoriate*
* Members of the Professoriate are defined by the University and can be found under the UniSA-Professoriate email distribution list and does not include Associate Professors.

Staff travelling on University business are allowed to add personal travel of up to 50% of their total journey and still be covered by the University's Insurance Policy for the full duration of their trip. The total travel however can not exceed 180 days.

If you are uncertain about your percentage of Private vs Business Travel, or how to classify days of travel, please see the Insurance Travel Calculator or contact the Insurance Office.

Note: This does not apply to Students. Regarding students and personal travel refer to Travel Insurance (for eligible students).

First contact the Insurance Office to discuss your options as in some cases we may still provide cover. However if your journey is predominately personal it is likely to be classified as personal travel with a business component. As such, no part of the journey can be covered through the University's Business Travel Policy, and you must purchase private insurance through your travel agent.

Staff may seek reimbursement from their cost centre manager for the portion of the travel insurance you purchased that relates to the business travel.

Any travel with a personal component of 50% or greater has FBT implications to the University and you should contact the Tax Accountant to discuss.

Note: Regarding students and personal travel refer to Travel Insurance (for eligible students).

You may be able to purchase an extension to the University's travel insurance policy. Call the Insurance Office to discuss.

You may be able to purchase an extension to the University's travel insurance policy. Call the Insurance Office (insurance@unisa.edu.au) to discuss. 

Seek appropriate medical treatment.


If you are ill or injured while travelling overseas (and outside your country of residence) your medical expenses will be fully covered by UniSA travel insurance (subject to policy terms and excess). You can contact INTERNATIONAL SOS for advice or help with major medical issues (eg hospitalisation) as they can guarantee payment to the medical institution. Minor expenses such as seeing a doctor or purchasing medications need to be paid by the traveller and receipts retained. On your return contact the Insurance Office to enquire about making a claim for reimbursement of these expenses.


Overseas dental expenses are covered only if the treatment cannot wait until your return. INTERNATIONAL SOS must be contacted if you require dental treatment.


Generally only overseas medical expenses are covered by the travel policy. Any medical expenses incurred within Australia for which a Medicare benefit (either partly or wholly) is payable are not covered by the travel policy. If the expense is incurred as a result of a work related injury or illness you may be able to lodge a workers compensation claim. Contact your local HR rep for advice on how to place a workers comp claim.

Necessary additional travel expenses may be covered under this policy if you are required to return home due to the unexpected death, serious injury or serious sickness of a close relative*. In this event, you are required to contact INTERNATIONAL SOS for advice before booking your return travel.

* Close relative is defined as "Spouse/Partner, parent, parent-in-law, step-parent, child, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-inlaw, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, half brother, half sister, fiance, niece, nephew, uncle, aunt, stepchild, grandparent or grandchild".

If you are deprived of your baggage for 8 hours or more, you will be permitted to purchase essential items for relief until your baggage is returned. Limits apply, please refer to your travel summary for details.

Contact the emergency phone number INTERNATIONAL SOS for advice if this occurs.

Standard items/property taken with you on the journey are considered your luggage/baggage.

All losses need to be reported to the police (and if appropriate the hotel). Keep a copy of the police report etc. as you will need these to attach to your claim form.

Please contact the Insurance Office to check your eligibility to make a claim (if your claim total is less than the applicable excess you will not be able to claim).

If you are eligible to claim, you will be provided with a claim form. In most cases you are required to lodge your claim within 30 days.

Electronic equipment:

  • must be carried on the plane with you as hand luggage. This includes mobile phones, laptop or portable computers, etc.
  • must not be left unattended or in an unlocked house, room or car.
  • carries an excess of 10% with a minimum of $500.

The travel policy is not a general health policy and as such does not cover non-essential medical treatment. Only emergency overseas medical expenses are covered. Please contact the Insurance Office if you require clarification on the types of medical expenses covered.

Overseas dental expenses are covered only if the treatment cannot wait until your return. You should contact INTERNATIONAL SOS if you believe you require dental treatment while overseas.

If you would like to purchase General Health Insurance please contact the Insurance Office.

The are a number of policies that cover students on Placement or Work Experience. In some cases the University may also provide the student with travel insurance. You should contact the Insurance Office if you require advice on insurance for Students.

You can find additional information on Student Placement insurance on the FAQs page.

You must ensure that your car hire rental agreement includes insurance to cover any damage to the hire vehicle and third party liability insurance (including bodily injury).

Within Australia all registered motor vehicles come with compulsory third party insurance so you need only check that the hire vehicle is comprehensively insured.

If the insurance with your hire vehicle holds you responsible for a policy excess you will be able to claim this against the University's travel insurance up to a limit of AUD$5,000 and subject to our policy excess of $250.

You are not required to purchase insurance to cover injury to yourself while driving overseas as the University's travel insurance has unlimited cover for emergency medical expenses incurred overseas.

All staff (including PhD and HDR students) are required to follow the University's Travel Guidelines and use preferred suppliers when booking University travel.

However, if you have been granted permission to use non preferred suppliers and your travel is University business and fits the criteria of the policy, the insurance will still provide cover regardless of the travel agent used.

For personal claims the traveller usually bears the excess. However staff may seek to be reimbursed the excess for their personal travel claim from their cost centre manager.

If the claim is the University's (i.e. loss of University equipment) then the University usually bears the excess.

If you are 75 years or older at the time of travel please contact the Insurance Office to discuss your circumstances as there are policy limitations placed on your cover for personal accident/death/disablement/loss of income.

All other insurance provisions under the policy will apply.