Insurance Considerations relevant to Off-Campus Activities

Examples of various types of insurance that should be considered for off-campus research and study:

Property Insurance

  • Please see Insurance & Risk Assessment info on Property Insurance.  Please see Insurance & Risk Assessment webpage on Automobile Insurance and also  Rental Policies and Driver's regulations (F&O)

  • Equipment that is taken off-campus must have approval to be removed and be inventoried with your faculty, department or unit. In the event of a loss, a list of equipment will be useful in identifying the value. Please prepare a list of equipment that you plan to take off-site, keep a copy for the department and make a copy for the field. Please see the Equipment section for some more pointers on this inventory listing requirement.

  • It is a good idea for research/field camps to have a complete and accurate list of equipment and supplies even if the equipment cannot be tagged however, the Asset Equipment Register Procedure indicates that you must tag items over $5,000.00 as well as items under that amount that are prone to theft (ie. digital cameras, laptops, etc.)
  • Personal property of the faculty, staff and students is not covered by the University’s insurance program and if required, independent insurance should be obtained

General Liability Insurance

Accident / Health / Travel Insurance

  • The U of A does not offer any accident, medical or disability insurance other than that included as part of the mandatory or optional benefits plans for Support Staff or Academic Staff. University employees are also covered by an accident policy while traveling on University business. See Staff accidental & life coverage details or Academic accident & life coverage details.
  • Students and other non-employees are not similarly covered and appropriate insurance must be arranged independently. Participants in off-campus activities should evaluate the required level of insurance needed to cover potential medical emergencies.
  • In the event of a medical/health problem, the University of Alberta accepts no responsibility for any costs associated with a medical/health problem not covered by personal plans nor will it pay for any medical/health expenses that may be incurred.
  • Travel accident and health insurance outside Canada, trip cancellation and other specialized policies are available from various sources. Any travel insurance obtained should provide coverage against theft, personal accident, personal liability, repatriation (whether medical, political or in the event of death) and cancellation of tickets.
  • The University of Alberta accepts no responsibility for any costs associated with these types of problems nor will it pay for any expenses that may be incurred relating to these areas.

Workers Compensation Coverage

  • University employees are covered under WCB for any injuries sustained during activities directly related to their employment responsibilities.
  • Students while participating in their core academic programs are covered by WCB through Alberta Learning.

  • The University obtained WCB coverage for volunteers in June of 2017. Please see RMS page for Volunteers

  • WCB covered individuals who are working outside of Alberta (especially out of country) should provide the UAlberta Human Resource Services by emailing:
    • a) dates of departure and return
    • b) where they are going
    • c) why they are going
    • d) department
    • e) employee I.D. 
  • If researchers have questions about WCB coverage on employment-related activities please feel free to visit UAlberta Human Resource Services WCB Reporting site.

Out of Country Health Insurance Coverage

Supplemental Health Insurance which covers international travel is necessary for all persons participating in international activities to protect them from significant financial problems while abroad and to guarantee optimal emergency health care. It is the responsibility of the participants to ensure that they are covered by a basic health insurance plan and have adequate supplementary health insurance that covers international travel. Before you go, make sure you are aware of U of A Travel benefits that are available to Support Staff or Academic Staff .

Automobile and Non-Owned Automobile Insurance

Please see RMS Insurance & Risk Assessment Office webpage on automobile and non-owned automobile insurance.  There are certain limitations on the University’s insurance coverage for U of A vehicles or vehicles rented for U of A business, depending whether you are travelling within Canada, the U.S. or foreign. All driver requirements must be met for the insurance to be effective. Also check the University’s Rental Policies and Driver's Regulation (F&O)  for more information. 

Rental Vehicle Insurance

Please look to Insurance & Risk Assessment Office webpage on Rental Vehicle Insurance and Rental Policies and Driver's Regulation (F&O)  for more information.

Special Insurance Issues

Certain off-campus situations require special insurance arrangements and the following are some examples:  

Use of Aircraft – non-commercial aircraft and helicopters

  • When renting aircraft on University business ensure that the company you are renting from carries adequate insurance coverage and coverage extends to include passengers and any cargo.
  • All pilots flying have a valid pilot’s license
  • No University employees, staff, student or volunteer are allowed to pilot an aircraft / helicopter on behalf of the University. THERE IS NO INSURANCE COVERAGE provided by the University in the event of a loss as this is an exclusion from the University’s insurance policies.
  • World "Hot Zones" – In some areas of the world insurance coverage may be denied by insurance carriers regardless of whether you purchased coverage. When attending countries that have conflict, hostilities, fighting, or health alerts, verify that your insurance and/or travel coverage will still apply when you are in those locations.  Check with the Office of Insurance and Risk Assessment.

Marine Research

  • No insurance coverage for watercraft over forty feet in length or ownership, maintenance, use, operation, loading or unloading by or on behalf of the University of any watercraft over 1000 tons.
  • Some Marine Research facilities require that the University carries insurance coverage in order to participate in research on those sites. If such requests are made, you need to contact the Office of Insurance and Risk Assessment  for assistance in determining coverage needs and if the University has the appropriate insurance in place or must look at purchasing coverage for your activities.

Search and Rescue/Med-Evac

In certain circumstances, the cost of Search and Rescue or Med-Evac operations may be charged back to the victim or organizers of an activity. The potential need of such services should be evaluated and the purchase of insurance should be considered in advance of the activity (check with the Office of Insurance and Risk Assessment first to see if there is coverage). Sufficient lead time to review insurance needs and to place insurance coverage (if possible) will be needed to deal with all aspects of this type of coverage.  

Other Insurance Coverages

The University carries many different insurance policies and self-insures programs as well.  There insurance deductibles for each of those policies as well. See Office of Insurance and Risk Assessment's website for a summary of the main coverages. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Office of Insurance and Risk Assessment.

Certification of Insurance

If you require proof of insurance for any University sanctioned activities, please see Office of Insurance and Risk Assessment's page as you can request this online.