Insurance for Outbound Exchange Students


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Your insurance requirements while on exchange

UCD students who are selected to participate in outbound mobility and international internships must have appropriate travel insurance in place. This is in line with the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and is a requirement of Erasmus Programme guidelines. 

When purchasing your travel insurance policy, familiarise yourself with the coverage, terms and conditions and point of contact. It is also important to consider your insurance in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic as it differs from company to company. Make sure that your policy is valid for the entire period of your stay abroad.

All you need to know

Health insurance

Private health insurance is insurance that helps cover all or part of any medical and hospital costs incurred. Other benefits may also be provided as part of your policy.


Travel insurance

Travel insurance can cover you against losses such as damaged or delayed luggage, cancelled flights, delayed or missed departure, loss or theft of money or passport, and emergency medical expenses associated with illness or injury. You may not be able to claim if you have not filled out your medical information truthfully.


UCD requirements

In accordance with UCD’s exchange programme terms and conditions (please see point 13), and in compliance with the recommendations of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Erasmus programme guidelines set out by the European Commission in Brussels, you will be required to take out a travel insurance policy to cover you while you are abroad.

To ensure that you are adequately covered while travelling, UCD requires all students participating in our exchange programme to have adequate travel insurance. This includes students studying within and outside Europe. When purchasing insurance please ensure that it covers the criteria outlined below. If you have already purchased insurance, please check your policy to ensure it covers the minimum criteria as listed.

Travel Insurance policies typically cover items such as emergency medical expenses, medical repatriation costs, costs associated with delay or curtailment of travel, and loss or theft of personal items. The level of cover provided differs from policy to policy, with increased levels of cover typically costing more. Students should note that travel insurance policies generally do not provide any cover for medical costs associated with the treatment of pre-existing illnesses. If you suffer from an illness that may require medical attention when abroad you may need to disclose this to your insurer - check the terms and conditions of your policy.


Travel Insurance Criteria

  • Medical expenses of at least €1m which must include repatriation cover (these two items can be listed together or separately) - Mandatory
  • Personal Liability of at least €500,000 - Mandatory
  • Baggage cover / personal items cover / money cover / passport cover / etc. - Highly recommended but optional
  • Delay / cancellation / curtailment cover - Highly recommended but optional

If travelling within the EU/EEA

If you are a resident in Ireland and are going on exchange within Europe, you must apply for an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Further information on the application is available on the HSE website

The EHIC provides you with basic healthcare in another EU or European Economic Area (EEA) state for free, or at a reduced cost but you must carry the card with you. The EHIC entitles you only to the state-funded healthcare scheme in the country which you are visiting, and few countries will pay the full cost of healthcare for people who have a card, so you may have to pay for some of the services yourself. 

Purchasing adequate travel insurance will ensure that any of the costs involved in transporting you back to Ireland will be covered as these are not included in the basic EHIC cover.

  • If you are arranging through a different policy, please ensure that you are covered for the minimum conditions as listed above
  • The full duration of your exchange should be insured
  • If you have a pre-existing condition, you should declare this when arranging cover, as otherwise your insurance may be void if you need to claim for that condition
  • Check the DFA website regularly for updates on restrictions on travel to your destination; follow their Twitter account
  • Familiarise yourself with your policy document and the claims procedure, including any excess payments which you may need to pay upfront.

Insurance FAQs

If you are covered by your own or your parents’ private health insurance plan, you may have travel insurance provided as part of that cover. You should confirm the actual level and extent of any cover you will have while abroad with the service provider. Ensure that the insurance covers the minimum criteria outlined above and that you are insured for the complete duration of your stay. You can establish all of this quite easily by contacting the health insurance company directly. You may be able to purchase additional cover for travel insurance if this is not included in the existing policy.

If you are covered by a health insurance or similar plan provided by the university you are going to, you should confirm the actual level of cover you will have while abroad. Ensure that insurance covers the minimum criteria outlined above. Ensure that you are covered for the duration of your stay abroad. You can establish all of this quite easily by contacting the insurance company directly. You may be able to purchase additional cover for travel insurance if this is not included in the existing policy.

The Department of Foreign Affairs recommends that all students going abroad should be covered by comprehensive travel insurance policies. Under the new Erasmus programme and UCD’s Terms & Conditions of Exchange, all students going on exchange are required to take full responsibility to ensure they are adequately insured for the purpose and duration of their stay abroad.

Your travel insurance covers only those medical costs that will get you fit and well enough to travel home, it does not cover any long-term treatments that might be required when you get back. If you have an injury while abroad and need medical treatment in-country that will be covered, but if follow-up treatment is required on return to Ireland, you would need to be covered under your own health insurance. This is one benefit of having both.

You cannot rely on the healthcare cover provided by the EHIC as this may be quite limited. The EHIC does not cover repatriation, illness, an accident abroad, cancelled/delayed flights and the loss/theft of luggage, personal belongings or money which can incur extra travel and accommodation costs.

As you are participating in a UCD Exchange Programme, UCD needs confirmation that you have appropriate travel insurance cover in place should an emergency arise while you are abroad. You will be responsible for liaising with your insurance provider in relation to confirming cover and submitting claims. UCD holds your policy details for reference purposes only.

UCD will request you to complete a form before you depart on exchange with your policy information. We will email you information about this form.

No, International SOS provides 24/7 support if you need help in any situation.  They can advise and guide you but they cannot pay for any medical or other expenses - this must be done through your insurance provider.