Fieldwork Insurance

There are insurance considerations when planning any fieldwork either in Ireland or abroad. All fieldworkers must ensure that insurance is in place in advance of undertaking their fieldwork. For further information on fieldwork safety, details can be found on the Fieldwork Safety page. 

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The extent of cover provided for equipment used on fieldwork is subject to policy terms and conditions. It should be noted that as a rule equipment left unattended and unsecured in the field is not insured. This includes equipment located outside of a vehicle or premises and which is not under the direct control or supervision of a UCD staff member or student.

There are additional considerations that may impact on the cover available such as:

  • Is the equipment rented / borrowed?

  • How is the equipment being transported?

  • Where is it going?

  • What is the value of the equipment?

  • Is there a rental agreement in place, etc.?

To ascertain the extent of equipment cover available to persons using equipment valued at greater than €5000 on fieldwork, please contact the UCD SIRC Office with details of the equipment and the fieldwork risk assessment. 

Details of UCD's travel insurance can be obtained from UCD Travel Insurance Guide For Staff and UCD Travel Insurance Guide For Postgrads

All persons travelling abroad for fieldwork and fieldwork leaders should ensure that adequate travel insurance is in place. Details of cover can be obtained from the UCD SIRC Office. Fieldwork risk assessments may be required before travel insurance can be confirmed.  

There is very limited travel insurance cover provided by UCD for undergraduates. Cover is extended to foreign fieldtrips organised and supervised by university staff but does not extend to independent fieldwork or work placements. In such cases undergraduate students are strongly advised to obtain their own cover or to extend any health insurance that they may hold in Ireland. In the event that medical treatment is required abroad and travel insurance is not held then this could lead to student personally incurring very large medical bills.

All persons travelling within the EU and the EEA are advised to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This allows access to the public health systems of countries within these areas and is free of charge. Details on the EHIC can be found here.

Before travelling abroad persons should familiarise themselves with the current situation in their destination country. This is especially important for any areas where there may be reports of civil or political unrest. Up to date travel advice is available from the Department Of Foreign Affairs website and the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office website. If either of these agencies recommends against non-essential travel to a particular area then that travel should not be undertaken. Travel to an area where a travel advisory exists may invalidate any insurance cover.

Landowners and third party sites often request confirmation of insurance from UCD when providing access for fieldworkers.The UCD SIRC Office can provide third party public liability insurance confirmation letters where required. Email with details of planned fieldwork. Schools / Units should not sign any agreements with a third party in relation to insurance arrangements or indemnity without a review of the relative clauses by the UCD SIRC Office.