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Insurance Services

We provide guidance and support for staff and students on all matters related to the University's various covers.

Travel cover

All employees and postgraduates are covered by the University travel cover for any trip outside the UK or any trip within the UK which involves an overnight stay or a flight, made primarily on University business.

This can include incidental holidays, providing the holiday element is shorter than the business and no longer than seven days, but the cancellation cover will only apply to the costs paid for by the University.

Accompanying travellers can be covered if their travel is necessitated by caring requirements.

Complete the travel cover request form as soon as you book your trip.

Travel cover for undergraduates

Undergraduates can be covered under the University cover. This cover is provided without charge. There is no cover for mobile phones, and limited holiday cover, exclusions relating to drugs, alcohol and STIs and the student must pay the first £100/£50 of any claim. Separate additional cover can be purchased elsewhere if required. To access cover, the trip must be registered using the online store.

Main benefits of travel cover

The cover is not an insurance policy in the traveller's name, it is a group cover for the University provided by UMAL. Read a summary of the travel cover

Travel against advice of UK FCDO advice

The UK government publishes its advice here. There is no cover for trips undertaken on University related activities without its express permission. The assistance provided under the University’s cover may be restricted if travel is undertaken against government advice.

Main cover restrictions and exclusions

The University's cover does not include the following:

  • travelling against medical advice
  • age limit– any trip commenced after reaching the age of 80
  • trips that are not registered
  • cancellation claims where circumstances exist prior to trip registration (including Covid-19).
  • exclusion for drugs, alcohol and STIs
  • mobile phones
  • any claim relating to COVID-19 apart from emergency medical expenses - these losses are generally met by the University


Details of claims procedures and how to access emergency assistance can be found here. - Emergency assistance
- Claim forms

Motor insurance

University vehicles

The University provides insurance for authorised drivers of the University fleet, as long as they are holders of a full UK or approved European (EU/EEA) licence, relevant to the vehicle to be driven. They must also conform to other criteria. In order to drive a vehicle in the University fleet, you must be an authorised driver.

Authorised driver application

You should submit your application well in advance of when you need the authorisation to start. This is especially the case if you are requesting to drive a minibus, as additional driver training is required before your application can be approved.

To submit your application you should:

Download and complete the driver application form or contact Iain Gardiner for a paper copy.

Download the completed form and driving licence points declaration and send to Iain Gardiner in the Department of Estates.

Please note: Details of any previous accidents or convictions and regular updates of your licence need to be kept on file.

Hire vehicles

The University does not hold any insurance for vehicles that are hired for University business - you must purchase the insurance that is offered by the hire company.

Some companies believe the University's insurance covers hire cars - it does not. If you do not purchase the hire company's insurance you will be driving without any.

It is recommended that you purchase the best comprehensive insurance that the company offer including a 'collision damage waiver' or CDW, which is essentially an additional insurance to reduce the excess that you would have to pay in the event of a claim. Without this additional CDW the excess may be extremely high, particularly if you are a young (under 25) or an inexperienced driver. In the event of a claim the cost of any excess, or any damage which falls below the excess, will be a charge on the individual's department.

If a hiring company is unable to hire a car to a member of the University for business purposes because they cannot insure the individual (because they are too young or inexperienced, or have penalty points), the University may be able to cover the vehicle on its fleet policy. However this is only at our insurer's discretion. The individual would need to submit a copy of their licence to our insurers for approval and will incur an additional premium. Also the checking process can take a little time to complete, so this cannot be done 'last minute'.

Personal vehicles

Your personal car is not insured for work purposes unless you have arranged cover through your own motor insurers. The University does not cover individuals to use their own car for business use. You will need to ask your private motor insurer for 'business use' cover on your vehicle if you wish to use it for this purpose. Your insurers may make a charge for this extension to your policy, and if this is the case then this is at the individual's expense and is not a cost on the University. It is intended that the mileage allowance will compensate for any such cost.

If you use your car for business purposes, all insurance issues are your responsibility. Therefore in the event of an accident, you are responsible for submitting the claim to your insurers and for paying any excess. Also any damage below the excess is your responsibility and not the University's.

Motor insurance database

The 4th EU Motor Insurance Directive requires the University to maintain the Motor Insurance Database Phase II (MID) with information of all vehicles insured against its motor insurance policy. The present requirements state that any motor vehicle insured on the University’s motor policy for a period of 14 days or more must be notified to the MID within 14 days. This database is maintained by Insurance Services Manager, Simon Holt.

University property

All property owned by the University, or for which it is legally responsible, is covered for its replacement value against loss or damage.

The University cannot provide cover for personal belongings.

Exclusions to cover

A number of standard exclusions apply, the most common being:

  • wear, tear and gradual deterioration
  • faulty or defective design
  • materials or workmanship
  • contamination by radiation
  • theft of property left unattended or in the open
  • any loss from an unattended vehicle.

Losses must also be attributed to an incident. There is sometimes a time limit within which a claim must be made, it is therefore crucial to inform the Insurance team immediately if a loss has occurred.

Deductibles to cover

The policy is subject to a £10,000 deductible for all losses. Losses that fall below the excess are met by the Finance Office, provided it is adjudged that the policy would have paid out, but for the application of the deductible.

University equipment

University equipment is insured anywhere in the world, but is limited to £250,000 for any one loss away from the premises including in transit, either in the UK or overseas, and with a £60,000 single item limit.

It is possible to get this single item limit increased for specific requirements, but depending on the risk it could be subject to an additional cost. If you are removing a piece of equipment from campus the necessary forms need to be completed.

New equipment

New equipment is automatically covered and does not need to be notified.

Equipment on loan

Equipment on loan is automatically covered up to a limit of £250,000.

Inspection of equipment

It is a statutory requirement that insurance surveyors inspect all University-owned pressure vessels and lifting equipment at regular intervals. A schedule of all equipment inspected and the certificates of inspection are held and maintained by Property Services.

In the unfortunate case of an accident or failure of the equipment, the University will only have the back up of our insurers if these inspection requirements are fully complied with. All such equipment should be declared to Simon Holt, Insurance Services Manager, before it is used, so that it can be added to the insurance schedules.

Laptop, phones and other portable devices

Provided it was purchased by the University, laptops, phones and other portable devices are covered against loss or damage anywhere in the world. In the event that you want to make a claim, you will be required to demonstrate that you have taken reasonable care of the item.

Reasonable care is defined as would you have done anything differently if the items were your own and not covered.

University money

University money is covered if it is stolen, but a number of special security conditions apply. If Departments are storing or transporting significant amounts of money, they should check with Insurance Services.

Personal effects

The University cannot provide cover for personal belongings that are on campus or used for work purposes.

We have to assume that the University provides you with all the equipment that you require in order to carry out your work. Therefore personal belongings used for University work is done so at the owner's risk and if insurance is necessary should be arranged through the individual’s household policy.

The only time when personal effects are covered is when the individual is travelling overseas on University business, see limits under travel cover.

It has been known for the University to make ex-gratia payments, from University funds, for damage to personal effects that have clearly occurred as a result of or been contributed by the University's negligence. The University would not consider making such a payment for accidental damage to clothing, for example.

Liability covers

The University of Bath's Employers Liability, Public/Products Liability and Professional Indemnity covers are provided by UM Association Ltd. The documents below provide details of the cover and can be used when you are required to provide evidence of the cover.

Information for claimants

The following information is for anyone who has a potential personal injury claim against the University to pass on to their solicitor.

Ministry of Justice (MOJ) – Claims Portal Information
University of Bath
Compensator U M Association Ltd (note - there is a space between the letters)
Reference UM114/12

Work experience students

Our Public Liability covers work experience students, but they must be adequately supervised.

Visiting academics

Academics who are visiting the University as part of a collaborative scheme or shadowing programme would normally be covered by their own employers.

While they are acting on the University’s behalf, they are treated as employees of the University, and protected by insurance in the same way as employees. If your visitor is not acting on behalf of an employer you should let the Insurance team have details.

New activities

You should let us know if you intend to get involved in any activity which you think might not have been undertaken at the University before.

Placement students

Unless otherwise stated below, the University's cover applies equally to students, whether they be undergraduates or postgraduates, study or work-based, who take part in official University placements within the UK or abroad.

What the University covers

The University of Bath’s public liability covers its legal liability for loss, damage or injury that occurs to a third party.

This public liability cover protects the student while he/she is on placement, for damage, loss or injury caused to the placement company, if the University is found to be legally responsible for that damage, loss or injury.

The same public liability cover also covers the student for loss, injury or damage they may suffer themselves, again if the University’s is found to be negligent and legally liable.

Exceptions to cover

The University cannot cover anything that is the legal liability or responsibility of someone else. As the placement provider has control of the student while they are on placement, many responsibilities are their legal liability.

Therefore any injury, loss or damage that the student may cause whilst they are under the supervision of the placement provider is the responsibility of the placement provider.

Similarly any injury, loss or damage suffered by the student while they are under the supervision of the placement provider is also the responsibility of the placement provider.

Criminal acts committed by the student are not covered.

The University’s responsibilities

The University’s cover require us to minimise the risk of potential claims as far as is reasonably practical, therefore before a student is sent on placement the University should ensure the following:

  • that a risk assessment of the placement and the placement provider has been completed. This should identify all potential risks upon the student and put in place a plan to prevent or minimise these risks. Contact the SHE Office for more advice on completing risk assessments
  • that the appropriate student has been selected for the appropriate placement, eg appropriate for students with health issues or disabilities
  • that the placement is appropriate to the studies of the student and is of the required quality etc
  • that adequate checks are carried out to ensure that the placement is reaching is expectations
  • see the University Academic Procedures, Practices and Guidelines QA6 document for full details of the above
  • that the placement providers insurance cover is current and adequate .

The students’ responsibilities

Not all legal responsibility for the placement lies with the University. For example students have a responsibility to act in an appropriate manner, keep in contact with the University to report any problems with the placement, check that indemnity is given to them by the placement provider.

Undergraduate students who travel abroad on a placement are also required to take out a travel cover for the duration of their stay. This cover will include medical expenses, personal injury and accident benefit, personal belongings, cancellation and curtailment expenses, personal liability and legal expenses and the like, whilst on placement.

Postgraduate students who travel abroad on placement can be covered under the Group Personal Accident and Travel cover arranged by the University for its staff. Please contact the insurance administrator or see the travel cover section of the web page for more information and to log travel requirements.

All students who take placements within the UK should also ensure that their personal insurance is adequate to cover their possessions, personal liability etc.

If the student uses their personal car for travel to and from placements or for the activity of the placement, then they need to check that cover is either offered by their personal motor insurance or by the placement provider. The University does not hold this cover.

Placements (continued)

The placement provider’s responsibilities

While the student is on placement and working under the placement provider’s supervision, that placement provider has a number of responsibilities:

  • from time to time the University may be asked to sign a contract with the placement provider that asks for the University to indemnify the placement provider against “all loss or damage” arising from the placement. No-one from the University should sign such a term as our cover cannot meet this requirement. There is an ABI agreement that confirms this is the responsibility of the placement provider’s insurer
  • to provide an appropriate Duty of Care and be responsible for the health and safety of the student
  • to provide full supervision and alert the University of any potential problems with the placement
  • to ensure that the work experience fulfils the needs of the student placement
  • to provide adequate insurance liability cover unless a company can demonstrate that they can provide all of the above, then they should not be approved to become a placement provider.##What insurance the University should require from the placement provider

In the UK it is a legal requirement for employers to hold employers liability insurance, and UK employers liability policies classify work experience or placement students as employees. Therefore in the event of an accident at work arising from the placement provider’s negligence, the student is covered in the same way as their employees. Sole traders are not legally required to have employers liability insurance, but as soon as they take on a placement student they effectively become an employer, so a sole trader must be advised to take out employers liability cover if they are taking a student on placement.

Although it is not a legal requirement, all reputable employers in the UK should also have a current public liability policy, which will also protect the student against claims brought against the placement provider by other third parties.

Placement companies need to have both employers liability and public liability policies in place to meet their legal liabilities towards our students, and thus the University should check that all potential placement companies have adequate (minimum £5m) and current policies in place. Before a placement is approved, the placement company should be asked to declare:

  • employer's liability
  • limit of indemnity
  • name of insurer
  • date of expiry
  • public liability
  • limit of indemnity
  • name of insurer
  • date of expiry

Please note that there are circumstances where the placement provider may not be obliged to insure, eg the NHS (self insure) or the MoD (no insurance).

Placements abroad

The above information about employers and public liability should also be asked of placement providers who are based outside the UK. Placements abroad have added complications by the fact that every country may not have the equivalent to the UK’s employers or public liability. Some have voluntary or statutory workmans’ compensation schemes run by the state that offer fixed compensation to people who are injured at work, but in some countries placement students are not offered protection from these schemes for various reasons.

If the placement company cannot provide confirmation that there is an equivalent policy or scheme in place to protect the student, then this gap in cover placement tutors should explain this to the student. The student’s personal accident policy should provide some fixed benefit in the event of death or permanent disablement arising from an accident at work, but without an employer's insurance policy or scheme to protect them the student is unlikely to receive any compensation from the company if they suffer an injury at work.

Further information

If you require confirmation of the cover that the University has in place, or have any other queries about University insurance, contact Insurance Services.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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