Risk Management Reminds University Personnel to Think About Emergency Plans for International Travel - 02/10/11

Concerns for the safety of Purdue personnel who travel abroad recently hit home. While traveling in Egypt, faculty member Michael Witt and his family were victims of that country’s current social unrest, which led them to a difficult time returning to the U.S.

“Now more than ever it is critical to assure you have a contingency or emergency plan in place before you travel internationally,” states Mark Kebert, risk manager for the Purdue system.

Kebert said that is why his department places great value in the emergency medical and evacuation program it purchased several years back for Purdue students, faculty, and staff who travel internationally on University-related business.

“We have had to use this program several times now for evacuations,” he said, “and we know it can save lives. It is most effective, however, when we have a record of travel before it happens.”

Kebert reminds international travelers that they must complete Travel Form 17, Request for Authority to Travel on University Business, and seek appropriate approval in a timely fashion, prior to their travel on any business related to Purdue. After approval, the form needs to be promptly distributed as directed within the form itself, he said.

“The emergency medical evacuation coverage is mandatory for all international travelers, as stated on the Travel Form 17,” Kebert added. “The form is the launching point for coverage recognition in our international travel insurance program. It is important we have a record of faculty travel so evacuation specialists can step in and help when called on to do so.”

The emergency medical and evacuation program also provides coverage for spouses and dependent children who are traveling with faculty members, but their coverage must be specifically requested and paid for by the faculty member. 

Travelers are reminded that when they complete their Form 17 in a timely manner, they will receive an insurance card prior to their trip as evidence of coverage. The emergency numbers and email address on that card should be kept in a place where they can be quickly accessed in the event of an emergency.

Kebert recommends travelers program their emergency information into their international cell phone. That will keep the information handy and eliminate worries about losing the card.

In the event an evacuation is required, travelers should first contact the evacuation specialists at On Call International at the emergency numbers and then notify their contacts at Purdue.          

Questions about Purdue’s international medical and evacuation insurance program may be referred to Laurie Kiser in the Risk Management Department at 496-7440. 

For more information online regarding this program, please visit Risk Management’s Major Property/Casualty Insurance Programs Web page and follow the links for International Travel Medical/Evacuation Insurance Coverage.