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Category Finance
Type Procedure
Approved by Chief Financial Officer
Date Procedure Took Effect 16 April 2002
Last Approved Revision 26 June 2018
Sponsor Chief Financial Officer
Responsible Officer Financial Controller
Review Date 17 June 2019


  •  Insurance Officer - Financial Services Division Assets and Insurance Officer



The following guidelines are provided to ensure that the University maximises the benefits and minimises the costs of insurance cover. No department may arrange any insurance without prior approval of the Financial Services Division.

Insurance Officer

The Insurance Officer deals with day to day queries relating to Insurance including organising additional covers, advising whether the University has insurance cover for various items and events, and the processing of claims.

University Property

For the purposes of insurance, University Property comprises:

  • all buildings
  • all equipment, including computers
  • all motor vehicles
  • any equipment on loan or hire to or from the University

Preventable Thefts

Putting into effect basic precautions will help minimise opportunist thefts. Numerous thefts do not involve forced entry. Ensuring that offices, labs etc are locked while unattended and being aware of unfamiliar people wandering through non-public access areas significantly reduces the possibility of theft.


Property Related Losses

The loss, suspected loss, or damage to University property must be reported as soon as possible to the Insurance Officer.

In the event of a theft you must notify the following people:

  • the Insurance Officer
  • the Proctor's Office, Campus Watch. who will arrange Police contact and the necessary reports


Other Claims

The University also has stringent responsibilities for reporting potential public liability and professional indemnity claims. Should any circumstances arise which may possibly give rise to a claim under either of these policies you must notify the Financial Controller immediately. Failure to do could result in any subsequent claims being disallowed. To ensure that the policies respond and that losses are minimised timely reporting of claims or circumstances which may lead to a claim is crucial.

Vehicle Damage

If a University vehicle (this includes vehicles on hire or loan) is involved in an accident a report must be filed even if there is only damage to a third party vehicle.

Note that the University's Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy also covers any vehicle owned by or in the control of an employee while the vehicle is being used in connection with the University’s business and with the University’s consent. This insurance cover includes personal effects. In the event of a loss, the employee should first claim against his/ her own insurance policy; if this is unsuccessful the University’s policy will respond.

Do not admit liability under any circumstances.

Take the damaged University vehicle to a repairer and obtain a quote. Send the quote and the claim form to the Insurance Officer, who will arrange for our assessor to inspect the vehicle, if necessary.

The department in charge of the vehicle at the time the damage or loss was sustained is responsible for paying the excess to the repairer.

Any third party correspondence must be forwarded to the Insurance Officer.

Personal Property

Any loss of personal property on campus should be claimed under the individual's personal insurance policy. The University's insurance cover for staff personal property only applies where it can be proven that the property subject to the claim was being used for University purposes. Given the difficulties in establishing such a claim it is advisable that the acceptability of any claim relating to loss or damage of such property be confirmed prior to its use.

Motor vehicles owned by or in the control of an employee, and personal effects in these vehicles, are insured while the vehicle is being used in connection with the University’s business and with the University’s consent. Refer to 16.7 for the procedure in the event of an accident.

Goods in Transit

Our Insurance Policy covers goods in transit in and between New Zealand and Australia. We have noticed some transport firms are charging additional insurance for goods being moved within NZ. Where ever possible insurance offered by Transport firms should be waived unless it is for goods in transit outside these areas.

International Travel Insurance


The University has purchased a corporate travel insurance policy underwritten by Allianz Global Assistance. In addition, the University has contracted to Healix to provide specialist Security and Medical Advice to staff and students travelling on University business.

International travel insurance must be purchased for the entire journey where ‘journey’ is defined as: "overseas travel in connection with the business of the insured, including associated, private, personal and family travel outside of New Zealand, which starts from the time of leaving home or normal place of business (whichever is the last) and continues until arrival back at home or normal place of business (whichever is reached first)."

Travel on University Business

It is mandatory for staff and students to use this insurance cover when travelling overseas on University business so that unforeseen risks to travellers and their property can be adequately managed. It is not acceptable for staff or students to use alternative insurance policies as a substitute for the University cover as there can be uncertainty about the level and quality of the protection that is being provided.

Departments are required to ensure all students travelling overseas on University business use the University’s travel insurance cover. Where students’ activities are covered by a University grant, the grant is to be used to meet the insurance cost.

Note: Cover is not available for travel to the following high risk countries: Afghanistan, Chad, Chechnya, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Israel, Somalia and Sudan. Cover may also be unavailable to countries where the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers “there is extreme risk to your security and advise against all travel”.

Private Travel

Staff travelling privately may also purchase cover under the University policy for themselves and their families if so desired. The staff member must be travelling with the family in order to utilise the policy in this manner.

Students may purchase cover under the University policy for private travel, but only when the travel is in conjunction with University-related business.

Insurance Cover Premiums

A uniform premium of $4.95 per day per person will apply to all travel.

Children aged under 17 years at the conclusion of travel - insurance cover is free.

Travellers aged 81 years old and over are not eligible for cover under this policy.

How to Arrange Cover

All applications for The University of Otago’s International Travel insurance (business and private) are now made on line via the University’s main web page/For Otago Staff “fly-out” menu:

Payment Method

University related travel days will be charged to a University account code (provided in the reference box of the application) and private travel insurance will be paid at application time by personal credit or debit card.

Insurance cover is in place as soon as the online application has been accepted. A confirmation email with supporting documentation will be immediately sent to the email address/es provided on the application.

Department account codes (provided at application time) will be charged weekly for staff and students travelling on University business.

Pre-Existing Conditions

The policy covers pre-existing medical conditions for the insured travellers only. However, the policy will NOT provide cover where the traveller is travelling contrary to medical advice, travelling to seek medical treatment or the condition is terminal.

Rental Vehicle Insurance

In all instances where a vehicle is hired outside New Zealand, it is essential the traveller purchases comprehensive vehicle insurance from the vehicle hirer. As not all hire contracts are structured the same, the employee must ask the hire company to confirm that the insurance cover includes vehicle damage, third party, and public liability cover.

It is often possible to pay an increased premium in order to reduce the excess applying to rental vehicle insurance. The University has insurance to cover such excesses up to $5,000 (NZ dollars), so there is no advantage in paying extra to secure an excess below this amount.

Note that there is no need to purchase rental vehicle insurance in New Zealand as the University's Motor Vehicle Policy provides comprehensive cover.

Travel to Antarctica

University travel insurance is to be arranged for travel to Antarctica except where the purpose of travel is to carry out work that is part of either:

  1. the Antarctica New Zealand Scientific Programme; or
  2. another scientific programme which provides medical and evacuation services, and does not charge for these services other than as part of normal programme fees. 

Where travel insurance is not arranged, party leaders must advise their colleagues and students that personal effects are not insured. 

Where travel insurance is required for trips to Antarctica, the University's insurer requires advance notice. Please contact the Insurance Officer at least two weeks prior to departure.

Studentsafe – University Offshore

Medical trainee interns on overseas electives should contact the Student Affairs Office at the Dunedin School of Medicine to apply for membership of the Medical Protection Society and arrange for international medical and travel insurance.

For further information about Studentsafe contact:
Tel 64 3  470 3883

Cancellation Policy

If you decide that you do not want the policy, you may cancel it within 14 days after the date of policy issue, and you will be given a full refund of the premium you paid, provided you have not started your journey and you do not want to make a claim or to exercise any other right under the policy. 

After this period you can still cancel your policy, but we will not refund any part of your premium if you do.

The University of Otago reserves the right to cancel any travel insurance policy at any time, prior to the commencement of travel. The traveller will be advised by email (using the address provided at application time) of this cancellation and the reason/s behind the decision to cancel the insurance cover. A refund of premium will be actioned once this cancellation has been put in place, provided the traveller has not made a claim on the policy.

Policy Documents and Schedule Information

Allianz Global Assistance Insurance Policy

University of Otago has appointed Allianz Global Assistance Insurance to provide Travel Insurance cover for staff travelling internationally.  University travel insurance policy holders must contact Allianz Global Assistance for their medical assistance needs whilst overseas.   Emergency Contact details are provided with the confirmation email when taking out this insurance.

Note that there is a number of exclusions attached to the policy and travellers should make themselves familiar with them. In particular the policy does not cover electronic equipment (including laptops) that have been included in the checked-in baggage. All such items should be taken on board the aircraft as personal cabin baggage.

Allianz Global Assistance Insurance Policy (PDF format, 2Mb)

Travel Risk 

In the interests of staff and student safety, the University of Otago has subscribed to an international security and medical alert advisory service, Healix Travel Oracle.

Travellers should familiarise themselves with the Healix risk level of the country or countries to which they intend to travel.

It is strongly recommended that traveller read the Healix Travel information available at and download the Healix Travel Oracle App.

Insurance Policy Schedule

Financial Services Division maintains a schedule of the various policies relating to Insurance.

Allianz Global Assistance Insurance Policy Schedule (PDF format, 370Kb)

Making A Claim On Your Travel Insurance Policy

If you need to make a Travel Insurance claim, the Allianz Global Assistance claim form is available on the Travel Insurance portal. Log on following the same process as when making a booking and scroll down to the bottom of the registration form page to the Claim Form button.

Once completed, the claim form is to be emailed to

Travel Insurance Office Contact and Enquiries

For further information about international travel insurance, contact:

Travel Insurance Officer
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand
Tel 64 3 479 8578

Accident Compensation Insurance

For information about the Accident Compensation Insurance Policy please contact the Human Resources Division.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

For further information, contact the Financial Controller, extn 9247 or email