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Frequently Asked Questions

Browse the Harvard Travel Assist FAQs below, and contact us if your question hasn’t yet been answered.

Eligibility for Services

What does it mean for a student to travel with Harvard sponsorship?

Traveling with Harvard sponsorship means that the travel involves academic work that qualifies for Harvard credit, is funded in whole or in part by Harvard, or is organized or accompanied by a Harvard faculty or staff member acting in a Harvard capacity.

What's considered University business or a University-related activity?

University business and University-related activities include any activity that can be broadly construed as part of academic or professional work at Harvard, including research, study abroad, attendance at a conference, travel with an officially recognized student organization (including officially recognized treks), or a summer or January internship or work experience if registered at Harvard the following term.

Travel by staff is considered "University-business" if it is at the request of a supervisor and/or the University is funding the trip.

Faculty traveling as part of an ongoing or long-term relationship with a non-Harvard organization should normally be covered under that organization's evacuation and security procedures, services, and coverages. However, if the work supports your paid Harvard appointment, then you will be covered by Harvard Travel Assist.

Is personal travel covered?

No. Personal travel—including vacations or travel home primarily to visit family—is not eligible for Harvard Travel Assist. The only exception is personal travel within seven days on either side of an eligible trip.

Although personal trips are not eligible for Harvard Travel Assist, in an emergency, we'll locate and assist all registered Harvard travelers to the best of our ability. Personal travelers, however, will likely incur the costs if services are rendered (e.g. emergency evacuation).

Therefore, if you're traveling on a vacation or other type of personal trip, we strongly encourage you to purchase evacuation insurance coverage through a separate provider. You should also check with your health insurance provider about your international coverage options and/or purchase an international health insurance plan (see Insurance FAQs below).

Are trips within the U.S. or U.S. territories covered?

With the exception of non-U.S. national employees based abroad, travelers within the U.S. and U.S. territories are not eligible for Harvard Travel Assist. If you need medical or security assistance within the U.S., call 9-1-1 or the Harvard University Police Department (if on campus): 617-495-1212.


Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage

How can I show proof of evacuation and repatriation coverage?

If your trip is eligible for Harvard Travel Assist, you can request a letter and proof of coverage through our webform.

We'll send you the required letter as a PDF file within one to two business days, or contact you if further information is required. The letter will indicate evacuation and repatriation coverage from Chubb Group of Insurance Providers and The Anvil Group as the provider for these services. Both vendors are part of the Harvard Travel Assist program.

You may also need to show proof of health insurance coverage. Contact your health insurance provider to request that letter.



Will I be charged for Harvard Travel Assist services?

In some cases, yes.

Any medical and security referrals, consultations, or monitoring that are conducted over the phone or email are free to eligible travelers. The online resources—which include travel briefs, country profiles, and email alerts—are also free for all Harvard affiliates.

Harvard Travel Assist may refer you to third-party providers who charge directly for services, such as medical care at a clinic or hospital. You may be billed for these services either by the provider directly or by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, which handles claims for Harvard Travel Assist.



Is Harvard Travel Assist an insurance policy?

No. Harvard Travel Assist is a program that provides emergency medical and security assistance and evacuations, as well as online resources and over-the-phone and emailed information for travelers.

The services provided under the Harvard Travel Assist program are insured by Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. For eligible travelers, medical or security evacuations deemed necessary by Harvard Travel Assist will be covered by the Chubb insurance policy. This policy also provides coverage for costs associated with repatriation; proof of such coverage is required by some countries during the visa application process. Other expenses, such as inpatient and outpatient medical care, are the responsibility of the traveler.

Does Harvard Travel Assist replace health insurance?

No. Harvard Travel Assist is not health insurance.

When necessary for emergency services, the company that insures the Harvard Travel Assist program (Chubb Group of Insurance Companies) will pay a clinic or health care provider on your behalf via Harvard Travel Assist (and the associated service providers).

However, these expenses are typically billed to your health insurance later; if uninsured, expenses may be billed to you. Therefore, you should review your health insurance provider's international coverage policy prior to departure. In some cases, you may be required to pay for treatment out-of-pocket. Upon your return home, you may be able to file a claim with your insurer to recoup some of the costs.

Can I purchase an individual plan for personal travel or for a travel companion?

While Harvard Travel Assist cannot be purchased for personal travel or ineligible travelers, similar products exist. All vendors are solely responsible for the services they provide.

GeoBlue Travel Medical and International Health Insurance is one option that provides medical and repatriation coverage but not security evacuation coverage. Contact GeoBlue directly for more information: +1-855-481-6647 or The U.S. State Department also maintains a comprehensive list of private providers that offer travel medical insurance and evacuation coverage.