insurance photo by Alan Cleaver on Flickr <>

You are required to have travel and medical insurance while travelling abroad on university activities. Not all travel and medical insurance plans are equal, however, so you are responsible for assessing your own international health coverage needs and plans that are available to ensure you have sufficient coverage while away.

Some things to remember:

  • Familiarize yourself with your plan before you leave
  • Review travel and medical insurance policies carefully before choosing a plan to ensure that the plan will cover all of your needs while abroad
  • Be sure to bring all proper documentation (e.g. insurance cards) with you when travelling abroad
  • Make sure you know the correct number to call if you need to contact your insurance provider from abroad


Types of Medical Insurance

There are three types of health insurance: basic, extended, and emergency.

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Proof of Insurance

If you are covered only by the Medical Services Plan (MSP) or another basic provincial plan, you must purchase additional insurance. Basic and Extended insurance are required for international travel, while Emergency insurance is recommended. You will be asked to provide proof of insurance on the Student Safety Abroad Registry.

UBC Student Insurance

The AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan (UBC Vancouver) and the UBCSUO Health & Dental Plan (UBC Okanagan) provided by Pacific Blue Cross, cover both extended and emergency insurance for students participating in international travel. For instructions on how to find your insurance group and policy number, please visit the AMS Health and Dental Plan page (Vancouver) or the UBCSUO homepage (Okanagan). Please note that the AMS/GSS and UBCSUO Plans do not cover students returning to their home country, and is automatically void for regions with “AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL” or “AVOID ALL TRAVEL” advisories.

VANCOUVER: Below is a summary of the AMS/GSS plan. For updated details on this plan, visit

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OKANAGAN: For more information on eligibility and coverage for the UBC Okanagan Health & Dental Plan, please visit the UBCSUO Health & Dental webpage.

Purchasing Insurance

If you are covered only by MSP or another basic provincial plan, you must purchase additional medical insurance. If you are travelling to your home country, or are travelling to a country with a Global Affairs (formerly known as DFATD) advisory of level “AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL” or “AVOID ALL TRAVEL”, you will not be covered by MSP or the AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan. The following insurance companies offer travel and medical insurance which you can purchase:

pdf_icon   Click here for a list of questions to consider when deciding on a plan.

Baggage Insurance

You may want to consider a simple policy available at banks and travel agencies that will insure your baggage. When you consider cameras, clothing, and other incidentals, your baggage is probably worth no less than $300 to $500. Should you choose to have your baggage insured, you should be covered from the time of your departure to the date you return home. A homeowner’s policy may already provide this coverage.