Annually, a number of MSU employees undertake travel to foreign countries for MSU business purposes. MSU Safety & Risk Management has secured a separate package of insurance benefits for this purpose. A foreign travel report form must be completed and sent to SRM prior to any foreign travel in order to ensure that this coverage and package of benefits is in effect for all MSU employees traveling internationally:
In addition, we highly recommend that international travelers enroll in the Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP). If you are unable to enroll online you may contact the US Embassy or Consulate at your destination. Enrollment in this program allows the Embassy or Consulate to better assist you in case of emergency:
University employees planning foreign trips should consult with the MUS Employee Benefits Plan about its International Travel Benefits program. MEDEX Travel Assist offers a wide-ranging program of information, referral, coordination and assistance services. As a participant in the MUS group Life Insurance Plan, you are automatically enrolled with MEDEX for travel duration less than 90 days. Foreign travel duration beyond 90 days requires the employee to enroll prior to departure. See the following links for additional information and forms:
Insurance for Overseas Vehicle Rentals
MSU Safety & Risk Management frequently receives questions about foreign vehicle insurance coverage. The most common question is “should state/university employees purchase local vehicle insurance from rental car companies while traveling in a foreign country”? The short answer is “yes”! In fact, the laws of many foreign countries require the purchase of local vehicle insurance.
Vehicle Liability Insurance
MSU employees who are traveling outside of the United States must purchase local vehicle liability insurance at the statutory minimum limits in accordance with the laws of the local jurisdiction. When employees rent/lease a vehicle they need to make sure that their name, together with Montana State University, is listed as the lessor/named insured on the rental agreement. Otherwise, the rental car company may pursue damages from the individual as opposed to the university. Remember, the foreign vehicle insurance program that RMTD administers for state agencies/universities is ‘contingent’ (i.e. coverage is excess of locally required coverage). Contingent coverage may not apply if local insurance requirements have not been satisfied.
Vehicle Comprehensive/Collision Coverage
We encourage our employees to take advantage of the free vehicle comprehensive/collision coverage that is provided by VISA worldwide for university employees who charge their travel fare on their state procurement card. For additional information about the free coverage offered by VISA, please visit the Risk Management & Tort Defense Division’s website at http://rmtd.mt.gov/insurance/autofreesummary.mcpx. Employees are reminded NOT to purchase the optional vehicle comprehensive/collision coverage offered by rental car companies unless it is required by local law and/or they do not have a state procurement card that offers free comprehensive/collision coverage through VISA.
For additional information about current foreign travel insurance coverage, contact MSU Safety & Risk Management at (406) 994-6888.
UPDATED: February 7, 2013