International SOS

The International SOS plan goes hand-in-hand with an insurance policy through Nationwide Insurance. The insurance policy generally covers political, medical and natural disaster evacuation and repatriation expenses. Please note that it is not a health insurance or medical expense policy. Here are examples of services that International SOS can provide in an emergency:

  • Health, safety, and security advice, including advice from an experienced, Western-trained doctor or security specialist
  • Arrangements for medical transportation or care, including evacuation to a center of medical excellence if local care is inadequate
  • Locate a local doctor or other provider credentialed by International SOS medical staff
  • Locate medication or equipment
  • Obtain legal advice or assistance with lost travel documents
  • Advance funds to cover medical fees, when approved
  • Monitor a traveler’s medical condition and obtain advice
  • Contact a traveler’s family

If a traveler needs medical care, the traveler should expect to pay for services personally and submit receipts to their health insurer afterwards. If a medical facility will not accept a credit card or the traveler does not have enough cash to pay for services, International SOS will pay for the services and then bill the University. You or your unit will be responsible for reimbursing money advanced for services. Keep in mind that students may be able to pass all or some of the charges on to their insurer.

For University employees, whether the University covers the medical care depends on the circumstances and whether the employee was engaged in activities related to University business at the time of the injury. As such, employees must also maintain personal health insurance while traveling internationally.

International SOS sometimes charges administration fees for some services, such as advancing money for medical expenses. These expenses can run in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the service provided. Students must reimburse the University for the full amount of any incurred administration fees, and the charges will appear on the student’s University account. For University employees, the employee’s unit is responsible for payment of the administration fees.

Burnwell Center


The following exclusions apply to both the International SOS Plan and the Nationwide Evacuation and Repatriation Expense Policy. This is only a general overview. The specific policy terms and applicable law – not this overview – apply to any particular incident. Refer to Enterprise Risk Management or the Office of Internationalization's website for additional information. If you are injured or need assistance while engaging in any of the following activities while traveling abroad, you will not be entitled to benefits under the International SOS membership:

  • Skydiving, hang gliding, parachuting, mountaineering (does not apply to school-sponsored trips), any motorized speed race, bungee jumping, speed contests, spelunking or caving, heli-skiing, or extreme skiing.
  • Participation in any war, invasion, revolution or insurrection
  • Piloting or learning to pilot or acting as a member of the crew of any aircraft
  • Commission or the attempt to commit a criminal act
  • Any non-emergency treatment or surgery, routine physical examinations, hearing aids, eyeglasses or contact lenses