Insurance and Risk - Student Placements
For many students, part of their course involves a work placement with a third party and our insurers recognise that the University will assist in finding a suitable placement. In providing such assistance a key area for consideration will be the insurance arrangements, should the student be unfortunate enough to either suffer injury or damage, or indeed cause injury or damage to property, during their placement.
In the normal course of events, the organisation receiving the placement will provide insurance cover for the student, in particular Employers/Public/Products Liability and Professional Liability or Professional Indemnity insurance. The reasons for this are that the receiving organisation will have control of the working environment, equipment, health and safety instruction and general supervision of the student during the placement. The School / Research Institute will, however, still retain an overall responsibility in ensuring that they have taken reasonable care in selecting the placement organisation and in confirming that it has suitable insurance and health and safety guidelines in place. This duty of care should be evidenced by completing, and retaining, a risk assessment for the placement.
Most Combined Liability policies issued in the United Kingdom provide cover, at the request of the policyholder, to students undertaking study or work experience with the Business, and therefore it should generally not be a problem for the receiving organisation to confirm cover for the student whilst on placement with them. It is, however, important that the School / Research Institute and the student are clear on the insurance and indemnity issues before the placement commences and this should form part of the placement arrangements and should be confirmed in writing by the receiving organisation.
Placements with overseas organisations require particular care, as it will be necessary to consider overseas jurisdiction issues and the requirements of statutory/regulatory authorities in the territory in respect of indemnity and insurance arrangements. Advice on this is best sought from the receiving organisation and agreement should be reached on the cover to be provided by them.
In respect of any placement which may involve medical treatment, diagnosis, prescription or advice, consideration must be given to ensuring that coverage is provided for any claims arising from failure to adequately provide such services and advice - often known as the treatment or medical negligence indemnity. Where appropriate, and particularly where any medical/treatment exposure exists, students should be required to effect cover under their relevant professional body for claims arising out of their placement This may require the student contacting the professional body to confirm that any placement is covered by these arrangements, this will be particularly important if the placement is overseas as cover may require to be extended for such situations.
Insurer's Student Placement Form:
In the event that any receiving organisation is not providing insurance, or indemnity, to the student whilst on the placement, then the Insurers will require to be advised of this position. The School / Research Institute can do this by completing the Student Placement Questionnaire Form, and submitting this to the Insurance Section of the Finance Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) . This will enable the Insurers to consider if it is possible to extend the University liability insurance policies to provide cover for the placement.
(Please note that the form should not be sent directly to the Insurer).