If you are a first year and are thinking about what to do for your summer fieldwork then it is always worth considering insurance. Archaeological fieldwork obviously carries some inherent risks.
Fortunately for your first year fieldwork requirement the Archaeology Department at Edinburgh will only permit you to go on fieldwork that they have given approval for. Partly this is because of the health risks mentioned above. Therefore it is almost certain that the organization running your approved fieldwork programme will have all the necessary insurance, so you can rest easy. The organization responsible for the fieldwork will probably provide you with details of their insurance cover, if not then they should provide you with details upon request.
If, however, you want the peace of mind to take out some additional insurance of your own then Endsleigh Insurance provides an excellent package at competitive rates. Having contacted Endsleigh’s customer services department earlier this year regarding their extreme activities cover, they said that archaeological fieldwork would be covered under their extreme activities policy. Their website is www.endsleigh.co.uk and click on Travel Insurance then click on Extreme Activity.
By and large you tend to be responsible for making your own way to the excavation location from home so travel insurance is worth considering. You can actually purchase travel insurance through Edinburgh University’s Insurance Department, their website is www.finance.ed.ac.uk/finweb/insurance/Travelinsurance.cfm (policy details are also on this page) then click on Travel Request to download a travel insurance request form. This can be filled in electronically and emailed to the insurance department. At the time of writing the costs for cover were £10.00 for 2 weeks cover in Europe and £20 for 2 weeks Worldwide – double these costs for 1 month cover. Naturally, this insurance only covers travel related to university (which your fieldwork is) and not for personal holiday travel; you can contact the insurance department at Insurance@ed.ac.uk if you have any queries.
STA Travel offer competitive rates for travel insurance and is extremely popular with students, their website is www.statravel.co.uk and click on Insurance at the bottom of the page.
Finally, and this is more for the more experienced archaeology student who may want to participate in fieldwork outwith any university course requirements, RBPM General Ltd are specialists in providing insurance for archaeologists and feature on BAJR’s website. While geared more to professional organizations and bodies, they do cater for individual needs. Their website is www.rbpm.co.uk/arch.htm see also www.rbpm.co.uk/ArchPolSchemeBroc.pdf
(All details correct at time of writing 30th September 2006)