To ask the Chairman of Committees what travel insurance, including personal medical insurance, is provided for Members of the House travelling on Select Committee or other parliamentary business; and how that compares to the insurance arrangements provided for Members of the House of Commons. [HL1378]
The House of Lords maintains an insurance policy to cover Members for accidents while on the Parliamentary Estate, while travelling between home and the House and while travelling on official parliamentary business, including Select Committee visits and parliamentary delegations. Cover is provided for Members until they have attained their 85th birthday, although medical cover does not apply from the age of 75 if the journey is in excess of 30 days. Cover is not available for Members' spouses, civil partners, or children and cover is not automatic in respect of travel to certain countries. The full policy is set out on the parliamentary intranet. Details of the travel insurance arrangements provided for Members of the House of Commons are also available on the parliamentary intranet. The most significant difference is that the arrangements for Members of the House of Commons cover spouses.
To ask the Chairman of Committees what travel insurance, including personal medical insurance, is provided for staff of the House travelling on Select Committee or other parliamentary business; and how that compares to the insurance arrangements provided for staff of the House of Commons. [HL1379]
For staff travelling with Select Committees, the House reimburses the costs of any reasonable insurance required, and would also reimburse reasonable losses if not covered by an insurance policy. Staff travelling outside the EU are advised to take out insurance; staff travelling within the EU are advised to carry the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
The House of Lords Staff Handbook makes provision for staff travelling on official business other than with Select Committees as follows:
“30. Staff travelling overseas (and in the UK) are covered for death and injury benefits under the House of Lords Staff Pension scheme.
31. Illness not arising from an accident is not covered by these arrangements. Staff are expected to pay their own medical or dental charges which will be reimbursed by the House on production of receipted bills.
32. It is sometimes difficult to obtain medical treatment overseas without evidence of private health insurance. Staff travelling overseas are therefore advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover health and other insurable losses - money, baggage etc. The cost of the premiums is deemed to be covered by the elements within the subsistence allowances”.
The House of Commons offers personal accident and travel insurance cover to staff travelling on parliamentary business outside Great Britain. The House of Commons Staff Handbook provides that “Staff who travel overseas on official business will be covered by the House's personal accident insurance policy”.