As a field oriented department, you may have the necessity to lead laboratory exercises into the field, away from Clark Hall. Therefore, transportation insurance and liability issues become important.
If you are driving to a field site and a wreck occurs on the interstate which is the fault of driver of the state vehicle, then the state policy will cover everything.
If you are driving and are involved in an accident which is not your fault, then the other driver's insurance will pay for the damage and any other related costs. The university does have uninsured coverage and the policy will act as a secondary coverage.
If you are driving a class to the Eastern Shore and you decide to stop off by your parents' house to get laundry, which is on the way, you are not covered. State vehicles must only be used for state business.
If you are driving a class to the Eastern Shore and you decide to head in to West Point to eat at a really great restaurant, you are also not covered. State vehicles must only be used for official state business (Point A to Point B).
If you are driving a class to the Eastern Shore and you decide to stop at a restaurant along the road you are covered.
The following is from a document sent to the Department from the Office of Risk and Insurance Management. It contains more important information about the use of state vehicles.
RENTAL VEHICLES - FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC RENTALS:
RENTAL OF VEHICLE WITHIN THE USA AND CANADA:
When you rent a vehicle (short term) for USA business related travel, do not purchase the collision of comprehensive or liability coverage offered by the rental firm. The University/State program provides insurance coverage.
RENTAL OF VEHICLE IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY (EXCLUDING CANADA):
If you rent a vehicle in a foreign country (excluding Canada) the State recommends the traveler purchase the local insurance, both the liability and collision.
If a driver has an accident, regardless of who is responsible, while operating an owned or leased vehicle or their personal vehicle used on University/State business the driver shall:
COMMON AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE QUESTIONS:
If I am driving to a field site and a vehicle accident occurs on the way to the site, will the insurance program respond to those injured and damages done to the vehicle?
Yes, if the accident is the fault of the insured driver. If the fault rests with the other driver, then they will respond to our damages. All accidents are to be reported per University policy. Fault will be determined by the facts of the accident, not who got the ticket. JUST BECAUSE THE DRIVER GETS A TICKET FROM THE POLICE OFFICER DOES NOT MEAN THE DRIVER WAS AT FAULT FOR THE ACCIDENT. IT ONLY MEANS YOU GOT A TICKET!
If I chose to leave my normal course of travel to a field site or I am driving a class to a field site and elect to do some personal business, such as picking up laundry or visiting a particular restaurant, will the insurance program respond to the accident?
No. Insurance coverage is only provided for business related travel. Picking up laundry or other personal business is not business travel. Travel to a restaurant while on authorized business is covered if the restaurant is not a major deviation from the normal course of travel, i.e. Eastern Shore site and eat in Jamestown, VA. All personal travel with a University/State vehicle is not authorized.
If I have an accident, can the department secretary or administrator or anyone else other than the driver report the loss as specified by University policy?
No. The driver was there and has specific details about the accident. This is important to the Police, Nationwide, and the Office of Risk Management.
What is the liability limit for the University/State that an injured person can collect? As the driver, what is my limit of liability?
If I am in an accident and the other party elects to sue me, who provides my legal defense?
The Office of the Attorney General or their designee. Intentional acts of negligence are not covered under RMP and a legal defense is not provided. Students (agents) acting on behalf of the University are covered under the RMP.
Last Modified: 9/24/96