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Faculty & Staff Newsletter

Did You Know?
January 2014

Person drivingState Vehicles and You: State Vehicle Insurance 

UMass Amherst, as an entity of the state, is self-insured.  What that means is that the University/State will insure vehicles for liability only, which covers anyone driving university vehicles for the purpose of doing university business.  Technically, they should be Faculty, Staff or Student Employees.  Basically if you get a paycheck from the university, you are covered. 

Anyone renting a vehicle for university business should always sign UMass first and then your name second: this puts the university’s Excess & Hired policy in front of their personal liability.
What self-insured does NOT cover is damage to our vehicles.  If the accident was not our fault, the university’s Treasurer’s office will subrogate (go after other insurance company to recover funds) and try to recoup/recover repair costs.  The Department usually pays for the repair and has to wait to be reimbursed if there is any recovery made.  If it does not pay for repairs, it would be because the vehicle is scrap.

If you are driving your own vehicle on University business and the accident IS your fault, your own personal insurance picks up. The take-away message: It is NOT recommended that you drive your personal vehicle on university business.

Alternatives include:
• Use a Zip Car. Departments have free subscription. It is $7/hour for rental which includes all fuel and insurance. Any tolls are billed back to your department.
• Rent through Enterprise. They are located in the Transportation compound or call 577-rent. You must be 21 years or older. Rentals are available for half day and full day rates.  Sign UMASS name first, then your name, this puts UMass policies in front.

So, now you know!