Insurance and Risk Management -2022

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Vehicle Handbook

Explains the need for and scope of the University’s Vehicle program.

The State of California administers a vehicle self-insurance program against loss for (1) personal injury and (2) property damage to others. This liability program protects any officer or employee of the State while operating a state-owned vehicle while on official business. Understand that the University self-insures its own vehicles for property damage, thus, any accidental damage to a University vehicle is the responsibility of the University Department operating the vehicle.

The operation of vehicles presents a source of very high liability risks for the CSU. The intention and purpose of vehicle risk management is to limit these risks, as far as possible, using accepted risk management techniques.  Vehicular accidents could result in costly losses when the summation of property damages, bodily injuries, fatalities, and liability suits are considered.  The State is self-insured, but the CSU pays premiums for the cost of liability protection.  The State Motor Vehicle Insurance Account (SMVIA) is funded through assessments charged to the State agencies (e.g. CSU) that own vehicles/equipment.  The assessment reflects the projected amount to be expended to pay claims settlements and administrative expenses.

Unless perfect driving is the rule, the cost of claims and insurance can mount to proportions that will adversely affect the CSU’s efforts to accomplish its mission and maintain good public relations. The safety and well-being of our students and employees are of primary importance to the University and their protection demands a fully operational vehicular accident loss control program.

Travel by vehicle impacts two broad campus activities, namely, Academic Field Trips and the business use of State or personal vehicles by University employees. While there are distinct differences and applications in each area, both are concerned with the safety of employees and students and the liability associated with their activities on and off-campus. Therefore, anyone in the University responsible for the use of vehicles by students, employees, or others, as part of regular or special college courses or normal work activities, needs to be acquainted with and follow the safety and loss prevention guidelines.

The vehicle use requirements apply to any driver of a University-owned or leased vehicle (including campus golf carts) and any authorized driver operating a vehicle in order to conduct University business. The requirements also extend to passengers in the noted vehicles. Liability may be created because of the University’s vehicle ownership or by the driver being an employee, volunteer, authorized student or individual (neither student nor employee).

Academic Field Trip requirements apply to the liability that is created when students and others are transported to and from college sponsored activities off-campus. The net result of vehicular accidents includes serious injury to staff and students and a negative impact on our families and the community in general. Because of the complexity of the liability issues, specific rules, waivers, agreements, and procedures apply to University vehicles, drivers, and activities authorized by the University.

Under no circumstances is an unlicensed or minor individual permitted to operate a University-owned, leased or rented vehicle. Only University employees may drive University vehicles.

Because of the serious impact that the use of vehicles may have on University liability and recognizing that procedures are required to effectively conduct University business, the University issued a policy regarding the use of vehicles on University business. Specifically, refer to University Policy and Procedures #450-01 and associated references therein.  Questions regarding accidents and policy guidelines for the use of University and private vehicles on University business should be directed to the State Office of Insurance and Risk Management (ORIM) (562) 951-4580. 

CSU Vehicle Manual