Michigan State University
Controller's Office

Administration Bldg
426 Auditorium Rd, Rm 305
East Lansing, MI 48824
517 355-5020

SECTION 35: Office of Risk Management & Insurance

Last updated: January 2020

General Insurance Information

MSU Indemnification Policy

Liability Insurance

Educators Legal Liability

  • Covers defense costs and payment of claims resulting from organizational errors and omissions including wrongful employment practices and failure to educate.

General Liability

  • Covers defense costs and payment of claims resulting from injuries to persons or damage to property of others that the University is legally obligated to pay.  This coverage includes police professional and liquor liability as well as foreign liability for claims that occur outside the United States.
  • Report accidents/incidents resulting in injury or property damage to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance using the Injury/Property Damage Report.

Medical Professional

Veterinary Professional

  • Covers defense costs and payment of claims for injury or damage caused by a medical incident arising out of the provision of or failure to provide veterinary medical services.
  • Report incidents using the Veterinary Incident Report

Guidelines for Automobile Use

The following outlines accepted university policies and procedures related to vehicle usage when driving on university business and for university sponsored events.  These policies and procedures have been established to support the safety of MSU students, faculty and staff.

Vehicle Usage

University Owned Vehicles

  • Automobile liability insurance provides coverage for the University and its authorized drivers for claims of negligence which result in damage to property of others or bodily injury to third parties within the limits of the Michigan No-Fault Act.
  • Physical damage (collision) insurance covers damage to university owned vehicles, subject to a deductible.  Funding of the physical damage deductible is the responsibility of the department.  All accidents must be reported to the Office of Risk Management so that a claim may be filed if appropriate under the Michigan No-Fault Act.
  • Departments are responsible for service, maintenance and inspection of vehicles through Transportation Services.  Failure to comply with requirements may affect insurance charges.

Privately Owned Vehicles

  • Individuals using privately-owned vehicles on University business are responsible for obtaining adequate insurance to cover their legal responsibility.  The University's Auto Liability insurance may be excess of the owner's personal coverage.
  • The University does not carry physical damage insurance on a privately owned vehicle.

Rental Vehicles

  • The University's auto liability coverage is excess of any other valid and collectible coverage.  The University does not carry physical damage coverage for rental vehicles.
  • Employees are encouraged to use National Car Rental or Enterprise Rent a Car whenever possible.  MSU is part of a Big Ten Agreement which includes coverage for damage to the rental vehicle and auto liability at no additional charge.
  • There is no need to purchase liability and collision coverage from the rental agency when traveling in the US.  Insurance costs on domestic automobile rentals are not reimbursable from the University.  Because of unique laws in foreign countries, complications in settling claims, and personal policy limitations, the liability and physical damage coverage should be purchased from the rental agency when traveling outside of the U.S.  Insurance costs on foreign automobile rentals are reimbursable from the University.
  • Rental expense for 12-15 passenger vans from outside agencies is not reimbursable.

Driver Responsibilities

All Approved Drivers

  • A person driving a University-owned vehicle must have a valid, unrestricted U.S. driver's license, with proper class and endorsements listed for the vehicle(s) to be operated and must have a satisfactory driving record. The responsibility for enforcing these requirements rests with the Department Chairperson or equivalent. Departments can obtain State of Michigan motor vehicle record reviews through the Office of Risk Management and Insurance. If a driver is licensed in a state other than Michigan, the department may submit a copy of the driver's out of state motor vehicle record to our office for review. For individual requests, complete the Michigan Driver Record Request Form and for multiple requests, complete an Excel spreadsheet. Submit all requests to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance at riskmgmt@msu.edu.
  • Drivers on University business travel are expected to observe all posted speed limits and to operate the vehicles in accordance with applicable laws and state regulations.
  • Drivers and all passengers in vehicles must wear safety belts.
  • Passengers are limited to those individuals that are part of the business purpose stated on the pre-trip travel authorization.
  • While traveling one-way more than 400 miles or more than 7 hours before reaching the planned destination, the driver is responsible to see that at least one other passenger is authorized to and acts as a relief driver. Trips should be no longer than 10 driving hours per day. No itineraries should be planned which include driving between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m. Itineraries must be reviewed and approved by the sponsoring department.
  • Use of 12-15 passenger vans is restricted to a 15-mile campus radius. Travel on freeways/expressways is prohibited.
  • 12-15 Passenger van drivers must hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) with passenger endorsement. Contact Transportation Services regarding the process for obtaining a CDL. Seatbelts must be worn by the driver and all occupants at all times. Failure to comply may jeopardize insurance coverage.
  • Use of cargo carriers and trailers must be approved by Transportation Services.

Driver Requirements


  • Employees, who are assigned to drive a University-owned vehicle to perform any MSU assigned tasks, must complete the Employee Driver Certification form annually.  Departments are responsible for reviewing and maintaining signed forms.
  • Employees that transport minors must have been subject to a motor vehicle record review within the last twelve months as required by the Youth Programs Policy.


  • University owned vehicles may not be used by students unless they are approved by a university department. When a department permits a student to drive a university owned vehicle, that student will be required to have their driving record checked prior to driving the vehicle, and at least annually thereafter. It is the responsibility of the department authorizing the use of the vehicle to ensure this is done.
  • The Travel Request form (required when picking up a Motor Pool vehicle) must be completed and the authorized signer must indicate that the student driving record has been checked. Any student arriving at Motor Pool without this step completed will not be eligible to pick up or be added as a driver for a vehicle.
  • Departments can obtain State of Michigan motor vehicle record reviews through the Office of Risk Management and Insurance. If a driver is licensed in a state other than Michigan, the department may submit a copy of the driver's out of state motor vehicle record to our office for review. For individual requests, complete the Michigan Driver Record Request Form and for multiple requests, complete an Excel spreadsheet. Submit all requests to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance at riskmgmt@msu.edu.


  • University-owned vehicles may not be used by volunteers.
  • Volunteers that transport minors while driving their personal vehicles must have been subject to a motor vehicle record review within the last twelve months as required by the Youth Programs Policy.

Registered Student Organizations

  • University-owned vehicles may not be used by registered student organizations.

Automobile Accident Reporting

Reporting Procedures

  • Report the accident to the appropriate authorities.  If on campus contact DPPS.  If off-campus contact the nearest police authority.  Refer to the “Accident Kit” located in the glove box of the vehicle for further instructions for What To Do When an Accident Happens.
  • The driver of the university owned vehicle, or an authorized representative of the department, must complete the Automobile Accident Report and forward it to MSU Risk Management on the day of the accident or as soon as practical.  This form can be found in the glove box as part of the “Accident Kit”.
  • Accidents involving injuries to employees must also be reported to MSU Workers Compensation.

Property Insurance

MSU Owned/Leased Property

  • Covers university buildings and contents for loss or damage as a result of a sudden and accidental occurrence.  Property covered is subject to a $5,000 deductible per occurrence. The following types of property damage are not covered by insurance:
    • Deterioration, depletion, rust, corrosion or erosion, wear and tear, or latent defect.
    • Settling, cracking, shrinking, bulging, or expansion of foundations, floors, walls, ceilings, or roofs.
    • Resulting from changes in temperature or humidity.
    • Resulting from insect, animal or vermin.
    • Pollution or contamination.
    • Fungus, mold or mildew.

Fine Arts

  • Coverage includes property owned by, or loaned to, the University with an established appraised value. Covered property includes (but is not limited to) museum collections, jewelry, precious metals, paintings, rare books, sculptures, rare coins and antiques. Property must be scheduled (information provided to the insurer in advance) for coverage to apply.  Contact Risk Management & Insurance for further information.

Faculty, Staff
or Student

  • MSU property insurance does not extend to personal property of others.  Insurance maintained by the property owner is the applicable coverage.

Property Claims

  • Reimbursement to departments or units for property loss or damage is subject to the following guidelines:
    • Incidents of vandalism, fire and theft should be reported immediately to the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety.
    • Property loss or damage must be reported promptly to the Office of Risk Management using the MSU Property Loss Report form.  Include photographs if available to assist in describing the loss.  Claims not submitted to Risk Management and Insurance within 90 days of the loss becomes the financial responsibility of the department or unit incurring the loss.
    • If the property item cannot be repaired or the cost to repair is more than 50% of the replacement value, the item will be replaced with either new or reconditioned property of like kind, quality, and specifications. Damaged equipment will be forwarded to the Surplus Store.
    • Equipment must be repaired or replaced by the department before any reimbursement can be made. Copies of original invoices and/or purchase orders for both the original equipment which was lost or damaged and for replacement equipment must be provided to support the claim.
    • If the loss involves theft or mysterious disappearance, a deductible of $5,000 per item will be applied.  Claims will be held for 30 days from the date of the report to allow time for the missing items to be recovered. If recovered items are damaged, the loss will then be treated as a damage claim. If items are not recovered settlement will be based on the depreciated inventory value at the date of loss.
    • Written documentation and/or damaged items may be required for review prior to the settlement of the claim. Failure to provide documentation or damaged items may void the claim.

Miscellaneous Insurance

NOTE: Additional or supplemental insurance purchased by University departments, regardless of the source of funds, may duplicate or nullify existing coverage.  No insurance policy of any kind may be purchased directly with any insurance carrier by a University department.

Camp Insurance

  • Covers accidental injuries to children enrolled in sports and academic camps at MSU.  Contact Risk Management and Insurance for enrollment information.
  • Explanation of Coverage

Travel Insurance

Special Event Insurance

  • Insurance available for purchase by groups holding one time events on campus who do not have insurance that meets the University's requirements for private events.  The policy provides the required levels of coverage to use the facilities and protects the individuals or organization holding the event.  See URMIA Tulip for details.

Services Provided & Request Forms

Charter Buses

  • Transportation Services has identified the following local bus providers that are interested in servicing and conducting business with Michigan State University. These companies meet the requirements for use of charter buses by MSU departments.
  • Dean Trailways of Michigan
    Lansing, Michigan
  • Indian Trails, Inc.
    Owosso, Michigan
  • If the University department wishes to obtain the services of a charter bus company not listed above, please visit the Department of Transportation website to ensure the charter bus company has a “satisfactory” rating. The following are instructions to utilize the website.
  • Click on the search box under the heading “Check Motor Carrier Safety and Performance Data”
    • Type in the vendor’s full or partial name
    • Once the vendor is located, click on the US DOT#
    • The individual carrier detail will appear. In the center section under the heading “Safety Rating & OOS Rates”, look for a “satisfactory” rating.
  • If a charter bus company does not have a "satisfactory" rating, the department must provide the following information to Risk Management and Insurance at riskmgmt@msu.edu for review before use of the charter bus company:
    • Bus Company Name
    • Address
    • Telephone / Fax
    • Key Contact Person
    • E-mail Address
  • Provide detailed explanation of the practices of the company in the following areas:
    • Selection criteria for drivers
    • Frequency and types of training for drivers
    • Limits on number of hours and distance before a driver stops
    • Maintenance policy (including pre and post trip inspections)
    • Emergency protocols
    • Position regarding subcontracting for driers/business
    • Safety record
  • Attach the following:
    1. Certificate of insurance evidencing limits of $5 million per occurrence Business Automobile Liability
    2. Insurance Company, Agent Name, Agent telephone number and address


  • Contracts and agreements that obligate the University to maintain specific types of insurance should be reviewed by Risk Management and Insurance prior to signature.

Contractor Insurance Requirements

Michigan Driver Record Request

Claim/Accident Reporting Forms