Travel Liability

You are traveling on business for the University, driving your own car, when you hit a patch of ice. Your car slides into the car in front of you, causing an accident. Does the University’s insurance cover you?

Personal Injury

As a University employee, worker’s compensation covers any injury incurred while working.

Injury to a Potential Passenger

If the passenger is an employee and also traveling on University business, the employee passenger is covered under worker’s compensation. If the passenger is not a University employee, then the passenger is not covered for injuries sustained during travel by the University’s coverage.

Damages to the Car You Hit

The University is self-insured and covers tort claims for damages arising from an employee or authorized agent lawfully doing their job. Meaning you will be covered. However, when driving a personal vehicle, your personal insurance is primary. The University’s insurance coverage starts when the primary insurance limits are exceeded.

Damage to Your Car

The University policy does not cover physical damage to personal vehicles, even if employees are driving on University business. Your vehicle would have to be covered by your personal auto insurance policy.

Damage to University Vehicles

University motor pool vehicles have collision coverage. Just be aware, departments renting vehicles from the University motor pool will be responsible for a $250 deductible for any damages incurred in an accident. If your department owns a vehicle, it can request collision coverage through Environmental Health and Risk Management and the insurance policy will determine the coverage.

Damage to Rental Cars

The University/State of Montana has contracts with Enterprise/National and Hertz that offer both free collision damage insurance and free vehicle liability coverage.

For other rental companies, the University and the driver’ name must be listed on the rental agreement and the driver’s name must match the name on the Procard used to rent the car. Any damages must be reported to Environmental Health and Risk Management within 20 days of occurrence.

Who is Covered ?

University employees or agents covered under the State self-insurance liability policy include employees and any person acting in the course and scope on behalf of the University. Persons acting in the capacity of an independent contractor under contract to the University are not considered authorized agents.

Students, student interns, and medical residents are covered by the state liability insurance provided that the following three criteria are met:

  • Internship or residency is a degree requirement or an approved academic project;
  • Sponsor of the academic program is unable or unwilling to provide coverage in the absence of state’s insurance; and
  • Activity that caused the claim is directly associated with the internship or approved academic project.


If driving a vehicle for University business, you must fill out the Montana University System Vehicle Use Form every year. This is conveniently found under the “Annual Forms” tab in Cyberbear.

Confused, questions, or need more information – Contact the Risk Management and Insurance director at 243-2700.