Automobile Insurance Policy - Rental Vehicles

The University Treasurer's Office responds to inquiries about the University's auto insurance programs for auto rentals for University business travel. Contact Matthew Wamback at (774) 455-7588, mwamback@umassp.edu if you have any questions.

When University employees rent vehicles for University business, if possible, the vehicle should be rented in the name of the University.    Please note, the below guidelines and referenced protections only pertain to University Employees and University sponsored groups.  Non-employees and groups that are not sponsored/approved by the University are not covered under any applicable policy or protection.

Employees renting vehicles will most likely be given the option of buying the following two types of rental insurance:

  • Liability Insurance which covers bodily injury or property damage to a third party.
    • The University has a Hired and Non-owned Liability Insurance policy for vehicles rented for University business. The University's policy is only an excess policy. This policy has a $1,000,000 combined single limit for bodily injury and/or property damage to others.
  • Physical Damage Insurance, often referred to as a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), which overs property damage to vehicles.

When renting cars for University business, employees should follow the following guidelines:

Liability Insurance

  • Within Massachusetts:
    • Decline the Liability Insurance offered by the rental company, if you are renting the vehicle in Massachusetts and you will only be driving the vehicle Massachusetts. 
  • Outside of Massachusetts:
    • Purchase the Liability Insurance offered by the rental company, if not already included in an existing contract, if renting a vehicle outside of the State of Massachusetts or for use outside of Massachusetts.

Physical Damage

  • Paying with University issued business credit card/procard/travel card: 
    • Decline the Physical Damage Insurance (CDW/LDW) offered by the rental company.  Please note that it is important for the employee to carefully review the terms of their University credit card to make sure that it does provide primary Physical Damage Insurance when renting a vehicle. The employee will also want to make sure that the type of vehicle he/she is renting is not excluded from the coverage provided by the credit card
  •  Paying with a purchase order or personal credit card:
    • Purchase the Physical Damage Insurance (CDW/LDW) offered by the rental company if paying with a purchase order, personal credit card, or any other means of payment that does not provide primary Physical Damage Insurance coverage.  Also, purchase the physical damage insurance if renting a van that carries more than eight passengers.

If in doubt as to whether or not the employee's University issued business credit card provides primary physical damage coverage, it is a good idea to purchase the coverage from the rental company. The Physical Damage Insurance coverage offered by the rental company is a good protection at usually a low daily rate.

If involved in an accident:

  • If there is damage to the rental vehicle, and a University issued business credit card/procard/travel card is used, the employee needs to contact the credit card company immediately to report a loss. 

  • If there is third party damage, the employee should contact Matthew Wamback in the University's Treasurer's Office at mwamback@umassp.edu.