As of May 1, 2002 the University of Massachusetts became self-insured in accordance with Chapter 258 of the Massachusetts General Laws for automobile liability. This self-insurance applies to vehicles owned by the University.
Our office manages this program and settles all claims. Settlements are generally paid directly by the at-fault campus, unless the settlement/judgment exceeds $2,500.00, in which case the State Attorney General’s Office needs to approve it, and payment will be made by the State Comptroller. The State Comptroller assesses an annual premium based on the average of all negligence settlements and costs paid on behalf of the University over a five year period. The University relies on certain protections from Massachusetts State Law Chapter 258 when self-insuring. In particular, University employees are generally immune from personal liability associated with damages resulting from their negligence while working within their job responsibilities. The University’s liability is capped at $100,000.00 per claimant for the actions of its employees within Massachusetts. Therefore, only University employees should be driving University/State owned vehicles.
The University is prohibited from insuring University/State owned property per Massachusetts State Law Chapter 29, Section 30. Therefore, University/State owned vehicles are NOT insured for Physical Damage (Collision and Comprehensive). Any damages that our office is not able to subrogate to a third party would be paid for by the applicable department or campus.