Frequently Asked Questions - Risk Management

General Insurance

What is a Certificate of Insurance and how do I get one?

A Certificate of Insurance shows evidence of the University of Massachusetts insurance coverage. See the How to file a certificate of insurance page for more information.  If you have any questions, contact the Treasurer’s Office at 774-455-7616.

Where can I get information about Worker’s Compensation?

The University of Massachusetts, as an entity of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is self-insured for Worker’s Compensation in accordance with Chapter 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws.  For more information please contact Human Resources on your campus.

What do we need if we are hosting a group on campus?

The Treasurer’s Office suggest obtaining a Certificate of Insurance from the group’s general liability insurance carrier to evidence that they have insurance coverage. The University should ask to be named as an “additional insured” on the policy for purposes of the event.

Are building contents covered under any insurance?

If this is UMass property, in general it would not be covered under insurance as we are, prohibited by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 29 section 30 from insuring property. Some specific leased property is required to have insurance. If you have any questions please contact the Treasurer’s Office at 774-455-7616.

There is indemnification and/or hold harmless language in my contract. Can the University agree to this?

No. Article 1 section 62 of the Amendments of the Massachusetts Constitution prohibits the University, as an entity of the Commonwealth, from indemnifying and/or hold harmless a third party. You should strike this language before executing the contract.


What do I do if I am involved in an automobile accident using a state vehicle?

Contact the campus police or town police where the accident occurs. Complete the Auto Loss Notice that is in the vehicle or print one from the Treasurer’s Office website.  For more information, see the How to file an automobile loss form page.  Both the police report and the completed Automobile Auto Loss Notice form should be submitted, as soon as possible, to the Treasurer’s Office, 333 South Street, Suite 450, Shrewsbury MA 01545. The loss notices can also be emailed to Kate Leahy at or faxed to 774-455-7592.

Our office’s State owned vehicle was involved in an accident and was damaged. Is it covered by insurance?

No. The University is self-insured for damages and injuries caused to third parties and to damages done to the University State owned vehicle. It is up to the department to get their own vehicle fixed. However, an auto loss form should still be filled out and sent to the Treasurer’s office. Additionally, if the other driver was at fault, a claim for repairs and/or injury should be made against the other driver’s insurance company. Contact the Treasurer’s Office who will handle/coordinate this claim.

What do I do if I am involved in an accident while driving a University Leased Vehicle?

The University has insurance in place for all leased vehicles. The accident MUST be reported to the University Treasurer’s Office as soon as possible. The Treasurer’s Office will then contact the current auto liability insurer, and provide information regarding the loss. The insurer will then contact the appropriate department and driver to get a statement. The insurer will also advise the department where to bring the vehicle to get an appraisal.

If the University driver is at fault for the accident, the insurer will send a check, less the $500 deductible. The department will be responsible for a $500 deductible payment. If the University driver is not at fault, the insurer will send a check for the full amount of the appraisal. Once a check is received the department is responsible for having the vehicle repaired.

If I am involved in an automobile accident while using my own vehicle for business purposes, am I covered by the University policy?

If you are using your own vehicle while on University business, your own insurance policy would be primary. The University’s hired/non-owned policy would be secondary and cover liability only, damages or injuries to a third party.

Is a University student participating in a University sponsored event/program/group allowed to rent a vehicle?

If a University student, participating in a University sponsored event/program/group, needs to rent a vehicle specific to or for a University sponsored purpose, regardless of how they rent a vehicle, that student should rent a vehicle in the name of the University (i.e. UMASS Hiking club) and name the student as the driver. The University sponsored student group/program/event MUST also purchase the extra insurance provided by the rental agency (both liability and collision).

If I am renting a vehicle for University business purposes, should I pay for, or deny, the extra insurance that if offered?

Please visit the Automobile Insurance Policy – Rental Vehicles page for information on renting vehicles for University business.

I am injured in an accident while driving a state vehicle. Am I covered in any way?

If you are hit by another vehicle, you may be able to make a claim against the other driver’s insurance company for your injuries.  You should also check Human Resources on your campus regarding a worker’s compensation claim.

Can students drive University of Massachusetts vehicles?

Student employees must be eligible to be employed and must be on the payroll at the time they are assigned the duties of driving the state-owned or leased vehicle in order to be covered under the University’s liability provisions. Only employees of the University should be driving University vehicles.

Am I allowed to rent a 15 passenger van?

Since 2001, the National Transportation Safety Board has issued several reports and warnings about the rollover propensity of 15-passenger vans. The Treasurer’s Office does not recommend the use of 15 passenger vans. If you MUST rent a 15 passenger van, you NEED to purchase the collision damaged waiver and excess liability insurance offered by the rental company. Please contact the Treasurer’s Office for additional information.

General Liability

What if someone is injured on our premises?

Ask the person if he/she needs assistance. Contact the University police. Fill out the General Liability Accident Form. You can obtain this form on the How to file an insurance claim page.  You should never make a statement regarding liability or payment of bills.

If I am injured while performing some of my duties as an employee of the University, am I covered by a University insurance policy?

The University does not have an “accident” policy. Our General Liability Policy covers injury and property damage we may cause to others. An employee who is injured should contact their campus Human Resource Office regarding worker’s compensation.

Who and what does general liability insurance cover?

University employees, students, faculty, volunteers are covered under the University’s general liability policy. In general, this covers bodily injury and property damage that we may cause to others due to negligence.

Will the general liability insurance cover us off campus?

Yes, as long as you are on University of Massachusetts business or at a University of Massachusetts sponsored event.

You would also want a Certificate of Insurance for the event location’s general liability insurance to be sure they are covered for their negligence.

Are student interns covered while working off campus?

If the student is acting under the direction of the employer, then they would be considered like an “employee” and the employer’s insurance policy should respond. If the student has a faculty teacher with him/her on the job sight directing their work, our insurance policy would usually respond.