Motor Vehicle Use and Accidents
CSU participates in the State Motor Vehicle Self Insurance Account (SMVIA). This program provides automobile liability coverage to state employees who drive State-owned vehicles on University business.
CSU Motor Vehicle Insurance Facts
Motor vehicle liability coverage is provided only if the vehicle driven is a State owned vehicle operated by State employee within the scope of their employment. This insurance does not cover use of any non-State vehicle; for personal or rental vehicles other liability insurance (non-State) must be used and would be considered primary or first to pay claims.
The SMVIA liability insurance does provide "excess" coverage when the employee’s personal or rental vehicle is involved, but only after the mandatory non-State insurance policy limits have been paid. This excess liability insurance applies to most University drivers.
In addition, State vehicle insurance does not include coverage for injuries to State employees or for damage to State or personal vehicles. Employee injuries are insured through the Workers' Compensation program. Damage to State vehicles is the responsibility of the University if it is determined that the State driver is "at fault." The State liability insurance is designed to provide reimbursement to third parties only and does not cover University employees, their vehicles or University vehicles.
Eligibility to Drive Vehicles on University Business
Appropriate administrators should ensure their employees are properly authorized for vehicle use prior to approving travel requests or expense claims involving use of vehicles on University business. A driver must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to drive a vehicle on University business:
- The driver must have a valid driver's license
- The driver must be a University employee
- The driver must complete Defensive Driver training every four years
- If driving a vehicle is a requirement of an employee's job then the employee's license and driving record will be checked – vehicle use will be contingent upon a safe driving record.
No one under 18 years of age may drive on University business.
Procedures for Use of Vehicles
University owned vehicles
In order to drive a University-owned vehicle an employee must meet the eligibility requirements listed above. They must:
- Complete Defensive Driver Training. This training is available online. To enroll please contact CI Risk Management at extension 8846.
- Complete an INF 1101, DMV Authorization for Release of Driver Record Information (PDF, 59.5KB). Return the form to CI Risk Management.
Keep in mind:
- Smoking is prohibited in University owned vehicles
- University vehicles shall only be used in the conduct of University or State business. Transporting any persons other than those directly involved in University business is prohibited.
- The University may not loan a University vehicle to an auxiliary organization.
- Administrators should minimize or discourage driving by non-salaried (volunteer) drivers.
In order to use rental vehicles on University business an employee must meet the eligibility requirements above. And:
- Drivers traveling on University business and renting a vehicle should always use one of the rental companies contracted with the State. Instructions for renting vehicles can be found at http://calstate.edu/icsuam/sections/3000/Travel_Procedures_G-001_Final.pdf (PDF, 793KB). Note that insurance provided by the rental company by contract with CSU does not apply if the driver is under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances or if a non-authorized driver is operating the vehicle.
Privately owned vehicles
University employees may use privately owned vehicles on State business but must observe certain restrictions:
- The employee must meet all of the eligibility requirements above.
- The use must be within the employee’s scope of employment.
- Authorization to use a privately owned vehicle is required. Authorization requires that the employee certify that private automobile liability insurance is in place, that the vehicle is adequate for the work to be performed, is equipped with safety belts and is in safe mechanical condition. The authorization is implemented using a State form (form 261) entitled "Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business” (PDF, 112KB). The supervisor authorizing travel must keep a copy and forward the original to Risk Management. The supervisor authorizing travel must also ensure that the form is approved and signed each year.
Keep in mind:
- The owner's private automobile insurance will be primary.
- State insurance provides liability coverage only after the owner's liability coverage is exhausted, and provides no collision or comprehensive coverage. Claims paid by private insurance for accidents in privately owned vehicles while being operated on University business are not reimbursable from CSU or State funds.
Vehicle Accident Reporting Procedures
University drivers must report all motor vehicle accidents that occur while driving CI-owned vehicles, as well as those occurring in personal or rental vehicles, while being driven on official CI business.
- Make no comment or statement regarding the accident to anyone except investigating police, your supervisor, CI Risk Management, other State officers, or an identified representative of ORIM.
- Do call the police (911) in the event of any injury accident. If the police request a copy of your insurance documentation, and you are operating a state-owned vehicle, provide them this form.
- Do exchange information with the other driver. Record all information on the accident identification card, STD Form 269, before leaving the scene of the accident. This form should be found in the vehicle glove-compartment. If another vehicle is involved, detach the appropriate portion of the form and give it to the driver of the other vehicle.
- Call CI Risk Management at (805) 437-8846 as soon as practicable and give a verbal report of the accident. Leave a message if necessary including your name, department, and telephone number where you can be reached, a brief description of the accident, and state if any involved parties were injured.
- In all accidents that result in injury or serious damage, immediately telephone the Office of Risk and Insurance Management (ORIM) at (916) 376-5302 or (800) 900-3634. Leave a message if necessary including where you can be reached by ORIM staff on the next business day.
- All drivers involved in an accident while driving on official CI business must complete the Report of Vehicle Accident, STD Form 270 (PDF, 138KB). Give a copy to your supervisor, and submit the original to the CI Risk Management within 24 hours, or the next business day.
- The supervisor of each driver involved in an accident while driving on official CI business must investigate each accident promptly and thoroughly, and prepare a Review of State Driver Accident, STD Form 274 (PDF, 522KB). The completed form must be submitted it to CI Risk Management within five days.
- The CI Risk Management will coordinate all reporting requirements between the University, ORIM, and the State Attorney General.
ORIM Claims staff can be reached at:
ORIM, Claims Unit
707 Third Street, First Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Claims (916) 376-5302
FAX (916) 376-5277
Misuse of University Vehicles
The following conditions are considered to be misuse of University vehicles:
- Driving a University vehicle without authorization by proper University officials.
- Driving without a valid driver's license of the appropriate class for the type of vehicle being driven.
- Permitting a person who is not a University employee to drive a University vehicle.
- Engaging in unsafe practices, including failure to use and ensure that all passengers use all safety equipment in the vehicle being operated.
- Falsification of travel logs, travel authorizations, defensive driver records, accident reports or other documents related to the use of vehicles.
- Improper storage or parking of the University vehicle.
- Personal use or conveying passengers other than persons directly involved with University business.
- Failure to comply with any law, regulation, or policy regarding the use of University vehicles, including the requirement to have satisfactorily completed a defensive driver training course.
State liability insurance only provides coverage when employees are driving in the course and scope of their employment. Employees misusing University vehicles may be personally liable for damages to persons or property, and legal expenses of defense.