FAQs – Risk Management and Insurance

FAQs - Risk Management and Insurance

Environmental Health & Safety

Risk Management Defined

Risk Management is the identification, analysis, assessment, control, avoidance, minimization or elimination (to the extent possible) of risks. The University of Texas at Tyler (the University) utilizes several methods, or combinations of methods, to accomplish this including, but not limited to:

  • Risk Assumption or Retention (planned acceptance of losses by self-insurance or deductible)
  • Risk Avoidance (prohibiting or limiting activities, by policy, that present an unacceptable risk)
  • Risk Control (minimizing the frequency or severity of losses with training, safety and security measures)
  • Risk Transfer (the use of contractual obligations to transfer risks to others)
  • Insurance Transfer (the use of insurance policies)

Risk Management is a team effort, and the University's Risk Manager works closely with many campus departments including Environmental Health & Safety, Compliance, Residence Life, Student Affairs, Facilities, University Police, Human Resources, Audit Services, Office of Legal Affairs, and others to insure that risks are properly identified and addressed.

Overview of the University's Insurance Programs

The University of Texas System Office of Risk Management develops, procures and centrally administers insurance coverage for UT component institutions. The University participates in, or has access to, a wide variety of insurance programs offered through UT System including the following policies:

  • Aircraft** (owned or leased aircraft)
  • Auto Liability and Physical Damage* (university-owned vehicles)
  • Camp Program** (accident and liability coverage for camps)
  • Comprehensive Property Protection Plan* (buildings, property, contents)
  • Crime Insurance* (losses due to employee dishonesty, forgery, burglary, theft)
  • Cyber Liability* (losses due to data breach/cyber extortion and related)
  • Defense Base Act** (work at Federal installations or facilities outside the U.S.)
  • Directors & Officers'* (wrongful acts or omissions in the scope of employment)
  • Endowment** (property and general liability for university-owned or leased properties)
  • Equipment** (scheduled coverage for university equipment)
  • Fine Arts* (paintings, sculptures, and other works owned or leased)
  • Foreign Package* (foreign worker's comp, general liability, auto, and Mexico travel)
  • Hired/Non-Owned* (auto policy for university rented or leased vehicles)
  • Medical Professional Liability* (student clinical work - hospitals and other third party facilities)
  • NCAA Sports Special Events** (liability coverage when hosting tournaments, championships)
  • Special Events General Liability** (use of third party facilities, in or out of state)
  • Tenant and Users General Liability** (third party users of University facilities)
  • Volunteer Accident* (medical expense accident coverage for volunteers)

Consult the Sr. Risk and Claims Analyst, Chris Kinsey, riskmanagement@uttyler.edu, for assistance with your specific needs or concerns, (903) 565-6504., located in the Office of Legal Affairs.

*Coverage is automatically provided.
**Coverage must be scheduled or requested for specific events or circumstances.

Liability Insurance

Does the University have liability insurance coverage?
The University does not maintain commercial general liability insurance coverage due to the legal protections that it is afforded under Texas law as a state agency.  The University is immune from liability and from suit with respect to most causes of action against it under the "doctrine of sovereign immunity'' and self-inures against such risks.  Claimants must look to the Texas Tort Claims Act for relief with respect to property damage, personal injury, and death proximately caused by the wrongful act or omission or negligence of a University employee acting within the scope of their employment.

Is it possible to provide liability coverage for my camp or event?
Coverage can be provided for University camps under the UT System Camp policy.  Events held off-campus at a third party venue can be insured under the Special Events General Liability policy.  Coverage must be purchased on an event specific basis through the UT System Office of Risk Management and the requesting department will be responsible for payment of the premium cost for their events.  Contact Chris Kinsey, the University's Sr. Risk and Claims Analyst (903.565.6504) to discuss your particular needs, located in the Office of Legal Affairs.

My department leases space off-campus from a third party.  Are we insured?

As previously mentioned the University does not maintain commercial general liability insurance; however, it may be possible to purchase liability coverage for your specific circumstance when leasing space.  All insurance requirements for space leased by, or licensed to, the University must be addressed in the lease or license agreement.  Please contact Teri Taylor in the University's Office of Legal Affairs (903.565.5740) for assistance.

Our department will have volunteers working at an event, are they insured?
The University maintains a Volunteer Accident policy for volunteers working at University events which provides accident coverage up to $25,000 for primary medical expenses, plus an accidental death and dismemberment benefit.  Coverage is automatic and covers up to 75 volunteers for any one event.

Are Nursing, H&K, and Pharmacy students insured for practicum or coursework conducted at third party facilities?
Coverage is automatically provided for University's Nursing, H&K, and Pharmacy students and faculty under the UT System Medical Professional Liability policy, and a certificate of insurance can be provided to the facility upon request, as evidence of coverage.  Insurance requirements must be addressed in the affiliation agreement with the facility.  Please contact the clinical coordinator for your respective program or the Office of Legal Affairs for further details.

My department will be providing services outside of Texas.  Will we be insured?

As previously stated, the University does not maintain Commercial General Liability insurance.  When the University performs services outside of Texas this can be problematic since the University does not have the legal protections normally afforded to state agencies under Texas law.  The insurance requirements contained in the agreement to provide such services should be reviewed by Risk Management as part of the contract review process conducted by the Office of Legal Affairs. Please contact the Risk Management to discuss specific concerns regarding insurance for out-of-state operations. 

Auto Insurance and Accident Reporting

How are University vehicles insured?
University-owned vehicles are insured under the UT System-wide Auto Liability and Physical Damage policies. Coverage is automatic but, if your department has recently acquired a vehicle, please provide the vehicle information (make, model, VIN) to the University's Fleet Manager, Randall Duke (903.566.7446) as soon as possible so that the vehicle can be entered into the University's fleet database by Risk Management. The current Certificate of Insurance should be carried in all University vehicles.

What about auto insurance for rental cars?
Insurance coverage is automatically provided by the rental car company when the vehicle is rented from one of the University's contracted rental car providers.  In addition, the University's Hired/Non-Owned insurance policy provides secondary coverage in excess of the insurance secured through the rental agreement.  If  renting from a company that is not one of the University's contracted rental car providers, the employee should select the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) offered by the rental company as this nominal expense is reimbursable.

What if I want to drive my personal vehicle while on University business?

UT System and the University strongly discourage the use of personal vehicles for University business because the employee's personal insurance is primary at all times.  The UT System-wide Hired/Non-Owned policy will provide secondary coverage in excess of the employee's personal auto insurance in the event of any claim or litigation, but only after the limits of the primary policy are exceeded. The Hired/Non-Owned policy will only cover property damage or bodily injury to third parties and does not provide any physical damage coverage for damages sustained to the employee's vehicle. 

Someone has donated a vehicle to my department, how will it be insured?
A donated vehicle will be insured under the University's auto policies as described above.  Provide the vehicle information (make, model, VIN) to the University's Fleet Manager and he will communicate with Risk Management.  All gifts, including donated vehicles, must be accepted by the Office of University Advancement in accordance with University procedures/policies.

Is my department billed for insurance coverage on our vehicles?
Auto policy premiums are not allocated to the departments at this time.  The consolidated premiums are paid annually by the Office of Business Affairs.

As an employee am I authorized to drive a University vehicle?
UT System Policy UTS157 (Automobile Insurance Coverage for Officers and Employees and General Requirements for the Use of Vehicles) governs the use of University vehicles.  Employees are authorized to operate University vehicles provided that they meet the "Authorized Driver'' requirements of UTS157 including licensing, MVR checks, driver training, and any vehicle specific requirements (such as training for the operation of 12 and 15 passenger vans, or a Commercial Driver's License for vehicles that require it such as the University shuttle buses).  The Fleet Manager, Randall Duke (903.566.7446), is responsible for the approval and training of Authorized Drivers.  Please contact Randall with any questions regarding these requirements.

Are volunteers allowed to drive University vehicles?
Under the provisions of UTS157 the University's Chief Business Officer has the authority to approve the limited use of University owned, leased, or rented vehicles by non-student volunteers for official business provided that all applicable requirements of UTS157 are met (including licensing, MVR checks, driver training, and any vehicle specific requirements).  The University's auto insurance coverages extend to operation by authorized volunteer drivers who have met the requirements of UTS157.  The requesting department should complete the University's standard Release and Indemnification Agreement for Adults prior to the volunteer operating a University vehicle.  Contact the Office of Legal Affairs for assistance.

What should I do at the scene of an auto accident?
If emergency assistance is needed call 911 immediately.  Remain calm and try to be cooperative and not argumentative, remembering that you are a representative of the University.  Gather as much information as possible at the scene, including but not limited to: (i) the other driver's name, phone number, and insurance information; (ii) information about other vehicles involved (year, make, license plate, and the Vehicle Identification (VIN) Number); (iii) names and phone numbers of any potential witnesses; and (iv) the facts and circumstances of the accident.  Do not admit fault and inform the other party that the accident will be reported to the University's insurance provider or to the rental car company in the case of a rented vehicle Contact local police or law enforcement and have them complete a police report if possible (if the accident occurred on campus contact the University Police, 903.566.7300).  If a rental car is involved notify the rental car company as soon as possible.

What is the process for on-campus auto accident reporting?
Report the accident to University Police Dept. and Chris Kinsey, the University's Sr. Risk and Claims Analyst  riskmanagement@uttyler.edu (903.565.6504).  If the accident involves a University-owned vehicle, or a rental car, that results in significant damage or injury, then please complete the First Notice of Loss form.  If a police report was completed, obtain a copy of the report (once it becomes available) and forward to Risk Management (riskmanagement@uttyler.edu).

Someone backed into my car in the parking lot, what should I do?
If a University vehicle is involved, the accident will be reported to the University Police and the University's Sr. Risk and Claims Analyst, Chris Kinsey, 903.565.6504.  The University Police will complete a police report and if the University is at-fault the resultant claim will be handled under the University's auto claims process.  If the damage was caused by another student, contractor, or other third party then please contact the University Police.  A police report will be completed and can be used for documentation and claims purposes. The University is not responsible for damages to vehicles on campus that occur due to the actions of third parties.

I'll be driving in Mexico, what are the insurance requirements?
When traveling into Mexico ensure that you carry the vehicle specific Mexico auto identification card and a copy of the Mexico Tourist Policy which can be obtained from the University's Risk Manager prior to the trip; these documents are required to be carried by Mexico law. In the event of a loss or accident, immediately notify (while in Mexico) the local Mexico insurer via the toll-free number located on the inside cover of the Mexico Tourist Policy.  In addition to processing the claim information, the toll-free operator can also assist the University driver with obtaining service and legal assistance as necessary.  Notify your department and the University's Risk Management Dept. as soon as possible.

Insurance Requirements for Contractors and Outside Groups

What are the University's insurance requirements for contractors or vendors?
All contractors/vendors performing work for the University must be properly insured and provide evidence of coverage by means of a Certificate of Insurance(COI) to the University before commencing work or prior to the event.  COI's should be emailed to riskmanagement@uttyler.edu at least 10 days prior to the 1st day of the project or event.

The University's standard insurance requirements for contractors and vendors are as follows:

1.    Commercial General Liability (including contractual liability): $1,000,000 per occurrence/$2,000,000  aggregate.

2.    Product/Completed Ops: $2,000,000 aggregate.

3.    Business Auto Liability: $1,000,000 combined single limit.

4.    Umbrella Liability:  $2,000,000 minimum but could increase.  Contact Chris Kinsey, Sr. Risk and Claims Analyst,  @ 903.565.6504, to discuss your specific circumstance(s).

5.    All other insurance required by state or federal law.

All policies shall name The University of Texas System Board of Regents, The University of Texas System, The University of Texas at Tyler, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler as Additional Insureds.  A Waiver of Subrogation in favor of the University/Additional Insureds and a thirty (30) day notice of cancellation is required on all policies.   Primary and Non-Contributory language is to be provided on the COI for all coverages.

Insurance requirements will be stated in the contract.  Additional requirements may apply depending on the nature of the services to be provided.  Contact Chris Kinsey, Sr. Risk and Claims Analyst, 903.565.6504, if you have questions regarding the insurance requirements for your contract.  **Other requirements exist that are contract specific and should be discussed prior to completion of a contract or agreement.

What if the contractor does not have insurance meeting our requirements?
The Sr. Risk and Claims Analyst will evaluate the scope of services and risk exposures for the specific project and attempt to assist the contractor or vendor to address any concerns or specific deficiencies in coverage.  Any exceptions to the types of coverage, or limits, must be approved by the Sr. Risk and Claims Analyst in accordance with guidance from the UT System Office of Risk Management and the UT System Office of General Counsel.

Must outside groups who rent University facilities provide liability insurance?
Any outside group that rents a University facility must provide insurance as required under the facility use agreement.  Consult the Office of Legal Affairs for assistance with the facility use agreement. The University's standard insurance requirements for facility users (licensees) are as follows:

1. Commercial General Liability: $300,000.00 for property damage and $1,000,000.00 per person/$1,000,000 per occurrence / $2,000,000 aggregate for personal injury (including death).

2. Liquor Liability (if alcohol will be served or sold): $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate.

3. Those listed above (1-7).


Accidents and Injuries on University Property

Who should I report the accident or injury to?
If the accident results in an injury, 911 should be called immediately by the on-site University faculty or staff member and an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response requested.  All accidents should be reported promptly by telephone to the University Police (903.566.7300) and the Environmental Health & Safety Office (903.566.7011) by the faculty or staff member who witnesses (or is first notified of) the accident.  If the injury is to an employee, Human Resources should also be notified.

Who investigates accidents on campus?
The University Police have primary responsibility for accident response. Investigations will be conducted and documented by the University Police, Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), Risk Management, or other University departments as needed.

What about the injured party's medical expenses?
If the injury is to an employee then the claim is reported and handled under the University's Workers Compensation program which is administered by Human Resources.  If the injury is to a third party (a student, or anyone other than an employee) then the individual, or their health insurance plan, is responsible for the payment of any medical expenses.  The University is generally not liable for third party medical expenses unless a claim is successfully brought under the Texas Tort Claims Act.  If you are contacted by an injured third party or their representative, please do not engage in any discussion and refer them to the Office of Legal Affairs (903.565.5834).

What if an injured party asks to be driven to the hospital?
Injured persons should be transported by EMS, not in a University or privately owned vehicle, for liability reasons.  Medical treatment beyond basic first aid, or the competency level of the responder, should not be attempted.

What if an injured party refuses treatment and leaves the scene of the accident?
If the injured party insists on leaving the scene of the accident before the University Police or EMS arrive, every effort should be made to obtain and document the injured party's name, time of the accident, circumstances involved, and description of the injury.  This information should be provided to the University Police and Risk Management in writing as soon as possible.

Property Insurance and Loss Reporting

Is the University's property insured against loss or damage?
The University's Comprehensive Property Protection Plan (CPPP) provides coverage for the University's buildings, property and contents. The University self-insures for any losses below the deductible threshold unless other coverage applies.

What is the process for property loss or damage claims reporting?
Contact the Risk Management for assistance.  If policy coverage applies then a claim will be filed with the insurer in accordance with UT System procedures.  If policy coverage does not apply, or if the deductible is not met, then the University will self-insure the loss. Any loss due to theft should be reported to the University Police.  If the item is on official inventory then the loss should also be reported to the Inventory section of Financial Services (903.566.7476).

Are works of fine art (paintings, sculptures, etc.) on campus insured?
Coverage for works of fine art that are owned by, loaned to, or leased by, the University is automatically provided under our Fine Arts policy.

What about other property that is loaned to, or leased by, the University?
Contact Chris Kinsey, the University Sr. Risk and Claims Analyst, for assistance with insuring loaned or leased property.  Property of others loaned or leased to the University shall be valued at amounts agreed upon by the University and the owner of the property.  An agreement is generally required for the loan or lease of property.  Contact the Office of Legal Affairs for assistance (903.565.5740).