The University of Washington maintains liability coverage for all University vehicles. This coverage protects authorized operators from claims of third parties for bodily injury or property damage, provided the vehicle was operated for and on behalf of the University, and was being operated within the scope of employees’ duties for official UW business.
Fleet Services vehicles are self- insured through the University of Washington for vehicle collisions. Property damage sustained from a vehicle accident or improper use may be charged back to the responsible department.
Operating fund payments for accident damage
The following defines the general circumstances in which the Fleet Services Operating Budget will pay to repair damage to Fleet-owned vehicles.
Motor vehicle accident damage not caused by UW drivers. Fleet-owned vehicles involved in incidents such as collisions and vehicles subjected to vandalism will typically be repaired using the operating fund.
Damages caused by vandalism, hit-and-run, and uninsured motorists to Fleet vehicles Damage such as graffiti, broken glass, and hit-and-run drivers will be repaired using the operating fund. In the event that damages are recovered, the amount recovered will go into the operating fund.
Acts of nature. Damage caused through no fault of the driver or assigned unit caused by acts of nature will be covered. Examples include flooding, hail damage, and animal strikes to vehicles.
Units assigned and renting vehicles will pay a small daily fee that covers the costs of the above listed sources of vehicle damage.
Motor vehicle accident damage caused by UW drivers; or caused by clearly unauthorized, negligent, and/or improper use of a Fleet vehicle. Fleet-owned vehicles involved in incidents such as striking objects and other vehicles will not be repaired using the operating fund. Similarly, the operating fund will not be used to repair damage determined to be caused by using the vehicle for purposes other than official UW business and/or in a manner inconsistent with the vehicle’s capabilities. Examples include:
- Striking an object – including other vehicles
- Damaging tires by hitting curbs
- Striking the bottom of the vehicle on rough road terrain
- Damage resulting from improper off road operation of a vehicle
- From loading a vehicle incorrectly or beyond its listed capacity
Fault, negligence of the driver and other factors for purposes of coverage will be determined by examination of accident reports, police reports, and other data.
Damage to special equipment attached to vehicles (example: lift gates). Special equipment damaged or made unusable for any reason will be the responsibility of the unit needing the equipment to repair and will be charged to the budget used to rent the vehicle that the equipment is assigned.
Damage caused by clearly unauthorized, negligent and/or improper use of a Fleet vehicle. The operating fund will not be used to repair damage determined to be caused by using the vehicle for purposes other than official UW business and/or in a manner inconsistent with the vehicle’s capabilities. For example, damage resulting from improper off road operation of a vehicle; from loading a vehicle beyond its listed capacity; or striking a clearly marked overhead object would be excluded.
Damage caused to UW-owned vehicles caused by the use of other equipment (examples: tractors and forklifts). Damage caused by operating a Fleet-owned vehicle in conjunction with equipment such as tractors, trailers, forklifts and other machinery is excluded from operating fund payments. Damage caused to the vehicle by a unit other than the assigned unit shall be repaired at the expense of the unit controlling/operating the other piece of equipment.
Determinations regarding causes and remedies to damage of Fleet-owned vehicles that are not clearly delineated by this policy will be made within one week of reporting the incident by the Fleet Services Manager.
University employees, student employees, and authorized volunteers traveling on official University business are insured for any injuries under the Worker’s Compensation Program. Students and passengers who are not University employees are not insured by the Worker’s Compensation Program and are responsible for providing their own medical insurance. Student employees from other institutions can be sponsored to drive UW-owned vehicles by UW departments, but must have proof of personal injury coverage provided to the sponsoring UW department by their own institution prior to the sponsorship because UW’s Worker’s Compensation program cannot cover injuries to these types of employees.
Personal, UW, grant-owned or on-loan property
Fleet Services does not provide insurance coverage for personal, UW-owned, grant-owned, or on-loan property. If your department wishes to insure equipment, coverage may be obtained through the Equipment Insurance Program administered by the Office of Risk Services. This includes tools, computers, and other items stolen from inside a Fleet-owned vehicle, or damaged in the case of an incident.
Outside rental agency coverage
Refer to the UW Travel Office for information about insurance coverage for outside agencies and UW Travel Card rentals.