In order to provide adequate protection for the university, we pay substantial annual premiums for the necessary coverages. Like other organizations of our size and with similar liability exposures, our insurance strategy is one that protects against catastrophic losses. It is economically impossible to pay for coverage to insure everyone’s possessions and/or property, with little or no deductible. Consequently, although many of the inquiries we receive include requests to turn in insurance claims for losses or damages under $1,000, very few of these claims will ever be covered by the university’s insurance policies.
The purpose of this insurance is to protect AU against legally imposed liability from an accident or unintended incident. The university’s general liability policy covers claims or suits against the university and its employees (full time, part time, or volunteers) for incidents occurring within the scope of their duties and responsibilities as employees. There are separate policies for liability not covered under the general liability policy, such as for employer’s liability and professional liability. Also, several layers of excess umbrella liability policies apply, increasing the coverage of most of the primary policies.
The following conditions of coverage also apply:
Watercraft: No coverage applies. Any employee chartering a boat for university business or using a personally owned boat for such a purpose must notify the Risk Management office to arrange for specific coverage.
Aircraft: No coverage applies. Any employee chartering a plane for university business or using a personally owned plane for such purposes must notify the Risk Management office to arrange for specific coverage.
Artwork: No coverage applies to artwork on loan or exhibited for non-AU faculty, staff, or students. The Risk Management office must be notified to arrange for specific coverage.
Hospital/Health Care Professionals: Malpractice protection applies to AU’s licensed medical professionals who have been reported, individually, to the university’s insurance carrier. Malpractice coverage also provides protection to the institution itself.
Educators’ and Professional Legal Liability: All trustees, officers, and employees of AU are protected against unintentional wrongful acts.
Fiduciaries: Liability protection that applies to employees acting in a fiduciary capacity for employee benefits plans.
Whenever something happens that could result in a liability to the university (money owed, obligation to do or refrain from doing something, or duty that eventually must be performed), a loss (incident) report should be submitted to the Risk Management and Safety Services office. An incident report can take the form of a Public Safety incident or emergency treatment report, Student Health Center report, or Residential Life Administrative report.
The university is required to notify its insurance carriers of any potential suit, claims, litigation or complaints against the university, whether or not a possible insurance claim could be filed. Therefore, all notices, correspondence, or subpoenas pertaining to any type of complaint or claim received by any university department must immediately be forwarded, by hand or fax (202.885.3273), to the Office of General Counsel. General Counsel will provide the information to Risk Management and Safety Services and the carriers are notified on a priority basis.
General Procedures for Liability Claims
Please advise employees to discuss a case with no one until instructed by the Office of General Counsel or the Risk Management and Safety Services office.
Make no statements admitting liability, or authorizing medical treatment (unless in an emergency situation). Please consult with the Risk Management and Safety Services office, Office of General Counsel, and/or Public Safety as soon as possible.
Try to keep all evidence of the accident intact until the carrier’s authorized agent or a representative from Public Safety arrives.
If any machine or object could have been responsible for the accident render it inoperable and preserve it in a safe place until it can be examined. Contact the Risk Management office if you have any questions.
Assistant Director, Risk Management