The Commonwealth's insurance program provides $2,000,000 per occurrence automobile liability coverage through a program of self-insurance for drivers of State licensed vehicles used for official business purposes. Automobile Liability coverage is automatically placed on vehicles when State License Plates are obtained. Departments have the option to place comprehensive and collision insurance on vehicles ($1,000 deductible) or elect not to carry the coverage. A request must be initiated by the Department and sent to the Office of Risk Management. Accidents with State Vehicles on official business of the university should be reported in accordance with the checklist printed in this section. All accidents must be reported to the insurer of the vehicle. There are no insurance restrictions regarding university vehicles. Use of State Vehicles for personal use is prohibited.
It is recommended that any person driving a university vehicle first meet the following conditions:
a) Have a valid driver’s license.
b) Have no serious driving offenses related to the purpose for which they are going (which could include such offenses as speeding, driving under the influence, driving without a license, etc.) to use the vehicle. This information may be requested directly of the driver or you may request the driver to provide you with a Division of Motor Vehicle Report.
c) Have department approval to use the vehicle.
The Commonwealth’s insurance program applies to rental vehicles. When vehicles are rented in the United States, the optional automobile insurance for liability and collision available from the rental company should be declined. When vehicles are rented internationally(excluding Canada, Puerto Rico and the US. Virgin Islands), the optional automobile insurance for liability and collision available from the rental company is required. Special attention should be used to check for damage before rental and after return. When rentals are used to go from one country to another the renter should ask if any additional documentation related to the insurance coverage is required to ensure coverage for all locations of use, i.e. voids of coverage related to border crossings. Accidents involving rental vehicles being used for personal travel are not covered by the Commonwealth plan. If you use a rental vehicle for personal business, you should check with your personal auto coverage to ensure coverage exists under your personal policy. Accidents with rental vehicles on official business of the university should be reported in accordance with the checklist printed in this section.
- Vehicle/Equipment Rentals – Proof of insurance may be requested for vehicle or equipment rentals. Virginia Tech provides coverage for vehicles including light duty trucks less than 10,000 lbs. valued up to the limit of $35,000. Examples of equipment rentals would be a copier or a heavy piece of equipment such as a tractor. There are several exclusions associated with non-typical rentals such as campers, trailers, off-road vehicles, motorcycles, motor scooters, recreational vehicles, convertibles, exotic vehicles or luxury vehicles. Please contact the Office of Risk Management at 540-231-7439 to ensure your particular use does not exclude coverage.
Accidents involving personal vehicles, even when being used for business purposes, are the responsibility of the owner. The Commonwealth’s insurance program applies to non-owned, borrowed and hired vehicles on an excess basis only. This insurance would only apply if the personal automobile liability limits were exhausted and Virginia Tech was determined to be liable by a court of law because the representative was conducting university business.
Automobile insurance does not apply to Electric/Gas Utility Vehicles (EGUV) without State License Plates. The tort claims process will need to be initiated for at-fault accidents by Virginia Tech employees using EGUV vehicles.
Any accident involving a university and/or State licensed vehicle or rental vehicle must follow very specific reporting requirements. This is true whether the accident was our representative’s fault or another’s fault, or involving property damage only. As the operator of a State-owned vehicle, or rented vehicle, you are required to immediately call the State Police if the accident occurred off-campus or the Campus Police if the accident occurred on campus. Guidelines to follow when you have an accident in a State vehicle or a rental vehicle are covered below.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Cell phones, blackberries, smart-phones, or other electrical devices must be operated via a hands-free device – required by Virginia law as of July 1, 2014. Any other use such as text messaging or emailing is prohibited while the vehicle is in drive and/or in motion.
- Be careful in parking lots and parking garages – be aware of other moving and parked vehicles while pulling in or backing ups as well as fixed objects such as poles, barriers, parking gates and walls. Check the clearance requirements for vehicles in parking garages.
- Don’t follow too closely – keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the car ahead.
- Always use caution when changing lanes. Cutting in front of someone, changing lanes too fast or not using your signals may cause an accident.
- Be extra careful in bad weather such as fog, heavy rain, a snow storm or icy roads. Drive below the speed limit if necessary, maintain extra space between you and the car ahead and be careful around curves.
- Cellular: Emergency # 77
- Administrative Headquarters, Richmond, 24-hour response: 804-674-2000
- Emergency TDD: 1-800-553-3144 Emergency TDD (voice): 1-800-552-9965
- Division 1 (Central Virginia): 1-800-572-2260
- Division 2 (Culpeper): 1-800-572-2260
- Division 3 (Appomattox): 1-800-552-0962
- Division 4 (Wytheville): 1-800-542-8716
- Division 5 (Hampton Roads): 1-800-582-8350
- Division 6 (Salem-Roanoke): 1-800-542-5959
- Division 7 (Northern Virginia): 1-800-572-4510