Chapter 15 – Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention

(Amended 9/93; Regents 3/16/94; amended 10/95; 9/97; 2/06; 2/11)

These procedures apply to all types of insurance coverages except staff members' insurance programs administered by the Staff Benefits Office.

15.1 General

(Amended 2/11)

The Chief Risk Officer is responsible for administering risk management and insurance programs in compliance with the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, risk management policies and procedures. Questions concerning Regents or University risk management programs, insurance, property, or liability claims, or related matters should be referred directly to the Department of Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention, 430 Plaza Centre One,  https://uiowa.edu/riskmanagement/

15.2 Property Insurance (Buildings and Contents)

(Amended 2/11)
  1. Insurance — academic-related property (general fund-supported facilities). For losses over $5,000, the State of Iowa has a self-insurance property program for academic-related facilities when damaged or lost by fire, storm, theft, earthquake, flood, or unavoidable cause. Reimbursement is provided in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 29C.20. These losses are reported to the Board of Regents office for consideration by the State Executive Council.

    The University is required to purchase commercial catastrophic insurance for academic/general-funded facilities with a single incident deductible, for which, in the event of claim, the state may provide payment pursuant to Iowa Code 29C.20.
  2. Insurance — auxiliary enterprises, self-supporting facilities, other property.
    1. Property insurance may be purchased if required by statute or contract, for special risk, or if deemed necessary in order to obtain special services.
    2. The University maintains conventional property insurance on self-supporting, revenue-producing, and auxiliary facilities which are an integral part of the operations of the University. Insured facilities include housing, the utility system, Iowa Memorial Union, the Museum of Art's fine art inventory, athletic facilities, and other auxiliary operations.
  3. Equipment Loss (FREC) Program. Some equipment losses may be eligible for reimbursement through the Facilities Renewal and Equipment Committee's (FREC) self-insured equipment loss program. A departmental deductible of $500 will normally apply. For claim forms contact the Department of Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention, 430 Plaza Centre One,  https://uiowa.edu/riskmanagement/

15.3 Auto Insurance

(Amended 2/06; 2/11)
  1. Primary liability and physical damage for University-owned vehicles.
    1. For liability on University-owned motor vehicles, The University of Iowa participates with other Board of Regents institutions in the Iowa Regents Motor Vehicle Self-Insurance Program. The program responds to liability claims for property damage or bodily injury arising from an accident involving University vehicles where the University driver is more than 50 percent negligent. Claims are processed pursuant to the Iowa Tort Claims Act, Chapter 669 of the Iowa Code.
    2. Physical damage coverage. The Regents Motor Vehicle Self-Insurance Program includes coverage for comprehensive and collision damage to University vehicles, subject to a $500 deductible per loss.
  2. Excess liability and physical damage for non-University-owned, borrowed, personal vehicles. For non-University-owned (including rentals, personal, or borrowed) vehicles, the Regents Motor Vehicle Self-Insurance Program will apply only as an excess liability coverage. The University's travel reimbursement program includes a provision for insurance expenses in the mileage rate calculation for personal vehicle use. In an accident, the vehicle owner must look to his or her own automobile insurance coverage as the primary insurance.

    The University's excess liability coverage will apply when the driver was an authorized University employee on University business at the time of the loss and the vehicle owner's policy has been exhausted. The $500 deductible will be assessed to the department for physical damage claims.

    The University will not reimburse an employee, other private owner, or his or her insurer for any deductible or liability claim paid by his or her auto insurance policy, or for any damage to the vehicle.

    In the event you are involved in an accident in a non-University-owned, private, or borrowed vehicle while you are conducting University business, report the accident immediately to the Department of Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention at https://uiowa.edu/riskmanagement/.

(See also V- 22.1f(6)(g) Vehicle Rental.)

15.4 Liability

(Amended 2/11)
  1. Claims. As a unit of the State of Iowa, The University of Iowa is subject to the Iowa Tort Claims Act (IC 669). Under the Act, claims for monetary damages may be filed against the state or a state employee because of property damage or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of a state employee while acting within the scope of his or her employment. The Act covers claims arising under the Constitution, statutes, or rules of the United States, or of any state. Excluded claims are listed in Iowa Code 669.14.
  2. Liability protection. Under the Act, the state must defend any employee of the state, and, except in cases of willful and wanton acts, omissions, or malfeasance in office, hold harmless and indemnify any employee of the state against any tort claim on account of damages allegedly caused by an act or omission of such state employee acting within the scope of his or her office or employment. For purposes of the Act, state employees include faculty, staff, or other individuals acting on behalf of the University in a permanent, temporary, or full- or part-time position, whether compensated or uncompensated. The Act does not provide liability protection for contractors doing business with the University.
  3. Liability insurance — self-insurance. The University of Iowa, as a general practice, does not purchase commercial liability insurance, but instead, relies on statutory protection for claims against the University, its agents, and its employees.

    The University may purchase liability insurance or participate in self-insured liability pooling or other arrangements for medical professional liability, motor vehicle liability, or other liability if required by statute, contract, or special circumstance. Refer questions or requests for certificates regarding liability insurance and self-insurance programs to the Department of Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention.
  4. Small Tort Liability Claim Program. Tort liability claims are generally handled as provided in Chapter 669, State Tort Claims Act, by the State Attorney General's Office, Tort Claim Division. Under the provisions of a 28E Agreement with other state agencies, the University has authority to investigate and resolve certain small tort liability claims for settlements less than $4,000. Refer claims to the Department of Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention.

(See also IC 669.) 

15.5 Fidelity Coverage

The State of Iowa blanket fidelity bond provides coverage for theft of state property by a state employee; coverage is subject to a $100,000 deductible. The University administers a self-insurance program to cover fidelity losses over $2,500 but less than the $100,000 deductible. Contact the Department of Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention, https://uiowa.edu/riskmanagement/, for more details. 

15.6 Reporting Property or Liability Losses

(Amended 2/11)
  1. Property losses — over $5,000. Property losses in excess of $5,000 should be reported to the Department of Risk Management, https://uiowa.edu/riskmanagement/, within twenty-four hours, in accordance with loss procedures detailed in the Board of Regents Policy Manual 2.2.7. Property losses involving criminal activity should be reported immediately to the Department of Public Safety, 808 University Capitol Centre, https://police.uiowa.edu.
  2. Liability losses — motor vehicle. (See V-15.3 Auto Insurance.)
  3. Liability losses — general. Incidents involving personal injury or property damage to students or members of the general public (non-employees) should be reported immediately to the Department of Public Safety