Service Learning Network

Risk Management FAQ


Does the University offer liability insurance?

•The University carries liability insurance policy which protects the University and the faculty or staff member responsible for the event.

• The Liability Release, Waiver, Discharge and Agreement Not to Sue form must be completed by every participant prior to leaving on the trip. This form is to be maintained by the department of the faculty/staff employee for a period of four years.

•The University will defend and indemnify a University faculty or staff member for claims arising from his/her negligent act or omission while acting within the scope of employment. Intentionally harmful acts are not within the scope of employment and are not covered.

•It will be necessary for the companies that you are making arrangements with to provide the University with a Certificate of Insurance which names the University as an additional insured with general liability minimum limits of $1,000,000. This insurance requirement should be addressed with the company at the time of initial contact.  This may not be required of all experiences.  Please contact the Risk management office at 331-2284.


What should I do in case there is an accident?

•Incidents involving bodily injury or property damage (regardless of severity) require immediate notification to the Public Safety department. Also report incidents to your Unit Head or Dean.

•Completion of the University's Injury Report Form is required. (Located in Forms section)

•Faculty or staff employees who are injured in the course of their employment may be covered under workers' compensation. Contact Human Resources  Workers' Compensation for information.

                   •Thefts or criminal activity should be reported to the local police authority.

What do I need to think about when arranging transportation?

      Transportation by Car or Van:

Transportation needs are to be arranged by the faculty/staff member and not by the students.

Rentals are to be coordinated through Facilities Services.

Do not purchase the insurance offered by the rental car company. This coverage is usually duplicative with insurance already carried by the University.

In the event of loss or damage to a rental vehicle a deductible may be charged to the Department.

The renting of vehicles is to be arranged by the faculty/staff person in charge of the activity, and not by the participating students.

The use of personal vehicles is strongly discouraged since the university is unable to reimburse for any accident related repairs. If personal vehicles are used, owners of the vehicles must have automobile liability insurance in an amount sufficient to cover any property damage or liability loss and be responsible for their own personal deductible. Proof of insurance in the form of an Insurance Identification Card should be submitted to the faculty/staff person in charge of the field trip.

Use of personal staff or faculty vehicles will make those employees primarily responsible if any accident should occur.

The University endorses all applicable motor vehicle regulations related to driver responsibility including seat belt use.

Determine the route, stops, timetables, and assign drivers. You will need a system for communicating and performing student counts. Make sure you have an adequate number of approved drivers for longer trips to allow sufficient rest for drivers. At least 24 people should be designated as drivers per vehicle, especially if the trip is of considerable distance and if using 15passenger vans. This provides adequate drivers should a driver become ill, injured or tired.


                Transportation by Bus or Plane:

If chartering a bus, the chartering company must carry insurance with liability limits of at least $5,000,000. The insurance requirement should be addressed with the chartering company at the time of initial contact. The University requires a Certificate of Insurance indicating the limits of liability available. The certificate holder is to be Grand Valley State University If limits are unsatisfactory, another chartering company will need to be used. Contact the Risk Management Office if you encounter difficulties in meeting this requirement.

If chartering a plane it is necessary to consult with risk management to ensure that appropriate limits are available from the charter company to protect the university as well as those on board.

Who is empowered to sign a contract, such as a rental agreement?

 In the event it is necessary to sign a contract, contact the University Counsel’s Office.


Reference: Risk Reduction Task Force, Grand Valley State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. (2011). Identifying and managing risk associated with experiential learning.  Unpublished manuscript, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan.

Page last modified September 11, 2011