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Policy 5401

Longwood Property and Liability Insurance Programs

I. Purpose

The intent of this policy is to describe the various insurance programs providing coverage to Longwood University, its properties, and its employees.

II. General and Claim Information 

Because Longwood University is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, its property and liability insurance programs are centrally administered by the Department of General Services, Division of Risk Management as part of the Commonwealth of Virginia's Risk Management Plan. This Plan is provided for by Sections 2.1-191.9-11 of the Code of Virginia. The on-campus resource for our liability insurance programs is the Director of Materiel Management. The phone number is 434.395.2093. Questions regarding coverages as well as actual claim requests associated with these programs may be addressed to the Director of Materiel Management.

III.  Insurance Programs Administration

The University's insurance is the Commonwealth of Virginia's Insurance. The Division of Risk Management (DRM) is the Commonwealth's insurance programs administrator. The web site includes a frequently asked questions page for general information inquiries. They can be reached by phone on their customer services line at 804.786.3152. They are physically located in the third (3rd) floor of the James Monroe Building in Richmond, Virginia. Their mailing address is Division of Risk Management, Department of the Treasury, P.O. Box 1879, Richmond, VA 23218-1879.

IV.  The Worker's Compensation Program

The Human Resources (HR) Benefits Manager is the on-campus contact for the University's Workers' Compensation Program. Workers' Compensation is a no-fault employee liability insurance program that insures the University against claims by employees for injuries caused or aggravated within the scope of their employment at the University. The program is centrally administered by DRM like our other liability insurance programs. Questions regarding claims, appeals, return to work, documentation, and physician relations should be addressed to the HR Benefits Manager. Workers' compensation programs generally provide for management and payment of care and treatment of work-related injuries, as well as wage replacement income benefits when time lost due to work-related injury qualifies for such benefits.

V. Longwood Fleet Automobile Insurance Program

The Longwood Transportation Officer manages the University's Transportation Program. All accidents should be reported to the Transportation Officer immediately. The Longwood Transportation Officer is responsible for notifying the Commonwealth of Virginia's Vehicle Insurance Administrator of any vehicle accidents. The Transportation Officer is also responsible for implementing the Uniform Accident Prevention and Safety Program relating to use of state-owned motor vehicles, per Section 52-4 of the Code of Virginia. The Transportation Officer's phone number is 434.395.2299.

  1. Leased Vehicles: Leased vehicles are covered by the Commonwealth of Virginia's vehicle insurance program. Employees renting vehicles as part of their business travel should check the waiver box marked insurance declined on their rental car application. The only exception to this is foreign travel. Many foreign countries do not recognize U.S. insurance, so when renting vehicles abroad, always accept the rental car company's insurance.

VI.  Categories of Insurance Coverage

  1. Property Insurance:The Commonwealth of Virginia's Property Insurance Program only covers Commonwealth of Virginia property. The program is set up with the University responsible for the first ten thousand (10,000) dollars of any property claim. The Commonwealth is responsible for the next nine hundred ninety thousand (990,000) dollars as part of its self-insurance program. Any claim beyond one million (1,000,000) dollars is covered by an excess policy with the Commonwealth of Virginia's property insurance provider. This structure is covered in Section 2.1-526.7 of the Code of Virginia. Campus trees and shrubs are not covered unless their damage is associated with building damage.
    1. Fine Arts Coverage: Longwood works of art are covered under this policy, regardless of location.
  2. Liability Insurance:The Commonwealth of Virginia's Liability Insurance Program is insurance provided for claims of personal injury or property damage presented by third parties against state agencies. This is a self-insurance program as well. Claims filed with the Commonwealth's liability insurance are subject to the Virginia Tort Claims Act, a liability limiting act, which caps claim maximums at one hundred thousand (100,000) dollars for tort claims against the Commonwealth, two million (2,000,000) dollar limit on claims relating to agency officers, employees and agents. The University may not file claims on behalf of employees, students, or members of the public, per guidance from the Office of the State Attorney General. Prospective claimants must file their own claims. If a third party seeks to file a claim, the third party should be referred to the Director of Materiel Management. A notice letter will be issued to the third party by the Director of Materiel Management explaining how to file a liability claim against the Commonwealth. It should be further understood that the institution plays no role in deciding which claims are approved or denied. DRM determines this based on their investigation as to whether or not the University or its employees and agents were at fault. It is essentially a negligence standard. If the University was negligent, the claim is approved. If the University was not negligent, the claim is denied. Liability Insurance is covered by Section 8.01-195.1 of the Code of Virginia.
    1. Student Personal Property: A provision of residential students' room and board agreements requires students to purchase their own insurance or use their parents' homeowners insurance to protect their personal property on campus. By signing the agreement, the student or parent (in the case of a minor) agrees to release the University from liability for damage or loss of student personal property.
    2. Employee and Student Vehicles Parked on Campus: A condition of accepting parking privileges on campus is that employees and students assume the risk when parking on campus. In other words, employees and students are responsible for any damage done to their vehicles while parked on campus.
  3. Worker's Compensation Insurance:Longwood University employees are eligible to receive compensation under the Virginia Worker's Compensation Act for injuries and/or illnesses incurred in the course of official work-related duties. Compensation may include payment of medical expenses and for time lost from work. Compensability is determined by Managed Care Innovations, the Commonwealth's insurance carrier for worker's compensation. A more detailed treatment of this coverage is provided in the Return to Work Policy, #5230. A Longwood Incident report should be completed and signed by the employee and the employee's supervisor, and submitted to Human Resources when a work-related injury or illness occurs.
    1. Reportable Injury: A work-related injury that results in time lost or treatment by a duly licensed practitioner of the healing arts is a reportable injury. Injuries of this nature must be reported to the HR Office within twenty four (24) hours of the injury. An Accident Report must be completed. Departments should have a supply of the forms. The employee and the supervisor play a role in completing the form. A copy of the form will also be provided to the Environmental Health and Safety Officer by the HR Office for review. An Employer's First Report of Injury form must be completed by the HR Office and forwarded to DRM within ten (10) days. Statutorily, employees have two (2) years from the date of injury to file a claim for worker's compensation.
    2. The Virginia Worker's Compensation Commission: The Commission is responsible for making determination relating to worker's compensation claims. Their contact information is available from the HR Benefits Manager. A brochure published by the Commission, entitled A Brief Guide to Worker's Compensation for Employees is available in the HR Office.
    3. Volunteers: Coverage for authorized volunteers is limited to medical payments arising out of the official activities of any authorized volunteer, not to exceed ten thousand (10,000) dollars.
  4. The Faithful Performance of Duty Bond Plan: This plan provides a maximum of five hundred thousand (500,000) dollars coverage against financial losses resulting from illegal acts committed by Longwood University employees such as fraud, theft and embezzlement. This coverage is provided for by Section 2.1-191.13-14 of the Code of Virginia.
    1. Notice of Loss: Notice of loss by the University must be reported to DRM, the State Auditor of Public Accounts (APA), the University's Internal Auditor and the State Police.
    2. Proof of Loss: Proof of loss shall be reasonable documentation as required by APA or DRM and shall substantiate the amount of money to be reimbursed the Commonwealth agency by the plan.
  5. Medical Malpractice Plan: The Commonwealth of Virginia also provides protection against medical malpractice exposures up to one million six hundred (1,600,000) dollars. DRM manages this plan.

VII.  Risk Management Practices

Risk Management involves much more than administration of various insurance programs. Risk management involves the identification and response to risks presented in a plethora of different areas within a business enterprise. Insurance is a safety net and only one of many tools available to reduce or eliminate legal exposures. Risks can be assumed with or without insuring them. They can be avoided or reduced through prevention activities such as policies and training. They can be assigned, shared, or disclaimed contractually. Potential risks present themselves in many areas on a college or university campus. Some of the major areas involve employment issues such as hiring, discipline, injury, termination, discrimination, and records management, and student issues such as athletics, sponsored off-campus travel, alcohol and drug, dormitory and facilities safety, personal security, physical accommodation, student discipline, student records management, special events, volunteers, sexual assault and harassment, vehicle safety, and use of technology.

All these potential risks require identification and evaluation, development of structures and strategies to address them, and a means of creating proactive thinking and awareness to enable risks to be predicted before they occur. The Director of Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management is prepared to assist any department or area of campus interested in setting up risk management programs, managing situational risk management issues or obtaining risk management training.

Approved by the Board of Visitors, September 7, 2002.
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, March 28, 2008