Office of the General Counsel

Vehicle Use and Liability

Questions regarding the use of state vehicles, personal vehicles, and liability coverage are some of the most frequent calls received by the Department of Risk Management. The following information will help to clarify the University's and state's position on vehicle use and liability:

Volunteer Drivers: The State provides liability coverage to a volunteer driver as long as the driver has management authorization to drive and is operating within the course and scope of his or her State objectives. State vehicles should not be used by any one not furthering a state objective, e.g., family, friends and independent contractors for hire using a vehicle for a personal errand, etc. There may be limited exceptions, however. You might have occasion to appoint a non-state person to be a volunteer driver for some reason to further a state objective, which could be a non-minor family member with a valid drivers license and a good driving record. Management should appoint and approve those who are volunteering services to ISU. The approval process should be done in writing to stipulate the volunteer's job duties. In the event of an auto claim involving the volunteer driver, the state insurance administrators will require this documentation from ISU. Use of volunteers should be limited to circumstances in which they contribute to the overall safety of the particular trip. For example, the use of qualified volunteers during a lengthy field trip as relief drivers might be permissible.

Rental Car Insurance:
The University strongly recommends that departments use Enterprise Rent-a-Car for all vehicle rentals whenever possible. The State of Idaho has contracted with Enterprise Rent-a-Car in order for Enterprise to provide full insurance coverage on any damage to vehicles rented by the State, including full replacement value if the car is totaled and $500,000 liability and personal injury insurance. More information on renting from Enterprise is available under the Vehicle Use and Liability Section at Enterprise Rent-a-Car - Renting a Vehicle.

Various Rental Car Companies:
When vehicle rentals through Enterprise Rent-a-Car are not available, the University normally recommends that University departments decline the rental car company's "Collision Damage Waiver" (CDW) insurance coverage, the final decision is at the department's option. The University is insured for auto physical coverage (including rental cars via commercial rental car companies) subject to certain limitations in the event of an automobile accident. Those limitations are:

Factors that should be considered before purchasing the rental car company's CDW are:

Should a University department have a question about whether or not to purchase CDW coverage from a rental car company, they can call Risk Management at 282-5741.

Last Modified: 04/28/11 at 12:07:55 PM