Vehicle Insurance Coverage

University Vehicles Coverage

Primary Liability (University Vehicles)

Iowa State University participates with other Iowa Board of Regents Institutions in the Iowa Regents Motor Vehicle Self-Insurance Program for liability on motor vehicles. The program responds to liability claims for property damage or bodily injury arising from an accident involving University vehicles where the University driver was more than 50% negligent. Claims are processed pursuant to the Iowa Tort Claims Act, Chapter 669 of the Code of Iowa.

Physical Damage Coverage

The Iowa Regents Motor Vehicle Self-Insurance Program includes coverage for comprehensive and collision damage to University vehicles, subject to a $500 deductible per loss. The deductible will be assessed to the department.

Other Motor Vehicles Coverage

Excess Liability (Non-Owned, Borrowed, Personal Vehicles)

For non-owned vehicles (including rentals, personal, or borrowed), the Iowa Regents Motor Vehicle Self-Insurance Program will apply only as an excess liability coverage. Faculty and staff using their own vehicles on official university business are required to carry auto liability insurance with minimum limits as required by the State of Iowa and that coverage is considered primary. The University's travel reimbursement program incorporates insurance expenses in the mileage rate calculation for personal vehicle use. In an accident, the non-owned vehicle owner must use their own automobile insurance coverage as the primary insurance. This same policy applies to employees using their own vehicle only on occasion for business as well as those required to use their personal vehicle as a condition of employment.

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

If any personal property is damaged or stolen as a result of being transported or stored in a vehicle, the property is not covered by the university. Employees should consult with their personal lines insurance provider to determine if coverage for property in vehicles is included in their homeowners insurance policy.

Rental Vehicles Coverage

For University business travel that requires rental vehicles originating outside of Ames, Iowa State University has access to a formalized contract with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental, both of which are operated by Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Departments/employees are to use this contract when it's available as insurance coverage is already provided within the rental rate for travel within the continental United States.

Contract benefits include:

  • Available for university business travel; also available for personal or leisure rental.
  • Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) is included in the rate, provided the vehicle is operated consistent with the terms of the rental agreement. For insurance coverage to apply, the driver must be listed as an authorized driver on the signed rental agreement.
  • Liability insurance is included in the rate, provided the vehicle is operated consistent with the terms of the rental agreement.
  • For insurance coverage to apply, the driver must be listed as an authorized driver on the signed rental agreement.
  • Minimum rental age is 21.

Q: Who is an eligible renter under this contract?

A: All faculty and staff, including their immediate family (spouse, domestic partners, and children 21 years and older when permanently residing in the home of the faculty or staff member, and retirees and their spouses). The contract also extends to consultants and contractors whose car rental expenses are being reimbursed by the university, as well as graduate students on business rentals.

Q: How do I make a reservation?
In order to receive contracted rates and benefits, you must use one of the following options:

  • Online via - click on the Enterprise or National link under Car Rental.
  • If you make an online reservation from Enterprise's or National's website, you must enter the contract ID/account #XZ62073. Enterprise will also require a PIN code, which is IOW.
  • Call the Enterprise/National representative at (515) 251-5215 and provide the University's contract ID/account #XZ62073.
  • Note if you rent from Enterprise or National but fail to use the proper contract ID/account number, loss damage waiver and liability coverage are not automatically provided and must be purchased.

Q: Can I use a different rental company when traveling on University business?

A: When renting vehicles anywhere outside of Ames, reservations are to be made through the Enterprise/National agreement when vehicles are available.

If Enterprise/National isn't an option on your trip or you rent from Enterprise/National under another contract ID/account number, or you choose another rental firm, you must purchase the minimum amount of liability coverage available AND purchase the optional collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver (CDW/LDW). The cost of this insurance is a reimbursable University travel expense. There will be no reimbursement to an individual's personal insurance for rental vehicle damages or claims. Therefore, it is very important to remember to use the University contract when renting vehicles at any location.

For non-owned vehicles (including rentals, personal, or borrowed), the Regents' Motor Vehicle Program will apply ONLY as excess liability coverage when the driver is an authorized University employee on University business at the time of a claim or loss. The Regents' Motor Vehicle Program requires that the rental car company coverage be primary. The Regents Program will cover collision or comprehensive claims for rental vehicles, subject to a $500 deductible. The deductible will be assessed to the department.

Vehicle Rental Outside the United States
Employees renting vehicles in countries other than the United States should purchase the liability and/or property insurance coverage offered by the rental car company. Reimbursement will be authorized for insurance costs associated with international rentals.

Trailer Coverage

The use of trailers borrowed or leased with ISU vehicles must be approved in advance by Transportation Services. The Regents coverage would apply for any liability associated with the trailer. However, there is no coverage for property damage to the trailer or contents. The option to purchase commercial physical damage only coverage is available to departments by contacting the Office of Risk Management at 294-7711.

Vehicle Use on Field Trips Coverage

The Office of Risk Management recommends faculty and staff use ISU vehicles for field trips or other related academic activities requiring travel. The use of ISU vehicles ensures that any transportation liability issues associated with the field trip or activity will be the responsibility of the University.

Faculty and staff may use their own personal automobiles to transport students; however, the same policies apply that pertain to the use of personal vehicles for University-related business.

It is not necessary to purchase travel accident insurance for students or faculty and staff for University sponsored events. However, any unusual program or circumstances should be discussed with the Office of Risk Management to determine if any special arrangements are necessary.

All student drivers (regardless of employment status) of large passenger vans and vehicles towing trailers must be at least 20 years old, have a satisfactory motor vehicle driver review and successfully complete the Transportation Services training program for Large Passenger Vans and Vehicles Towing Trailers. Additionally, any driver (regardless of employment status) for a Student/Campus Organization activity must have a satisfactory motor vehicle record check and driver training before driving a 15-passenger van or any vehicle towing a trailer.

Reporting Vehicle Accidents