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Risk Management Policies and Procedures

Policies & Procedures

The following presents a brief description of the insurance purchased through the Risk Management Department and required conditions of coverage. Insurance polices can be quite complex and these descriptions are necessarily brief. It is important that you notify the Risk Management Department to determine whether a particular incident of injury or damage is covered under these or other insurance's. Also included under each coverage description are specific claims handling guidelines and procedures. Please contact the Risk Management Department for additional information on these insurance programs and procedures.

Insurance and Risk Retention Philosophy

Insurance is purchased to protect the University from all insurable losses which might significantly impact the University's financial condition. Risks are assumed without insurance where the impact is not considered significant or where cost economies can be realized by retaining or self-insuring the exposures. One of the functions of Risk Management is to assess what levels of loss the University can bear without insurance and how to finance other losses.

Although the University's ability to absorb a loss is significant, any one department of the University cannot bear the impact of a single large loss. For some common exposures, Risk Management has established an internal "insurance policy" for departments that limits losses to a $2,500 per claim/occurrence deductible and the remainder of a loss is absorbed, or paid from a specially designated reserve established within Columbia. Other claims are paid by the Risk Management Department without any deductible allocation back to the Department.

Columbia University neither accepts nor purchases insurance for activities unless they are directly related to the University's educational or research mission. The University may purchase separate insurance to limit its exposure whenever the University's funds can be exposed to loss resulting from activities only indirectly related to its mission, or which produce revenues insuring to the benefit of affiliated organizations. When these types of special insurance policies are purchased, the Risk Management Department may charge the cost of the policy to the appropriate organization or department.