Last Revision: March 10, 2009
Columbia University places the utmost importance on the safety of drivers and occupants of University vehicles. Those responsible for University vehicles, those who rent and lease vehicles for University business use, and those who use privately-owned vehicles on University business are expected to keep their vehicles in safe operating condition, obey traffic laws, and adhere to University policy. This policy sets forth the requirements pertaining to the acquisition, operation, and disposal of any University owned/leased vehicle as well as the operation of privately-owned vehicles used on Columbia business in the United States of America and its territories. This policy does not apply to vehicles owned and operated outside the Unites States.
Reason for the Policy
Columbia University wishes to protect its faculty, staff, and student body from the legal liabilities associated with the ownership and operation of vehicles through adherence with standardized rules and regulations pertaining to the care and use of University vehicles. Columbia University wishes to provide clear procedures regarding registration, insurance, and accident reporting processes as well as the acquisition, operation, and disposal of University vehicles.
Responsible University Office
Risk Management, Office of the Treasurer
Columbia University will make available, to the best extent possible, vehicles of design and capacity for use by University employees and faculty in support of the University’s and individual departments’ missions. The University reserves the right to select specific vehicles and/or equipment and its method of ownership/procurement for the required task. The University also reserves the right to deny access to any vehicle at any time if safe and legal operation is in doubt. To the degree practical, Columbia strongly recommends the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles (electric, hydrogen, propane, hybrid, etc) as substitute for conventionally powered ones.
SHORT-TERM RENTAL OF VEHICLES
For information on the short-term (< than 30 consecutive days) rental of vehicles, please see Columbia University’s Travel Expense and Business Expense Policies. More information on ground transportation and rental cars is posted on the:
• Accounts Payable website at: http://finance.columbia.edu/procurement/ap/travel-business_expenses/trav...
• Transportation website for black cars: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/transportation/docs/car-service/index.html
• Procurement website for automobile rental: http://www.campustravel.com/university/columbia/.
University vehicles must have full insurance to cover liability and comprehensive damage and may not be operated without evidence of such coverage. All departments with vehicles operating in the United States and its territories are required to purchase the Columbia University motor vehicle insurance policy with these areas of coverage, which is managed by and billed through Risk Management. Glass coverage has a $200 deductible. All other claims are subject to the University’s current property loss/damage deductible, which will be deducted from any reimbursement made to the responsible department subject to the standard guidelines of the University’s Property Loss/Damage Reporting and Reimbursement Policy and procedures. Collision coverage is available at an additional cost. Collision coverage is mandatory for leased vehicle and optional for owned vehicles. If purchased, the department’s claims for collision damage will be subject to the University’s current property loss/damage deductible, which will be deducted from any reimbursement made to the responsible department subject to the standard guidelines of the University’s Property Loss/Damage Reporting and Reimbursement Policy and procedures. If there are any questions regarding insurance coverage, please contact Risk Management. Please note that insurance coverage is not extended to personal property in any vehicle. Drivers and passengers should not store any personal property in vehicles, especially while the vehicle is unattended. Columbia University will not reimburse for personal property that is damaged or lost in a vehicle related incident or event. Departments must not reimburse individuals for personal property that is lost or damaged in a vehicle related incident or event. Claims may be submitted for departmental property (property purchased by Columbia University for business use) that is lost or damaged while in a vehicle being operated on University business. Risk Management will investigate the claim and may choose to reimburse the department, minus the University’s current standard property loss/damage deductible, if the claim is deemed to be allowable as per the Property Loss/Damage Claim Reporting and Reimbursement Policy. Risk Management retains the right to deny reimbursement for damage or loss arising out of or resulting from actions deemed careless and/or negligent on the part of the driver and/or passenger(s) regardless of the party’s relationship to Columbia University. Departments must not pay any portion of insurance premium for personal vehicles—even if operated on University business. For details on Columbia University’s policy on this matter, refer to the University’s Travel Expense and Business Expense policies.
See Full Policy text at right