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Overview of University Insurance Coverages

The following information can also be downloaded in .pdf format here.


The University maintains a wide range of insurance coverages to protect both individuals and the University from potential financial loss during the day-to-day activities of the institution. The following is an overview of the types of coverages provided by University insurance policies. This overview does not attempt to include all policies held by the University. It outlines those policies that may affect or be of interest to you. Inquiries of specific coverages and claims procedures should be directed to Risk Management, 616 Brodhead Avenue, telephone extension 83899.

  1. Commercial Property Insurance (University-Owned buildings, equipment, and other contents)
    1. University-owned buildings are insured against loss due to fire, including water and smoke damage, weather-related damage (i.e., wind, lightning, hail, etc.), explosion, damage from vehicle or aircraft accidents, acts of vandalism, malicious mischief, forcible-entry and theft. Coverage is based on replacement cost.
    2. Equipment
      1. General -- All University equipment is insured against the same types of loss as those for buildings. Coverage is based on replacement cost.
      2. Transportation Equipment -- University-owned vehicles and watercraft are insured against physical damage. There are collision and comprehensive deductibles assumed by the University and/or Departments.
      3. University Equipment damaged while being moved both on- and off-campus is insured for replacement cost, with a $10,000,000 maximum applying only to an off-campus move. If you are transporting equipment in your car, the University coverage still applies.

      The University’s Manager of Asset Accounting must be notified prior to taking University-owned property/equipment off campus. In addition, faculty and staff are advised to contact Risk Management to determine whether the items are insured or if purchase of additional insurance coverage is necessary.

      Note: New Equipment Purchases and Gifts -- If you acquire new equipment valued at more than $5000. Please notify the Asset Accounting Office (telephone: x84550), so that proper insurance coverage can be obtained.

    3. Other Building Contents
      1. Furniture, fixtures and other University property contained in University buildings are insured against the same types of loss as those for buildings. Coverage is based on replacement cost.
      2. Valuable Papers are covered for all risks including fire, windstorm, hail, aircraft damage, vehicular damage, explosion, smoke damage, water damage, collapse, vandalism and malicious mischief, forcible entry and theft.
      3. Fine Arts, including rare books, are insured against the same types of loss as those for buildings. Recovery is based on recognized industry sources' valuations of these items.
      4. Property of others in the care, custody or control of the University is insured against the same types of loss as those for buildings. Coverage is based on replacement cost, with a $10,000,000 maximum.

  2. Your Own Property at the University
  3. Personal property of others (non-Lehigh University) is generally not covered by University insurance. However, incidental and necessary personal property owned by faculty and staff and located in their work area is insured against loss due to fire, windstorm, hail, aircraft damage, vehicular damage, explosion, smoke damage, vandalism and malicious mischief only. Losses due to forcible entry, theft and other perils are not covered, but may be included in an endorsement on your homeowner's policy.

  4. General Liability Insurance
    1. The University provides coverage which protects against legal liability to third parties when bodily injury, property damage or personal injury was sustained or alleged to have been sustained due to negligence. (This coverage is provided under the Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy plus an excess/umbrella liability policy.)
    2. Personal injury (i.e., libel, slander, invasion of privacy) coverage is provided for faculty and staff.
    3. Bodily injury or property damage incidents involving any non-employee of the University that occurs on University property should be reported to the University Police first, then to the Office of Risk Management within twenty-four (24) hours.

  5. Educators Legal Liability and Trustees & Officers Insurance (ELL Insurance)
    1. Lehigh purchases comprehensive Educators Legal Liability (ELL) insurance to provide liability protection for the institution, its trustees, officers, employees, volunteer workers and, in some circumstances, students and interns. Many of the exposures for which this coverage provides protection are unique to higher education and research universities and include professional liability arising out of teaching and research activities, tenure denial, student discrimination against or by students, and educational malpractice. Its broad wrongful acts coverage protects against a wide range of potential claims including but not limited to, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, whistleblower charges, violation of intellectual property rights, employment practices, violation of fiduciary duties and violation of many statutory obligations.
    2. The ELL policy provides very broad coverage, written specifically to address the exposures faced by leaders of educational institutions. The ELL policy provides errors and omissions coverage for individual trustees.

  6. Professional Liability Insurance
    1. Coverage is provided for activities conducted for the University by University employees and student interns. Professional programs and services included in this coverage are: Architects/Engineers; Department of Education & Human Services; Counseling & School Psychology; Energy Research Center/Energy Liaison; Counselors/Psychologists; Nurses; Athletic Trainers; Engineering Research; Facilities Services/Planning.
    2. The University does not carry Professional Liability Insurance for professional activities that are not part of University programs (e.g., personal consulting; personal professional engineer opinions/recommendations, etc., of faculty and staff members). Generally, faculty and staff can obtain appropriate insurance coverage at a minimal cost from a professional society to which they belong.
    3. Independent contractors and vendors are required to have their own insurance coverage. Individuals entering into contracts with external organizations/institutions should verify that the contractor assumes adequate responsibility for liability losses and should review the contracts with their department heads/center directors. Contracts presented to you by outside contractors and vendors must be reviewed by Lehigh’s General Counsel’s Office, Purchasing, Office of Research or Risk Management.

  7. Business Automobile Liability & Physical Damage
    1. Driving University Vehicles - The University insures all its vehicles for liability (injury to third parties and third party property damage) and physical damage (comprehensive/ collision). If you are driving a University-owned vehicle on official University business, then you are an insured driver under the University's policy. The same holds true for students or others who are authorized to drive University vehicles on official University business. Coverage is applicable for vehicles operated in the United States, its territories and possessions and Canada. There is no automobile liability coverage provided for travel in other foreign countries. Insurance must be purchased in the country where the vehicle is rented. If you will be renting a vehicle in a foreign country for more than 60 days, contact the Office of Risk Management so Foreign Liability Umbrella coverage can be extended for the full term of your rental.
    2. Personal Automobiles Used on University Business – In Pennsylvania, as in other states, the automobile owner’s insurance follows the vehicle. Therefore, the University requires that faculty and staff who use their personal vehicle on University business carry their own personal auto insurance coverage on their vehicles. Mileage reimbursements are designed to include an incremental cost for insurance and deductibles. When faculty and staff drive their own vehicle on University business, their own insurance policy serves as a "primary" policy for third party liability and physical damage to their vehicle. This means that if a claim arising out of an accident exceeds their policy limits, then the University's policy will cover third party liability in excess of their policy.

      NOTE: The University does not provide primary or excess auto insurance coverage to volunteers or students who are not employed by the University even when they are operating their personal vehicle on University business.

      If your vehicle is damaged as a result of an accident, whether it is your fault or not, your comprehensive/collision coverage would respond. You are responsible for any deductible amounts under your policy. If you do not carry any collision insurance, then the entire amount of the damage is your responsibility. Neither the University nor the University’s insurance will pay for any physical damage to your vehicle - you use it at your own risk.

      If you are transporting University equipment or property in your personal vehicle for the purpose of conducting University business and it is damaged or destroyed, the University’s insurance will respond to repair or replace that property if it is not covered by your insurance or if the limits of your auto insurance are exhausted.
    3. Rental Car or University Fleet Vehicle Used on University Business - All vehicles rented for use in the local area must be rented through Lehigh’s Transportation Services Department. If you are traveling outside of the local area and you are renting a vehicle while working on behalf of the University (including unpaid or volunteer work), you should rent the vehicle in the name of the University and your own name. This means that you should sign both your name and "Lehigh University" on the rental agreement. The University's Auto Policy will then respond as if the rented vehicle is an "owned" vehicle, so you should decline liability and collision insurance. Never rent a vehicle valued in excess of $50,000.

      If you rent a vehicle anywhere outside the United States or Canada, you must purchase the insurance coverage offered by the rental agency in that country. If you will be renting a vehicle in a foreign country for more than 60 days, contact the Office of Risk Management so Foreign Liability Umbrella Coverage can be extended for the full term of your rental. It is important to inspect any rented vehicle before driving it. Make sure any dents, scratches or other damage to the vehicle are noted on the rental form. Otherwise, the University and/or your department may have to pay for damages you did not cause.

      Note: Because of varying insurance regulations in countries other than the United States, purchase of the car rental agency's insurance package is required.
    4. Accident Reporting While on University Business and Driving a University-owned or Rented Vehicle (For complete accident reporting instructions see the Transportation Services Manual on-line at www.lehigh.edu/~intransp)

      At the scene of the accident:
      1. Make sure that you call (or send for) the police. If anyone is injured, ask for an ambulance.
      2. Contact Transportation Services immediately (or the Lehigh University Police Department if the accident occurs after normal business hours). You may also wish to contact your supervisor.

  8. Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  9. Workers’ Compensation Insurance is a statutory program that provides medical coverage and, in some instances, income maintenance to employees who are disabled as a result of a work-related injury or illness. All full-time and part-time faculty, staff, and student employees (salaried or on wages) are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage if injured while conducting University business.

    Workers’ Compensation claims must be reported to the Office of Risk Management within one business day of the accident or as soon as possible. To obtain claim forms, instructions, and additional information about Workers’ Compensation benefits, visit the Risk Management website at www.lehigh.edu/~inrsk. Information can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Risk Management.

  10. International Travel Assistance Services
    1. International Travel Assistance Services - The University has purchased an international travel services assistance plan for faculty, staff, and students who are traveling on University business and on University-sponsored programs. This emergency travel assistance program coordinates with your medical coverage to provide seamless protection and numerous other travel services abroad. It travels with you, anywhere in the world outside of the United States, its territories, possessions, and Puerto Rico.
      NOTE: To access these services, you must download a Worldwide Assistance insurance card from the Study Abroad website www.lehigh.edu/~incis or obtain a card from the Office of Human Resources or the Office of Risk Management.
    2. What Type of Services Are Available?
      1. Pre-Departure Services - Pre-departure services can provide travelers with valuable information to prepare them for a trip. Information on immunization requirements, appropriate medical exams and treatment, passport and visa requirements, weather updates, and travel warnings are readily available.
      2. Travel Medical Emergency Services* (This is 24-hour service) – Travel Medical Emergency Services can:
        • help a traveler obtain local medical care
        • maintain contact between local and personal physicians
        • provide medical records to local physicians
        • maintain daily contact between patient, family, employer and physician
        • monitor the quality and cost of hospital treatment
        • confirm insurance coverage
        • guarantee payment to the medical care provider using the traveler’s or University’s financial resources
        • arrange shipment of prescription drugs, medical equipment and prescription lenses
      3. Medical Evacuation and Repatriation
      4. Emergency Travel Assistance*
        • provide 24 hour airline ticket replacement
        • arrange payment for a new ticket
        • arrange delivery of ticket by the quickest means possible
        • find the traveler a place to stay if hotel reservations are lost
      5. Travel Emergency Legal Assistance*
      6. Emergency Message Service - Communication during an emergency can be close to impossible when traveling in a foreign country. This valuable service can provide:
        • 24 hour toll-free telephone and message service
        • messages can be stored for up to 72 hours
      7. Insurance Coordination* - Verifying insurance and completing claims forms can be difficult in a foreign country. AIG Assist can help the traveler:
        • fill out all insurance forms for medical expenses, baggage lost, flight delay, car rental damage, etc.
        • verify insurance coverage
        • guarantee payment to a medical provider based on the confirmation of insurance coverage or traveler's credit card
        • coordinate with a medical provider to ease claim filing when back home
        • notify the insurance company of claims
      8. Emergency Cash*
      9. Lost Baggage / Passport Service*
      10. General Assistance**
        • center to communicate emergencies
        • main resource for translations if you need help in an emergency situation
        • point of contact with consulates and government agencies
      11. •  These services may involve third party expenses which are the responsibility of the covered member or the University.

  11. Personal Travel Accident Insurance - The University carries an all-conveyance travel policy that pays benefits to employees for accidental death, dismemberment, and loss of sight. Coverage is equal to two times your annual salary, subject to a $100,000 minimum and a $500,000 maximum if you are under the age of 70. If you are age 70 to 74, coverage is limited to $10,000.
    The plan protects you only when you are traveling on University business by automobile, bus, rail, boat, and aircraft (as a passenger only, not as a pilot or crewmember). This policy does not include medical expense protection since medical insurance or Workers’ Compensation provides such coverage. Details about this plan can be obtained from the Office of Risk Management.
    Charges for any additional travel accident insurance that you purchase over and above this will not be reimbursed.


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