Frequently Asked Questions

What is risk management?

Risk management is a process of proactively identifying issues and assessing their potential impact on the University. Taking a proactive approach allows the University to anticipate risk and make informed business decisions. Depending on the circumstances, the University may choose to either avoid risk or assume it.

What should a driver do if an accident occurs while driving a University vehicle?

In the event an accident occurs the driver should do the following:

  1. DO NOT ADMIT LIABILITY TO ANYONE.
  2. Exchange vehicle information with the other driver - name, address, license number, plate number, year, make, model of car, name of Insurance Company.
  3. f necessary, contact HUPD or the local police.
  4. Report all accidents immediately to Insurance Department, 617-495-8668, FAX 617-496-0505.
  5. Submit Auto Accident Report Form Read more about What should a driver do if an accident occurs while driving a University vehicle?

What if a department wants to buy, sell or lease a vehicle?

Contact the Insurance Department for instructions prior to buying, selling or leasing a vehicle. The Insurance Department will process the registration, insure the vehicle on the University's Automobile Insurance Policy and provide guidelines on the use of vehicles, driver training and authorizing drivers.

Does Harvard carry insurance for the (personal) property of students, faculty or staff?

No. The property insurance maintained by the University does not cover the property of students, faculty or staff against theft, loss or damage.  Additionally, the University does not reimburse for damage to/loss of such property even when the loss occurs inside a Harvard University building.  Students, faculty and staff are therefore encouraged to procure their own insurance coverage for any valuables especially computers, electronics, televisions, bicycles, clothing, jewelry, books, and general apartment/dorm furnishings.  Depending on the circumstances, personal property may be insured Read more about Does Harvard carry insurance for the (personal) property of students, faculty or staff?

What if someone is injured on our premises?

Harvard employees are instructed to ask the injured person if he/she needs assistance. If possible let the injured person tell you what he/she wants to do. If medical attention is required call 9-911. Offer to call a family member or a friend and contact HUPD for assistance. Employees should never make a statement regarding liability or payment of bills. The Insurance Department should be notified of all incidents involving bodily injury to a third party (student, visitor or guest) as soon as possible by telephone (617-495-8668) and an Read more about What if someone is injured on our premises?

Are building contents automatically insured on the University's Property Policy?

Yes, there is limited coverage for contents on this policy, $250,000 per building. These contents must be University owned and the policy excludes losses due to theft. Departments can insure equipment and contents for a higher limit and include losses due to theft by purchasing additional contents insurance (Open Marine Policy). This insurance can be obtained by contacting the Insurance Department.

Will insurance pay all of a department's repair/replacement costs after a loss?

Insurance reimburses the cost to repair or replace with like-kind or quality. Every attempt is made to reimburse the department the costs to put the building back to the condition it was in prior to the loss. A department may incur some costs not covered by insurance since there are normal limitations and exclusions to the policy. The Insurance Department will explain the coverage in more detail when determining the scope.

What if a loss or damage occurs to a Harvard building?

Emergency repairs and other reasonable steps should be taken to protect the property from further damage. As soon as possible notify the Insurance Department of the details of the loss, by telephone (617-495-8668) and also submit a Property Loss Report Form. Further repairs should not be started until the scope of work and estimated costs for repairs have been agreed upon between the department and the Insurance Department Read more about What if a loss or damage occurs to a Harvard building?

How does the University's self-insurance programs work?

The University has a self-insured program for property, liability and automobiles. In the Self-Insured Property Program, a reserve is set up to fund for University losses, third party claim payments and to pay the premiums for excess insurance. Each fiscal year departments are charged a property and liability premium, allocated per building, to maintain the property and liability reserve. Departments with University vehicles are charged an annual premium per vehicle to maintain the auto reserve.

The Self-Insured Property Program is structured as closely as possible on commercial Read more about How does the University's self-insurance programs work?