The information provided on this website is meant to assist you in your decision-making about liability, insurance, and risk management, but is not offered as nor should it be construed as or relied upon as legal advice or complete and comprehensive information.
CLAIMS AGAINST THE COLLEGE/NEW JERSEY TORT CLAIMS ACT
As an agency of the State of New Jersey, The College of New Jersey is bound by the same statutory provisions. Any agreement signed on behalf of the State of New Jersey by a State official shall be subject to all of the provisions of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act N.J.S.A.59:1-1 et. seq., the New Jersey Contractual Liability Act N.J.S.A. 59:13-1 et. seq., and the availability of appropriations. The State of New Jersey does not carry public liability insurance, but the liability of the State and the obligation of the State to be responsible for tort claims against its employees is covered under the terms and provisions of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. The State shall be liable for injury proximately caused by the acts or omissions of its employees within the scope of their employment, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 59:2-2. The Act also creates a special self-insurance fund and provides for payment of claims under the Act against the State of New Jersey or against its employees for which the State is obligated to indemnify against tort claims which arise out of the performance of their duties.
Claims against the State of New Jersey or its employees should be referred for handling to the Department of Treasury, Bureau of Risk Management, PO Box 620, Trenton, New Jersey 08625. Claim forms, along with contact information can be found at: https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/riskmgt/
All medical emergencies, vehicle accidents, and suspected criminal activity on campus are to be reported to Campus Police Services who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are located in the Administrative Services Building. Campus Police Services can be contacted via telephone at (609)771-2345. In an emergency, Campus Police can be reached by dialing 911 from any campus phone or (609)771-2345 from a cell phone. Failure to notify the college could result in claims being denied by the State.
Employees who are injured while working are also responsible for notifying their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources. Failure to notify the college could result in claims being denied by the State.
The College’s vehicle fleet consists primarily of vehicles owned and registered to the college. These vehicles almost always have SG (State Government) tags. These vehicles are not insured but are covered for tort liability by the State of New Jersey under a user-funded program administered by the State of New Jersey’s Division of Risk Management. A typical auto policy insures the auto. Consequently, any permissive user of the auto is covered by the auto policy. The state program, however, does not concern itself with the auto, but with the employment status of the driver. The vehicle is not covered, but the employee/driver is by the provisions of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (NJSA 52:1-1 et seq.). The Act provides that the State will indemnify and defend employees of the State against claims arising out of their negligent acts, errors, or omissions, provided that the employee is within the scope of his employment, and the act or failure to act was not because of actual fraud, actual malice or willful misconduct. The State’s auto liability user-funded program is not auto insurance and for legal reasons should never be referred to as auto insurance.
The College’s fleet vehicles are all assigned vehicle registration cards specific to each vehicle and license plate, while each vehicle is provided with auto identification cards in lieu of auto insurance identification cards that provide contact information for filing claims with the State of New Jersey’s Division of Risk Management.
When operating a college fleet vehicle, employees should always check to make sure that a valid registration and current auto liability card are available within the vehicle they are operating. Failure to do so could result in ticket(s) being issued to the individual operating the vehicle. If your college vehicle is missing its registration or auto liability card, or if either is expired, please contact the Facilities Front Office at extension 2353.
Prior to operating a college fleet vehicle, all employees are required to first complete the Driver’s License Verification Process.
All business travel is to be approved by the area responsible. College fleet vehicles are not to be used for personal travel.
PERSONAL VEHICLES USED ON COLLEGE BUSINESS
The travel reimbursement rate includes reimbursement for the employee’s auto insurance cost. The employee is responsible for obtaining and maintaining auto liability insurance as required by law at all times.
The employee’s individual auto insurance is primary for any claims arising out of the employee’s use of their personal auto on college business. Subject to the conditions of the NJ Tort Claims Act, the state auto liability program may potentially provide coverage in excess of the other insurance.
If the employee elects to not insure their vehicle for collision loss and their vehicle is damaged while being used on college business they are not entitled to any reimbursement over the normal travel allowance. The same also applies to any deductibles the employee may have selected.
The owner/rental agency is responsible for maintaining statutory minimum limits of auto liability insurance for short-term rental vehicles. As the liability limits provided by the owner/rental agency are minimal limits, it is also recommended that employees purchase supplemental liability insurance that may be offered by the rental agency. The renter is responsible for collision damage to the vehicle; hence it is recommended that employees also purchase the collision damage coverage (loss damage waiver) available from the rental agency. Some rental companies may offer additional types of coverage for personal injury protection or personal property theft or similar. Other insurances offered may cover third-party liability claims. It is recommended by Risk Management that the additional insurances be purchased.
When purchasing insurance through a rental agency, you should review all insurance information so that you can be aware of potential exclusions of purchased coverage. For example, a policy obtained through the rental company may exclude travel on unpaved roads. If the driver goes on an unpaved road and something happens, it would be the same as not having any insurance. Also, make sure all alternative drivers of the vehicle are listed and included in any coverage obtained. Employees renting vehicles for college business must be sure to comply with all the terms of the rental agreement that may allow the company to void its responsibility to provide liability coverage. Some rental agreements only allow the individual signing the agreement to operate the vehicle, others require drivers to be age 21 or even age 25.
The individual’s personal auto liability insurance (assuming they have it) may offer the individual coverage for rental vehicles, though their policy may have exclusions for business travel, etc. Some credit cards when used to rent a vehicle may also offer some additional coverage but may not act as primary coverage or have specific exclusions. The College is not able to evaluate personal insurances or other personal coverage and it is up to each individual to be aware of and understand any personal coverage they may have.
The aforementioned insurances would be primary for any claims arising out of the employee’s use of the rented vehicle on college business. Subject to the conditions of the NJ Tort Claims Act, the state auto liability program may potentially provide coverage in excess of the other insurance.
Only employees within the scope of their employment with the college are allowed to rent vehicles for college business.
Employees who operate rented vehicles for college business must first successfully complete the DRIVER’S LICENSE VERIFICATION PROCESS.
VEHICLE ACCIDENT REPORTING
All vehicle accidents involving college vehicles or vehicles used for college business are to first be reported to the Authority Having Jurisdiction in the location in which the accident occurs. This may be municipal/township police, state police, campus police, etc., and varies by location. Additionally, all work-related vehicle accidents are to be reported to Campus Police, even if the accident did not occur on campus. Employees should also report the accident to their supervisor, and if injured, to the Office of Human Resources. Any damage to college vehicles should be reported to TCNJ’s Automotive Services. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if vehicle damage occurred in an accident. Damage to a vehicle is not always visible. Accidents can leave a vehicle unsafe to operate. As a precaution, even if you do not believe any damage occurred to a college vehicle, TCNJ Automotive Services is still to be notified to check the vehicle. If you believe the vehicle is unsafe, do not operate it. Employees operating personal vehicles for college business are responsible for notifying their auto liability insurance carrier as appropriate, for arranging for their own towing, repairs, and inspections as necessary, and for any associated deductibles or other charges. If in the event of a claim being brought against the employee in which the liability limits of the individual’s auto liability policy are exceeded, the employee may possibly be protected under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. Use of personal vehicles to commute to and from work, during breaks, and on other personal business is not considered work-related and the vehicle operator is individually liable. College vehicles are only to be used for college business. Vehicle operators are individually responsible for any violations or citations they may receive while operating a vehicle on college business.
INSURANCE IN CONTRACTS/AGREEMENTS
All contract/agreement document sections pertaining to insurance requirements are to be reviewed with TCNJ Risk Management prior to executing the contract. Any changes requested by third parties to The College’s insurance requirements are to be reviewed and approved by TCNJ Risk Management. Depending upon the nature of the contract/agreement, the types and amounts of insurance will vary. The authority to waive insurance requirements does not reside within contracting offices of The College and must be reviewed with TCNJ Risk Management. Depending upon the nature of the contract/agreement, review by other offices is often required. Such offices include General Counsel or Finance & Business Services. Before signing any contract, be sure to confirm that you have the authority to do so on behalf of TCNJ.
SPECIAL EVENT INSURANCE/OUTSIDE EVENTS
For outside use events on campus, The College typically requires general liability insurance coverage with a minimum limit of $1,000,000 each occurrence, naming “The College of New Jersey, the State of New Jersey, and the New Jersey Education Facilities Authority” as additional insureds.
Please note that campus planners should review events with TCNJ Risk Management to determine if insurance or additional insurance is to be required.
Please also note that student organizations are considered individually liable and must secure insurance coverage for outside use of campus facilities. Some student organizations may be covered under a liability policy purchased by the Student Finance Board or by their parent organization. TCNJ Risk Management does not purchase these policies. Any event requiring insurance needs to be reviewed against policy coverage to see if it applies.
Outside parties are not required to obtain insurance from any particular insurance company. For events held on The College’s campus, there is insurance available through the University Risk Management Insurance Association Tenant User Liability Insurance Program (URMIA TULIP). The URMIA TULIP is for third-party (tenant) users of The College of New Jersey Facilities. It is NOT for off-campus events. Please Note: The College of New Jersey does not mandate that clients use this program to obtain insurance coverage. This program is only offered to assist clients with obtaining event insurance coverage. The College does not endorse or receive any compensation for client use of this program. URMIA TULIP is administered by Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services and NOT by The College of New Jersey. Clients/Users assume all responsibility and liability for use of this program.
If your activity is eligible and you are interested in obtaining a quote to obtain coverage through URMIA TULIP. The website will help direct tenant users to the correct location. The location code for The College of New Jersey is 4095. Please be sure to carefully read the instructions and notations on each screen while entering information. Obtaining a quote is NOT the same as purchasing insurance. You must complete the process and make payment to obtain a certificate of insurance. You will be required to pay for the insurance coverage online using a credit card. The College of New Jersey is NOT responsible for payment, nor is the college able to provide pricing or premium information for the insurance. It is your obligation to make sure that evidence of insurance coverage is provided prior to your activity/event as required by any contract or agreement with The College of New Jersey. The College of New Jersey does not provide copies of your insurance coverage. It is recommended that third-party event holders consider all of their available options and, if they deem it necessary, seek competitive quotes.
CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE/EVIDENCE OF INSURANCE-OBTAINED FROM OTHERS
The TCNJ Risk Management office is available to review Certificates of Insurance to determine if they are consistent with contract terms and conditions. If you would like a Certificate of Insurance reviewed, please email us a copy of the insurance certificate along with the insurance section of the associated contract. The TCNJ Risk Management office does not maintain copies of Certificates of Insurance. Each contracting area is required to maintain its own records and to request any updated copies of insurance certificates as policies renew or expire in association with its respective contracts/agreements.
CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE/EVIDENCE OF INSURANCE-REQUESTED FROM THE COLLEGE
When The College enters into a contract or agreement with outside parties, sometimes The College is asked to provide evidence of insurance for its faculty, staff, or its students. Any such requests for evidence of insurance should be reviewed with TCNJ Risk Management to determine the appropriate response. There are different types of insurance that may be requested.
COLLEGE-OWNED PROPERTY/PROPERTY IN THE CARE, CUSTODY, AND CONTROL OF THE COLLEGE
The College purchases insurance to protect against damage to, or the theft of, College property. The College’s property insurance covers loss of building contents, equipment, and the property of others placed in the College’s care, custody, and control when the property is in a building owned or leased by the College. The College’s coverage does not extend to personal property (that is not owned by the College) on campus or in campus-owned buildings, examples of which may include personal items in residence hall rooms, personal items in offices or common areas, or property belonging to others that are not specifically covered under contract or agreement.
When loss or damage to college property does occur, the department manager should contact TCNJ Risk Management immediately. If the damage or loss was associated with a criminal act, please first contact Campus Police Services.
In cases where the loss exceeds the applicable deductible(s), TCNJ Risk Management is responsible for filing a claim to cover the incident. As such, TCNJ Risk Management must be able to assess the situation and verify the damage as soon as possible. When loss or damage is not reported quickly, the College may lose the opportunity for an accurate assessment and full recovery. Even in situations where the deductible is not met by the loss and there is no insurance claim, TCNJ Risk Management can still offer assistance and/or guidance in responding to the loss or damage.
Certificates of Insurance can be obtained from TCNJ Risk Management to demonstrate evidence of insurance for property or fine arts insurance policy coverage. Any requests to be added as a “loss payee” or similar need to be reviewed first with TCNJ Risk Management.
Please do not hesitate to contact TCNJ Risk Management regarding any loss or damage or when trying to properly insure property that is the responsibility of the college.
PERSONAL PROPERTY/PROPERTY NOT OWNED BY THE COLLEGE
The College’s property insurance does not cover property it does not own unless The College has assumed liability by way of a written contract or agreement. Departments should notify TCNJ Risk Management before the initiation of contracts or agreements in which The College is required to assume property coverage for the non-owned property.
The College does not insure personal property that is lost, stolen, or damaged during a business trip or while on campus. Contact your or your guardian’s homeowner’s/renter or auto insurance carriers for possible reimbursement for personal property loss, theft, or damage.
If you are living in a college residence hall, you are encouraged, but not required, to purchase personal property insurance. Additional information on some insurance options available can be found on the Residential Education and Housing website. Please note that The College does not endorse any one insurance product or company.
If you would like to file a claim against The College of New Jersey for property damages/losses you believe to be the responsibility of The College, you are required to submit a claim to the State of New Jersey, Department of the Treasury, Division of Risk Management. The claim form, along with contact information for the state can be found on the state website. The State asks that you submit any claims first to any applicable insurance. If there are any associated deductibles, these can be submitted as your claim. The State is responsible for reviewing and responding to your claim, The College of New Jersey does not receive or respond directly to your claim.
Damage or loss to personal property/property not owned by The College for which you intend to submit a claim against The College of New Jersey should be reported to Campus Police Services. For damage or loss to personal property/property not owned by The College in a residence hall room, please document the damage/loss with Residential Education and Housing. If the damage or loss was associated with a criminal act, please also contact Campus Police Services.
FINE ARTS INSURANCE COVERAGE
The College maintains separate fine arts insurance, specifically for the Art Gallery and specific works on campus. The College’s property insurance policy also offers some coverage for fine arts, though this coverage is subject to specific limits and deductibles. The College can insure art, artifacts, and rare books loaned to the College through various means. Any artwork on loan must be accompanied by a written loan agreement signed by both an authorized College representative and the lender. The loan agreement should include a detailed description of the property, the term of the loan, the appraisal of the property’s declared value, the name of the artist, and a photograph of the object. The loan agreement should also state whether The College or the lender is responsible for maintaining insurance on the property while in the care, custody, or control of The College. Please contact TCNJ Risk Management regarding arranging or confirming insurance coverage prior to accepting any such items. Please note that failure to follow these steps could result in any claims being denied.
Students as individuals are not covered under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (see CLAIMS AGAINST THE COLLEGE/NEW JERSEY TORT CLAIMS ACT) and are considered individually liable for their own acts, errors, and omissions. If a student is a college employee within the scope of their employment they may be covered under the terms and provisions of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act.
Student organizations are a voluntary collection of students usually with a common interest. Each student organization and its individual members are liable and responsible for their own acts, errors, and omissions.
Students who opt to use their personal vehicles to transport themselves or others in association with classroom activities or other college functions are individually liable.
For information on Student Health Insurance, please refer to the Student Health Insurance website.
For information on student property insurance, please refer to Personal Property/Property Not Owned by The College
While participating in certain healthcare-related practicums and internships, certain students may be covered under a Student Blanket Professional Liability Insurance policy purchased on their behalf by The College and TCNJ Risk Management. This policy is renewed annually and information on eligible participants is solicited from academic departments with programs that may be covered under such a policy. Students should not assume that they are covered under this policy unless specifically advised as such by their academic department. This insurance coverage is often provided in association with contracts or agreements that The College has entered into on behalf of the students in specific practicums or internships. Should you have any professional liability claims in association with this policy, please notify TCNJ Risk Management immediately.
Please note that Nursing students that are regulated under the NJ Board of Nursing are also required to obtain individual professional liability insurance on their own. Please contact the Department of Nursing for additional information.
OTHER RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES
TCNJ Risk Management is available to review any number of events or activities for risk management considerations. Please do not hesitate to contact TCNJ Risk Management if you have a question. It is preferred that you contact TCNJ Risk Management during the planning phases rather than after the fact or after something has gone wrong. TCNJ Risk Management is committed to ensuring the effective management of risk.