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Auto Insurance Information


Santa Clara University has liability insurance on all autos, whether they are owned by the University, rented, leased, private vehicles driven by their owners on University business, or borrowed vehicles. University-owned or leased vehicles are self-insured for physical damage. If you are driving a University-owned vehicle, with the permission of the University, then you are an insured driver under the University’s policy. Authorized drivers are approved employees or students, authorized fleet drivers, and authorized volunteers. Coverage is not extended to unauthorized drivers, including unauthorized use of a vehicle. 

Auto Rentals

Automobile rental is generally an expensive form of transportation. Other means of transportation should always be considered first. When necessary, cars rented for University travel should be in the most economical price bracket offered by the auto rental agency. In order to reduce fuel costs, travelers are encouraged to choose mid-size or compact cars whenever possible. Never rent a vehicle valued in excess of $30,000.

University Risk Management guidelines strictly prohibits the rental of 15-passenger vans. 

Insurance Requirements 

The University purchases Hired Car Coverage for both liability and collision as a part of its Auto Insurance Policy. It is important that all persons renting vehicles for University business follow certain protocols:

  • Decline liability insurance and collision insurance offered by the car rental agency for vehicles rented/driven in the United States. For any non-US or Canadian rentals, you must take the applicable liability and comprehensive and collision insurance provided by the rental company.
  • It is important to inspect any rented vehicle before driving it. Make sure any dents, scratches or other damage to the vehicle is noted on the rental form. The same procedure should be followed when returning a rented vehicle. Otherwise, your department or the University may have to pay for damages you did not cause.
  • We also recommend that you check lights, turn signals, flashers and wipers as a safety measure before taking the vehicle.

Renting and Driving Abroad

Students are not permitted to drive rental vehicles abroad, even if they are credentialed to drive for the University.

Faculty and staff may rent vehicles, but should purchase insurance from the rental car company directly in the maximum amounts offered for both liability and physical damage. The University carries excess coverage over the amounts purchased locally. 


Departments will be charged up to $1,000 for payment of amounts not covered because of deductibles in "at-fault" or surchargable accidents.

Certificates of Insurance

Rental companies may require a certificate of insurance showing the University’s auto insurance limits. This certificate may be obtained by calling (408) 554-4397.

Use of a Personal Car

If you drive your own car on University business, your own insurance policy serves as a "primary" policy for third party liability and collision/comprehensive damage to your vehicle. The University’s insurance is “excess” of your insurance for liability only. This means that the University’s insurance will cover liability claims arising from the accident only after your insurance runs out. (For example, if you carry only $20,000/$40,000 liability insurance, and cause a $100,000 loss to an individual, your policy would pay the first $20,000 of the claim, and the University policy would pay the remaining $80,000.)

The University will not pay any claims to personal autos for comprehensive or collision damage. The University uninsured/underinsured collision and comprehensive coverage does not extend to non-owned vehicles. We recommend that you consult with your insurance agent or broker for this type of coverage. 

Use of a Borrowed Car

In general, vehicles should NOT be borrowed for use on University business. If special circumstances (e.g., an emergency) arise which compel an otherwise authorized driver to borrow a vehicle, it is recommended that the driver obtain authorization for its use from a supervisor or department head. The University has liability, comprehensive and collision coverage for borrowed vehicles. However, a vehicle that is “borrowed” from a family member will be considered to be a Personal Vehicle and will only be covered as a personal car.