Course Related Vehicle Use (field trips, community engagement)
Santa Clara University does not allow for rentals of 12 or 15-passenger vans. Our suggestions, with support from our insurance carriers, are the following:
The best recommendation from a risk, safety and insurance perspective is to rent a bus or charter van of some sort. The following are options that we have vetted from a risk standpoint. There are professional drivers and when we review the contracts, we include safety, indemnification and insurance provisions to assure protection for the University and our staff, faculty and students. The office of the General Counsel would need to review the rental contract prior to approval. Cost, we know, can be prohibitive.
Rent minivans and have staff/faculty drive them. As indicated, we cannot rent 12-15 passenger vans.
Allow students and staff to drive themselves. We ask that faculty/staff do not set up carpools but merely advise date, time and location of arrival and ask that our students get there - "We will meet you there". This option is least preferred, though certainly acceptable, as students, staff and faculty insurance policies, as per the terms of university policy 704, become primary for coverage in the event of an accident.
- Student drivers in this case should sign a Student Non-University Vehicle Drivers Agreement document making them aware of their responsibility, the University's obligations and to confirm their license and registration. Our faculty members should keep the document with their documents for their class that quarter or semester.
- With this option, it is important that the driver knows that Santa Clara University purchases a commercial auto liability insurance policy for all drivers of Santa Clara University owned, leased or rented vehicles for SCU business.
- Drivers using personal vehicles in the performance of SCU related tasks may be covered for their liability "excess" of their own insurance. (There is no Santa Clara University coverage available for physical damage to personal vehicles.)
- 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. The University will not pay any claims to personal autos for comprehensive or collision damage.
- Motor Vehicle Policy 704 further outlines aspects of vehicle use.