Risk Management and Insurance Liability Coverage For Student Organizations
and Their Activities
These guidelines have been developed to clarify the extent to which the
Southern Methodist University Insurance Liability Program applies to the activities
and functions of SMU sanctioned organizations (i.e. chartered organizations).
In addition, procedures for the evaluation of the organizationís activities
with respect to liability protection as well as for the procurement of outside
sources of liability insurance will be discussed.
A. Eligibility for
In order to be covered under any of the SMU insurance programs, the student
organization must be an SMU sanctioned organization consisting primarily of
SMU students, faculty and staff.
B. Types of Coverage
Automobile Liability and Collision Coverage
-- includes damage to a University Controlled vehicle (Collision), damage to
the other car(s), medical claims and/or death claims (Liability). Coverage
has a $750 deductible which is the responsibility of the student organization
or department which controls the vehicle.
- University Controlled Vehicles -- (owned, leased, courtesy and rental
vehicles) must be used with the proper permission of the department
responsible for the vehicle.
- Rental Vehicles -- Liability protection is not an absolute when
individuals rent a vehicle for student organization activities. It
is difficult to determine whether an individual will be covered for
liability without knowing the details of the specific situations from
which the liability may arise. Student organizations should not assume
continuous and automatic liability protection by virtue of their existence.
When renting vehicles, liability protection will be judged based on
the specific activities of the individuals acting on behalf of the
organization. (The Office of Risk Management can advise you on a case
by case basis whether coverage is available through SMUís plan or whether
the individual organization should purchase insurance from the rental
- Personal Vehicles -- are not covered under SMUís plan. In the event
of an accident, the individualís insurance coverage will apply, not
SMUís. It is important that the individual has proper liability coverage
(required by law) and collision coverage since any damages will be
the individualís responsibility.
2. Other Liability Coverages
- Faculty/Staff -- Faculty and staff members are protected by the
SMU liability coverage while acting on behalf of the University in
their prescribed duties which would include sponsorship of a club or
- Campus Organizations -- the campus organizations have coverage under
SMUís liability insurance as long as they are University sanctioned
organizations and activities that are approved through proper University
- Organizations not Covered -- Individual social fraternities and
sororities do not have any coverage under the SMU insurance plan.
- Student Workers -- on S.M.U. payroll have medical coverage up to
$25,000 if injured while in the course and scope of their work-related
3. Special Event Liability Insurance Coverage -- S.M.U. requires proof
of insurance for all vendors, contractors that want to participate in
a special event on campus. The student organization is responsible for
obtaining evidence of insurance (i.e. a Certificate of Insurance) from
third parties and presenting it to the Office of Risk Management at
least (3) days prior to the event taking place.
a. In order for the university to recognize the event the following
list of insurance policy conditions must be met on the Certificate of
- Named Insured: The Student Organization or specific member.
- Additional Insured: SMU, its Trustees, Officers, employees and agents.
- Coverage Detail: Commercial General Liability coverage for bodily
injury or property damage. Policy Minimums: $500,000 limit per occurrence.
Note: All special events are not organized in the same way, nor do
they carry the same exposure. This can lead to confusion about who
needs to insure what. A rule of thumb hat can often be applied is whenever
the group is hiring outside people for an event, signing contracts,
and charging for the event, they will likely need liability insurance
to cover the event. Many outside groups carry their own insurance.
Generally if another party (i.e. a promoter) is responsible for the
contracts and promotions, it carries its own liability limits. But
because these distinctions can be confusing, liability coverage should
be clarified in the early planning stages of the event. (Risk Management
can advise you on this.)
4. Third Party
Users Liability Insurance Policy (TULIP) -- This S.M.U.
program provides liability coverage for student organization and
third parties they might contract with.
- It provides coverage and legal defense for claims of negligence
brought on the grounds of mismanagement, improper security, misleading
representations, or failure of equipment/fixtures, to name a few.
- The TULIP is normally priced on a per-event basis since each event
is separately underwritten. Securing this coverage can be done through
the Office of Risk Management. (Consulting with a local insurance agent
to purchase coverage for the event may aid in receiving a competitive
price for the coverage.)
- The cost for the TULIP would be based on the nature of the event,
the anticipated number of participants, and the number of days.
At your discretion the premium cost could be passed to the insured
paid by the student organization. Payment would be assessed for
each event. Upon receipt a certificate of insurance naming SMU as additional
insured would be issued in the insureds name.
C. Special Points to
- Social Fraternities/Sororities -- Must provide their own coverage.
The Office of Risk Management is available for assistance.
- Club Sports/Intramurals -- There is no coverage for the individuals
participating in these events. Third party liability coverage
is provided. (An example of third party liability coverage would
be a situation
in which a spectator or passer-by was injured by a foul ball).
- Personal Property -- No Coverage.
Please contact the Office of Risk Management for any questions
concerning the insurance program.