Personal Vehicles

Staff/Volunteer/Student use of Personal Vehicles for "Official Principia Business"

In an effort to clarify requirements for the use of personal or privately owned vehicles for official business and Principia's insurance provisions for such use, this memo is being sent to all faculty and staff for distribution in their departments. Please feel free to contact Bryan White (ext. 5473) at the College, James Brown (3159 or 5871), or Carolyn Burns (5474), or Philip Riley (ext. 3513) with any questions.

I. Principia Insurance and Staff and Volunteers' Use of Personal Vehicles Scope:

Applies to all faculty and staff (including student employees and "employee volunteers"¹) who drive personal vehicles on official Principia business. Any employee who transports students must be an approved² driver by fulfilling the following requirements in A:

  • Anyone transporting students on official Principia business in their own vehicle must meet the following criteria at the Community Safety office:
    1. show proof of current insurance
    2. have a current driver's license
    3. ensure that their vehicle is in a safe and legal driving condition and meets all state regulatory requirements. Check with Community Safety for details.
  • Official Principia Business includes but is not limited to:
    1. picking up purchases for a department
    2. transporting athletes to games
    3. transporting students to curricular or curricular-related activities
    4. transporting students as part of a Principia job
    5. parent volunteers transporting students on field trips
    6. parent employee volunteers transporting students on field trips
    7. any activity authorized by the employees' supervisor and within the employee's job description that involves driving a Principia or personal vehicle to accomplish work-related tasks

Example: OSL or Admissions staff members, in the scope of their employment, regularly drive students and guests on the students' personal (or Principia) business in their personal car.

  • Insurance Coverage:
    1. Principia staff, student employees, and employee volunteers who utilize their own vehicle in the course of conducting authorized Principia business, including with student passengers, are primarily covered by their own individual automobile liability insurance for accident damages up to the limit of their coverage.
    2. Such employees are secondarily covered by Principia's vehicle liability insurance policy.
  • What Principia's Fleet Vehicle Insurance does not cover:
    1. physical damage to an employee's vehicle
    2. non-employee students driving their own vehicles on Principia business. It only applies to employees
    3. volunteers, whether students or adults, driving personal vehicles to transport students

Once drivers have been approved, their names are posted on the Principia Community Safety web page and expire with the driver's license renewal date.

II. Principia Students Who Drive a Faculty or Staff (F/S) Member's Personal Vehicle on Official Principia Business

  • A. Official Principia business with no student passengers in the vehicle
    If an employee authorizes a Principia student to drive a faculty or staff member's car on official Principia business without student passengers, the student must be at least an authorized³ driver. The staff member's individual car insurance is the only automobile liability insurance for accident damages up to the limit of their coverage unless the student is an employee of the department performing Principia business as part of the student's job description. Principia's fleet vehicle coverage does not apply as secondary in this situation unless the student is an employee performing Principia bus as part of the student's job description.
  • Official Principia business with student passengers in the vehicle
    If an employee authorizes a Principia student to drive a faculty or staff member's car on official Principia business with other student passengers, the student employee driver must be an approved driver.

    The staff member's car insurance is "primary." Principia's coverage is "secondary" but applies only if the student driver is an approved driver and is a student employee performing Principia business as part of the student's job description. In these circumstances, the staff member who owns the personal vehicle must meet the following criteria:

    1. show proof of current insurance
    2. ensure that their vehicle is in a safe and legal driving condition and meets all state regulatory requirements. Check with Campus Security for details.

Note: Principia's "secondary" insurance does not include physical damage coverage for the employee's own car.

PRINCIPIA'S SECONDARY INSURANCE COVERAGE CANNOT APPLY WHEN THESE STEPS ARE NOT FOLLOWED.

In Summary

Departments that use faculty, staff and/or student drivers in personal staff vehicles should have specifically approved/authorized drivers who can be called upon for that department's needs. Look at the Campus Security website for someone who is an approved driver from the list that is posted there.

Principia's secondary insurance applies only when the

  • driver is a Principia employee
  • Principia business is authorized
  • owner of the car carries the required primary automobile liability insurance
  • driver is approved by Campus Security
  • driver of the vehicle has a current driver's license
  • vehicle being used is in a safe and legal driving condition and meets all state regulatory requirements
III. Principia Students Driving Personal Student Vehicles Scope: Applies to all students who drive their own or other students' vehicles on Official Principia Business.

Student drivers driving their own or other student's vehicles are not covered by Principia's fleet vehicle insurance unless they are student employees on official Principia business as defined above. Official Principia business can mean driving for an officially authorized Principia activity such as a club activity (i.e. rugby) or transporting team members that involves transportation to an off-campus event for which students have been authorized to drive their own vehicles. Student drivers must have authorization from the department or program head to use their personal vehicle on Principia business. On the St. Louis campus, dorm students must have written parental permission to go off campus in other students' vehicles.

  • Official Principia business with no student passengers in vehicle.
    Students who are employed by a Principia department and are authorized by that department to drive their personal cars on official Principia business, without student passengers in the car, must be at least authorized³ Principia drivers. The Students' or parents' insurance constitutes the "primary" liability insurance for accident damages up to the limit of their coverage.
     
  • Official Principia business with student passengers in vehicle.
    Students who are employed by a Principia department and are directed by that department to drive their personal cars on official Principia business with student passengers in the car must be approved² (not merely authorized) Principia drivers. The students' or parents' insurance constitutes the "primary" liability insurance for accident damages up to the limit of their coverage.

    In situations where Principia's fleet vehicle insurance applies, when the limits of a student's own primary automobile liability insurance has been reached, Principia's liability insurance for fleet coverage provides secondary coverage for any liability incurred beyond the private owner's insurance limit and up to the limits of Principia's coverage. In these circumstances, the approved student driver must meet the criteria as stated above.

IV. Principia Students Driving Student Cars on Unofficial Business

If students drive their own cars with or without other students in the vehicle, to a school-related activity, such as voluntary attendance at an away-game as a spectator, or for a voluntary "house" function, this does not constitute official Principia business and the student's or parents' insurance would be the only coverage. Students driving their own or other students' cars for such purposes are not covered by Principia's fleet insurance

V. Conclusion
  • Faculty, staff, student employees of a particular department, and "employee" volunteers who drive personal vehicles on official Principia business, without student passengers are covered by both the personal vehicle owner's insurance and Principia's fleet vehicle insurance, if the drivers are at least authorized drivers.
  • Faculty, staff, student employees of a particular department, and "employee" volunteers who drive personal vehicles on official Principia business, with student passengers are covered by both the personal vehicle owner's insurance and Principia's fleet vehicle insurance, if the drivers are approved drivers.
  • Anyone who volunteers to drive a personal vehicle outside the scope of their Principia employment to transport students to any activity are not covered by Principia fleet vehicle insurance and would only be covered by the vehicle owner's primary liability insurance.
Questions

If you have any questions about the above, please feel free to call Bryan White at 5473 or Carolyn Burns at 5474 at the College, or James Brown (3159 or 5871) at St. Louis or Elsah.


¹Principia does not engage "volunteers" to transport students because our fleet insurance will not cover them. Nominated individuals are made temporary Principia employees ("volunteer employees") for the purpose of driving students on official Principia business and are required to become an Approved Driver. Such employee volunteers are covered secondarily by Principia's fleet vehicle liability insurance. Mere volunteers driving personal vehicles on Principia business are not covered by Principia's fleet vehicle liability insurance.
² Approved driver: Status of approved driver is required to operate any Principia-owned vehicle and to transport any Principia student(s) on any official Principia business. The requirements to become an approved driver are (see the Approved Driver Policy posted on the Campus Security website for details):

³Authorized driver: The status of authorized driver is required to use a personal vehicle on any official Principia business. To transport student passengers, however, the approved driver status required. The criteria for approved drivers is more stringent than for authorized drivers. The requirements to become an authorized driver are: