The Safety & Risk Management Office manages 30 different types of property and liability insurance policies for Western Carolina University. These include coverage for buildings, state vehicles, study abroad, medical malpractice, student internship liability and others. NC General Statute 58-194.2 states that all insurance authorized for state agencies will be placed by the NC Department of Insurance. Therefore, State agencies cannot obtain insurance directly through private companies. All insurance coverage paid by funds “under the custody and control” of the University must be coordinated through the Safety & Risk Management Office and be approved by the NC Department of Insurance. Please contact the Safety & Risk Management Office for questions regarding these policies at 828.227.7443.
By statute, all University-owned buildings and contents are covered for All Risk Special Form Property through the State Property Fire Insurance Fund, which is administered by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. Property insurance is provided on a replacement cost basis. All University building and contents are covered for the following perils subject to a $10,000 deductible (unless otherwise noted):
As a state institution, the university does not carry property insurance for the personal property of students, faculty, staff, visitors, and other private individuals.
Safety & Risk Management should be notified when your department acquires any major acquisition of equipment assets or other furnishings. It is important to maintain adequate coverage amounts at a specific location in the event of a total loss. It is the responsibility of each department to notify Safety & Risk Management of such asset acquisitions for insurance valuation purposes.
An important reminder, please contact Safety & Risk Management if your department
relocates property assets to another location. Property insurance coverage is location-specific. If high-cost assets will move from building to building, consider insuring through
the Scheduled All Risk Policy.
University departments also have the option to purchase insurance for specifically scheduled items. Scheduled “all-risk” coverage can be purchased for two categories of property assets. The first category is “Computer All-Risk” which is designed to cover computers and electronic peripheral items. The second category is “Miscellaneous Equipment All-Risk“ coverage for items such as video and sound equipment.
Vehicle insurance is purchased through the State of North Carolina liability insurance program. Travelers Insurance Company administers the program and handles claims. All department owned vehicles must be reported to the Department of Insurance for liability coverage. Therefore, all departments are advised to contact the Safety & Risk Management Office regarding the long term lease/rental of a new vehicle or addition/transfer of state owned vehicles to their department. Please submit the WCU Vehicle Change Form to the Safety and Risk Management office whenever you receive or surplus a department owned vehicle.
Reporting Vehicle Accidents
In the event of an accident involving a state owned or leased/rented vehicle occurs
on-campus, contact University Police Department (828)227-7301 as soon as possible
to investigate the accident. For state owned or leased/rented vehicle accidents that
occurs off-campus, contact 911 to report the accident to local law enforcement.
If you or other passengers need medical assistance, Call 828.227.8911 or 911 for on-campus and 911 for off campus.
Report the accident to the Safety & Risk Management Office (828)227-7443 as soon as
possible in order for a claim to be filed with the insurance carrier.
*Motor Fleet vehicle accidents should also be reported to Jean Andrei in Motor Pool at 828.227.3575.
Insurance for Short Term Rental Vehicles
Comp/Collision and liability coverage is provided free of charge to departments who rent vehicles for less than 30 days. Please contact the Safety & Risk Management Office if the rental extends beyond 30 days. When a department rents a vehicle, the rental firm’s liability insurance coverage is primary. The State’s insurance plan will respond for physical damage to the rental car for which authorized employees are liable.
The state of North Carolina is a self-insurer and therefore the rental firm may not charge any fees or surcharges for “collision waivers” or similar items to State employees utilizing the contract. The state does not allow reimbursement for fees or surcharges for “Collision Damage Waiver” and other extended insurance coverage. Employees executing rental contracts should decline these coverages or be prepared to bear the cost of this expense personally. Rental car insurance coverage is provided in the United States, its possessions, and Canada. There is no coverage in other foreign countries.
The Safety & Risk Management Office handles 25 different types of property and liability insurance policies for Western Carolina University. NC General Statute 58-194.2 states that all insurance authorized for state agencies will be placed by the NC Department of Insurance. Therefore, State agencies cannot obtain insurance directly through private companies. All insurance coverage paid by funds “under the custody and control” of the University must be coordinated through the Safety & Risk Management Office and approved by the NC Department of Insurance. Please contact the Safety & Risk Management Office with any questions at (828)227-7443.
Fine Art Insurance
Leased Equipment Insurance
Intern Liability Insurance
The University Student Intern Program provides coverage which is intended to protect students, while in performance of course activity, from liability claims for actions or alleged actions from third parties that arise during course of the course-required internships. University students who are engaging in unpaid internships can be covered by the Student Intern Professional Liability coverage. These internships must be sponsored, authorized, or approved by the participating University and included in student numbers provided by North Carolina Association of Insurance Agents (NCAIA). Paid internships are not covered regardless of sponsored status. There is only one policy available to student interns:
Mercer - This policy can be used for both medical and non-medical student interns. The policy offers $2M per occurrence and $4M aggregate worth of general liability and professional liability coverage and has a yearly policy term. The cost of the policy is $12/yearly for Class I Interns and $52.80/yearly for Class II interns (Paramedic, Nurse Practitioner, Doctor of Nursing). A COI (Certificate of Insurance) will be provided to the student to take to their internship site as proof of insurance. Students or faculty interested in enrolling their students in the policy should contact the Safety & Risk Management Office for an enrollment spreadsheet.
*Please note that internship policy rates are subject to change. Please contact the Safety & Risk Management Office for the most current rates.
As an agency of State government, WCU is entitled to claim "sovereign immunity" from various types of liability, including tort liability. This immunity is recognized by the federal government and all state jurisdictions, and prevents third parties from suing the university except to the extent the university agrees to be sued. Only the General Assembly of North Carolina is authorized to waive this immunity and it has done so to a limited extent by enacting the North Carolina Tort Claims Act (GS 143-291, et seq.).
NC Tort Claim Act- NC General Statute 143-291
State agencies, and employees and agents acting in their official capacity, may be sued for torts, BUT ONLY
To file a tort claim, please complete the Tort Claim Form in its entirety and return by mail the form to the Safety & Risk Management Office at:
3476 Old Cullowhee Road
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Once the form is submitted to the Safety & Risk Management Office, the claim form is forwarded to the NC Department of Justice for review. The NC Department of Justice completes an investigation in conjunction with the University. The time frame for claim determination can range from 4-8 weeks and you will be notified in writing by the NC Department of Insurance of the claim determination.
Please contact the Safety & Risk Management Office with any questions regarding Tort Claims.
From time to time departments will receive requests for liability certificates. The Department of Insurance can provide liability tort letters to other organizations. Please contact Safety & Risk Management with any questions or requests for liability certificates at (828)227-7443.
Is there insurance coverage on the building my department occupies and on our contents?
At a minimum, all University-owned buildings and contents listed with the N.C. Department of Insurance are required by State statue to be insured with All Risk Form through the State Fire Fund with a $10,000 deductible.
If my department moves/changes location on or off campus, does our insurance coverage
You must contact Safety & Risk Management if your department relocates property assets to another location. Property insurance coverage is location specific.
Is the insurance for buildings and contents at replacement cost?
All covered buildings and contents are insured on a RCV (replacement cost value).
What is the current property insurance deductible?
$10,000 for All Risk Special form coverage on all campus buildings and contents
How do I determine the replacement cost of my equipment?
One way to determine replacement cost is from the purchase order if that equipment has been purchased recently, or if any similar equipment has been purchased recently. Another way is to contact the manufacturer to see what the cost is to replace your equipment with like, kind, and quality. If your unit is no longer available, then get the replacement cost of the next most comparable unit.
Can our own University department go out on its own to purchase insurance coverage
in the commercial marketplace?
No, as the State of North Carolina has statutory requirements for insurance purchasing by state agencies and institutions. The process of insurance procurement has been centralized and insurance purchasing should be arranged through Safety & Risk Management.
Our University department is using a private facility for a special event or conference
and they have requested that we provide them a copy of the University's Certificate
of Liability Insurance. What do we do?
Contact Safety & Risk Management for assistance. WCU, same as other State of North Carolina agencies and institutions, self-insures for general liability coverage subject to the North Carolina Tort Claims Act. Safety & Risk Management can assist and provide a document as certification of our liability coverage.
I am a University employee. How am I covered for any general liability that may arise
from my actions while doing my job?
If you are University employee or volunteer and acting within the course and scope of your duties, and your actions are not intentionally malicious, nor pose a conflict of interest with the best interests of the State of North Carolina, coverage may arise from the combination of (1) Defense of State Employees Act, and (2) the Employees Excess Liability Insurance policy. It is important that you are acting within your job duties, thus the importance of a good job description.
I sometimes use my personal vehicle on University business. Am I covered?
The motor vehicle liability insurance carried by you on your personal vehicle is considered primary coverage when you are driving your own vehicle. In the absence of such primary coverage, or any other personal motor vehicle insurance coverage is exhausted, the State of North Carolina Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance program may cover on an excess layer if you were on the job. Remember, it is your responsibility to discuss any business use of your personal vehicle with your own agent to ensure adequate personal coverage.