Five College Risk Management

Auto Insurance Information


Each of the four private colleges have liability insurance on all autos, whether they are owned by the College, rented, leased, private vehicles driven by their owners on College business, or borrowed vehicles. College-owned or leased vehicles are self insured for physical damage, subject to a $500 deductible for "at-fault" or surchargable accidents. If you are driving a college-owned vehicle, with the permission of the College, then you are an insured driver under the College's policy. Authorized drivers are credentialed employees or students, authorized fleet drivers, and authorized volunteers. Coverage is not extended to unauthorized drivers, including unauthorized use of a vehicle.

All persons driving Fleet vehicles, personal vehicles or rented vehicles are subject to the rules and policies set forth in the Fleet Vehicle Use & Policies manual.

No Cell Phones or Texting While Driving

Mount Holyoke College students may also want to reference Mount Holyoke Frequently Asked Questions on Auto Insurance.

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 College 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.

College policy strictly prohibits the rental of 15 passenger vans. 12 passenger vans may be rented, but may not be driven by students.

Student Driver Requirements for Rental Vehicles

Students must be at least 21 years of age (18 years of age if renting a ZipCar) and have written authorization from an authorized person before renting or driving a rented vehicle on College business. Any student driver of a rental vehicle must be an authorized Fleet/College Vehicle driver.

No student may drive vehicles on College business when overseas.

Insurance Requirements 

The College 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 College business follow certain protocols:

  • Reserve the vehicle in BOTH the names of the individual and the College.
  • Sign the rental agreement in BOTH the names of the individual and the College.
  • Decline liability insurance and collision insurance[1] offered by the car rental agency for vehicles rented/driven in the United States or Canada. For any non-US or Canadian rentals, you must take the applicable 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 College 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.


Departments will be charged up to $500 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 College’s auto insurance limits. This certificate may be obtained by calling:

Tamarah Holm
Arthur J. Gallagher
630.694.4604 (direct)

Usually, they fax the certificate directly to the rental agency. Allow at least five workdays for processing.

Use of a Personal Car

If you drive your own car on College business, your own insurance policy serves as a "primary" policy for third party liability and collision/comprehensive damage to your vehicle. The College's insurance is “excess” of your insurance for liability only. This means that the College'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 College policy would pay the remaining $80,000.)

The College will not pay any claims to personal autos for comprehensive or collision damage. The College’s 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. 

Students must have written authorization from an authorized person such as a dean or department chair before driving a personal vehicle on College business. Students must be credentialed to drive a personal vehicle on College business. Failure to credential will result in lack of coverage from the College in cases of liability should you get in an accident while driving for the College.

Use of a Borrowed Car

In general, vehicles should NOT be borrowed for use on College 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 College 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.

1. Student groups may purchase the collision insurance from the rental agency, as an added precaution. (See Deductibles/Denials). Employees may also purchase the collision insurance at their own expense, as this is not a reimbursable expense. (See your College Travel Policy for travel reimbursement information — (AmherstHampshireMount HolyokeSmith).