The U of A carries a non-owned automobile insurance policy that covers rental vehicles used on University business. The purpose of this policy is to provide insurance coverage for authorized drivers on University business.
Depending on the jurisdiction, liability insurance may not be provided by the rental company. Alberta and Ontario, for example, have legislation in place making the renter responsible for providing the primary liability coverage. However, rental companies in the United States may carry low or insufficient amounts of liability coverage and possibly no liability coverage. The University's non-owned policy will act as secondary coverage to the protection provided by the car rental company in the event of a claim but more importantly, the University's coverage will serve as the primary coverage (for University authorized renters/drivers) in the event of no other coverage being in effect.
Physical Damage to Rental Vehicles
Generally speaking, the renter assumes full responsibility for any physical damage to or loss of a rental vehicle. The University's non-owned automobile policy provides coverage for all authorized University drivers.
University personnel who are not "authorized drivers" and desire to rent a vehicle may have protection by:
• purchasing a collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver (CDW or LDW) at the time of rental
• checking with their personal insurance broker to find out if their own personal auto policy extends to cover damage to rented vehicles
• renting the vehicle with a major credit card that may include the collision coverage.
The University self insures the collision damages subject to an internal deductible for preventable accidents.
Please note that our policy of insurance does not cover road hazards. These hazards include but are not limited to such things as flat tires and windshield damage from flying rocks or debris. Supplemental coverage may be available from the rental company if you have a concern about these risks.
Other types of incidental damage are also not covered such as any necessary cleaning of the vehicle or paint chips from flying rocks and/or debris. Please note that most rental contracts include specific conditions regarding where you drive the vehicle, limiting use to paved, public roadways and specifying that vehicles should not be driven elsewhere, e.g. unpaved, gravel roads. Please check the contract to ensure compliance. If you are in breach of the contract, you can invalidate any supplemental coverage provided by the rental company.
Guidelines for Renting Vehicles
You must be an authorized driver in accordance with the University Driver Authorization Requirements.
Please review the UAPPOL Driver Authorization Procedure.
Please abide by the following guidelines:
1. Rent from major rental agencies such as Budget or Thrifty.
2. Rent the vehicle in the University's name (ie. Dave Smith, U of A). Name any additional drivers on the agreement, and watch for age limits (in Canada, drivers must be 21 or over, while in many U.S. states drivers must be 25 or over). There may also be local variations.
3. Rent only passenger-type or light commercial vehicles (cars, light trucks or passenger vans).
4. If you are renting in Canada or the United States, decline the CDW (Collision Waiver) and/or LDW (Loss Damage Waiver). If you are renting for a period in excess of 30 days, you must purchase the CDW/LDW. In all other countries (other than Canada and US) purchase the CDW/LDW.
5. Do purchase any additional supplemental coverage you believe may be required such as coverage for damage to windshields from road hazards or coverage for flat tires, as these would not be covered through I&RA and/or University insurance.
6. If you carry a credit card that provides damage insurance, take advantage of this extra protection and use the card. Please check the terms and conditions of the coverage as there are restrictions which invalidate the coverage (e.g. driving off-road). There are also restrictions on the type of vehicle you can rent. Many cards may not cover trucks, vans or luxury cars.
7. Let the rental company know where you intend to be driving. If you are going into another province or state, this must be clearly indicated on the rental agreement.
8. Outside Canada and the United States, purchase the maximum liability, accident and collision insurance that is available through the rental agency as there is NO COVERAGE provided by University of Alberta or its insurers. This includes NO COVERAGE for Mexico as well.
9. In the event of an accident, contact the rental agency immediately and follow their instructions. If you rented with a credit card, notify the Card Company immediately following the incident. If you did not purchase CDW/LDW coverage and did not use a credit card, notify the University's Insurance and Risk Assessment Office (780-492-8887) as soon as possible.
10. You are responsible for your own personal property (including any University owned property you might be carrying), so be sure to lock valuables in the trunk of the car or preferably take them with you.
Conditions of the Rental Agreement
Car rental agreements are somewhat similar. All of them state that the insurance provided by the rental agency will not apply if any conditions of the rental agreement are breached. This may even include the agency's third party liability insurance. Please refer to the rental coverage terms and conditions and READ the agreement. There may be exclusions affecting coverage. It is therefore critical that drivers of rental vehicles observe the following at all times:
• only authorized drivers named in the agreement may drive the vehicle
• the vehicle must not be driven off public roads
• the vehicle must be kept locked at all times
• do not drive the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• do not exceed the speed limit
• do not continue to drive a vehicle which has become damaged and is not safe or roadworthy.
These are standard conditions in most car rental agreements and the breach of any of them will significantly increase the University's risk exposure.