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Vehicle Liability Claims

Please refer to the campus' policy and procedures for detailed information regarding travel requirements.

State Owned Vehicles

The State Motor Vehicle Insurance Account (SMVIA) provides third party liability coverage for the drivers of self-propelled land vehicles.

Covered employees include state employees and other persons given permission by the State to operate the vehicle on State business.  Cal State San Marcos employees, and other designated individuals, must obtain the approval of their supervisors before driving on State (campus) business. 

The repair of damaged State vehicles is paid (budget permitting) from the fund derived from the mileage chargeback for the use of campus vehicles.  For additional information regarding repairs to campus vehicles, please contact Facility Services at (760) 750-4600.

Privately Owned Vehicles

Campus (State) employees who choose, and are authorized, to drive their personal vehicle on official campus business must certify annually that they carry the required state limits of liability insurance coverage for the personal vehicle and that their vehicle is suitable to drive.  STD 261, Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business, is the document used for this purpose.

If an employee on campus business is involved in a vehicle accident when using a private vehicle, their personal vehicle liability insurance is primary.  Only after the private carrier's policy limits are exhausted will the State Motor Vehicle Insurance Account (SMVIA) be available to pay for any excess costs. (Refer to SAM section 0754, 2420 and Vehicle Code section 16020 et seq.)

An employee who is out-of-pocket for expenses such as policy deductibles may file a claim against the State through the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, formerly known as the State Board of Control.  The claim form to start this process may be found online under that department's Government Claims (GC) Program.  An employee filing a claim may wish to inform Safety, Risk & Sustainability at (760) 750-4502, so that office may assist in expediting a determination of the claim.

The self-insurance program does not provide for loss or damage to private vehicles, state vehicles, or CSU vehicles.  The program is designed only to reimburse third parties when the accident is determined to be the fault of the state driver.

Rental Vehicles

State contracted vehicle liability insurance coverage applies only

  • when the employee uses the American Express (State) Government Card; and
  • when a state contracted vendor is used; and
  • when the vehicle leased is not upgraded, or the terms of the rental are not changed to conflict with the state contract.

Unless otherwise agreed to by the campus Office of Procurement & Support Services and the state vendor, any other form of payment or vehicle selection voids the terms of the contract, including liability.

To obtain the State of California contracted rental rate and the vehicle liability coverage, campus employees must provide the American Express (State) Government Card at the time of the rental as evidence of a state employee's travel status.  Campus employees should decline any separate vehicle liability insurance purchase because of the coverage already provided through the State of California Commercial Car Rental contract.  The purchase of optional vehicle insurance is not a reimbursable travel expense.

The State contracted car rental agency will maintain in force, liability insurance coverage to protect and defend the State (campus) and employees who are approved to travel on official campus business against liability for personal injury, death and property damage arising from the use of the vehicle up to $500,000 per occurrence for combined bodily injury and property damage.  Loss or damage coverage to a rental vehicle is not provided when the campus driver contributes to an accident while operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any illegal non-prescription drug and/or operating the vehicle for any intentionally illegal purpose.

Please note that a rental vehicle used on campus business may not be driven for personal use at the conclusion of the campus business.  If a rental vehicle is needed for personal use beyond the rental time of the campus rental agreement, the employee must return the rental vehicle and obtain a new rental contract for personal use.

For additional information regarding the State of California Commercial Car Rental Contract, you may contact the campus Office of Procurement & Support Services - Accounts Payable / Travel at (760) 750-4466 [Accounts Payable Travel] or the Statewide Travel Management Coordinator at (916) 327-2068.

Rental Vehicles (for out-of-state use)

State Motor Vehicle Liability Self-Insurance (VELSIP) vehicle liability coverage is valid anywhere in the world where it is not prohibited by law. For example, in Mexico their law requires only Mexican auto insurance.

Physical Damage

Commonly referred to as collision and comprehensive coverage, physical damage coverage is not provided by the SMVIA for state vehicles, privately owned vehicles, or rental cars used on state business. However, the employing state agency or department may reimburse damage for losses to privately owned vehicles. (Refer to SAM Section 0759. Rental vehicle physical damage reimbursement, refer to SAM Section 0759.5 and Dept. Of Personnel Administration (DPA) Rule 599.630.)