New York State no longer carries automobile liability insurance on State-owned vehicles.
Instead, the State self-insures for risks associated with the driving of state-owned (also referred to as "fleet" vehicles). It is important to be aware that part of the self-insurance program is administered through the NYS Office of General Services. OGS must be notified in the event of an accident involving a state-owned vehicle. Payment is made by OGS for property damage to third party vehicles under this program.
The campus will be responsible for repairs or damage to the fleet vehicle itself where the driver was at fault; otherwise litigation may be initiated by the Attorney General to recover for damages. Personal injuries to third parties caused by the state driver are handled as follows:
OGS, Motor Vehicles Claims Administrator must be notified as described above. OGS has authority to settle damage claims up to $25,000. Beyond that amount, the injured party must file a lawsuit to recover damages, either in the Court of Claims if SUNY is being sued or in State Supreme Court if the driver is being sued individually.
The Attorney General will defend the employee or student sued upon a determination that the accident occurred in the scope of their SUNY employment or SUNY volunteer status. Given this protocol, it is essential that student drivers of fleet vehicles have advance written authorization to use the vehicle; that it is for an authorized purpose and that due diligence is taken to ensure the safety of passengers and others (i.e. check driving record). Accidents should cause the review of a driver's authorization.
Office of Travel Services
French Hall 113
34 Cornell Drive
Canton, NY 13617
Fax: (315) 386-7925