What is risk management?

In the simplest terms, risk management is the practice of (1) identifying what can go wrong with a plan or activity and (2) figuring out how to reduce or eliminate the likelihood that something actually will go wrong.

Why do you call yourselves Risk Services?

We believe that everyone at UC is a risk manager, and our job is to provide you with the service and support you need to succeed in that role.

How are employees insured?

As long as they are acting in the course and scope of their University employment, employees are covered by the University's insurance programs. This is true even if employees make a foolish mistake. However, there are a few exceptions: employees are not covered for criminal activity or for sexual harassment. They are also not covered if the person suing them is awarded punitive damages (although this hardly ever happens). And it should be noted that if employees do make a foolish mistake, they are still subject to disciplinary action. 

Does the University's insurance cover students?

 The quick answer is no. However, there are some circumstances under which students may be covered:
  • If the students are employees of the University, they are covered by the University's insurance while in the course and scope of their University employment.
  • If Registered Student Organizations in good standing with the LEAD Center and written authorization to use the space hold an on-campus activity, they are eligible for Student Event Coverage.
  • If students are traveling for University-related purposes, they are entitled to coverage under the University's travel insurance program.
  • If students are interning elsehwere, they may be eligible for some coverage, provided they meet the following conditions:
    • The student is enrolled while participating in the internship.
    • The student is receiving academic credit during the same semester as the internship.
    • The internship is a required part of the course.
    • The course is not an independent study.
    • There is a written document between the course instructor and the internship host accurately defining the student's responsibilities.
    • The student's responsibilities conform with ethical standards applicable to the profession.
    • NOTE: The internship host and its officers, agents, and employees cannot be named as indemnified parties or additional insureds; coverage is for the student only.

How am I insured while driving on University business?

It depends on who owns the vehicle. If the vehicle is owned or leased by the University, the University provides insurance. If the vehicle is rented, be sure to rent from an agency with which the University has a strategic sourcing agreement (the list can be found here), because the contract includes insurance; otherwise, the driver or driver's department may be liable to some degree. If the vehicle is personally owned, the owner's insurance is primary, and the University's insurance steps in after the driver's personal insurance is exhausted.

Is University property covered if we take it off-campus?

Yes. University property is covered world-wide.

Does the University insure private property?

Only if the University is contractually required to do so and the property is in the University's care, custody, and control.

If our department sponsors an event, does that mean it's covered by the University's insurance?

It depends on what you mean by “sponsorship." The campus prefers to restrict use of the term "sponsorship" to financial support only. If that is the extent of the University's involvement, the University's insurance will not cover the event. However, to the degree University employees acting in the course and scope of their employment schedule, organize, or supervise the event, it is a University function and the University's insurance will cover. That does not mean everyone will be covered; if a student group or other organization also participates in the scheduling, organizing, or supervising of an event, it may be separately liable and will not be covered under the University's insurance.

What is a Certificate of Insurance?

A Certificate of Insurance is a document from an insurer confirming that you have insurance coverage. The Certificate lists what kinds of insurance you have, how much insurance you have, and the date your insurance coverage expires.
In accordance with Regents' Business & Finance Bulletin BUS-63, Certificates of Insurance are required from all contractors and external users of University space. 
If you are a campus department and need a Certificate of Insurance to conduct a University activity, please send a copy of the executed contract requiring the Certificate to our office at risk@berkeley.edu.

Our vendor doesn't have insurance. Can we get the insurance requirements of our contract waived or reduced?

Regents' Business & Finance Bulletin BUS-63 requires that vendors have insurance. On the rare occasions when Risk Services grants a waiver, it is because the risk of the contract is virtually non-existent. The value of the contract does not factor into that analysis; small contracts can lead to big losses!

How can we reduce the risk of activities involving minors?

The University and the campus will both be issuing policies on this matter in the near future. Until then, here are the most important things you can do:
    • Make sure all employees interacting with minors have been background checked.
    • Have at least two adults at each activity involving minors, and make sure they keep in visual contact with each other as much as practically possible.
    • Do not allow individual adults to interact with one or more minors in a private space.
    • Prohibit program employees or volunteers from communicating with minors via text message, social media, or email without cc'ing at least one other adult.
    • Report any accident or incident involving a minor to the parent/guardian as soon as possible.
    • Release minors into the custody of authorized adults only.

How can we reduce the risk of events at which alcohol is served?

 Have a caterer with liquor liability do the serving. If that is not possible:
    • Identify legal drinkers at the door with a colored bracelet, hand stamp, or other counterfeit-resistant marker and serve alcohol only to those individuals, or else require that before they are served, youthful individuals provide a picture ID confirming they are of legal age.
    • Prohibit participants from bringing in their own alcohol by checking for bottles, cans, and other containers at the door.
    • Appoint one or two individuals (of legal drinking age and who abstain during the event) with sole authority to serve alcohol, and do not permit anyone else in areas where alcohol is poured or stored.
    • Do not leave kegs, bottles, or other alcohol containers unattended.
    • Pour only one serving of alcohol per legal drinker (no giving drinkers an extra to take to a friend – who may be under age).
    • Refuse to serve anyone showing signs of intoxication, such as unsteady legs or slurred speech.
    • Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the event ends.
    • Arrange for adequate security prior to the event and keep security personnel highly visible throughout the event. To prevent covert assaults, lock areas of the facility you are not using.