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Risk & Insurance

Insurance Programs

Insurance Programs

SMU maintains a comprehensive program of insurance to address a variety of exposures; more information on some of these lines of insurance is included below.  The Office of Risk Management is responsible for evaluating loss exposures and negotiating appropriate insurance coverage to protect the University’s financial assets.

Serving as the University’s primary liaison with insurance brokers and underwriters, Risk Management ensures the appropriate insurance coverages are obtained and renewed on an annual basis.  Working with a wide variety of insurance brokers, we also serve as an insurance resource for the campus community to provide assistance on insurance matters and in the management and resolution of insurance claims.

Information on a select number of SMU's policies is included below.


Auto Insurance


SMU insures University-Controlled Vehicles, which includes SMU-owned and leased vehicles, as well as courtesy vehicles and those rented on university business. University-Controlled Vehicles must be used with the proper permission of the department responsible for the vehicle and the driver must meet the Fleet Safety Policy requirements, including having completed the required Engaged Driving training..


Coverage provided includes damage to a University-Controlled Vehicle, damage to the other car(s), damage to other property, and medical or death claims. Coverage has a $1,000 deductible which is the responsibility of the department which controls the vehicle. 


Rental Vehicles

Rental car reservations should be booked using the company’s preferred providers through Concur. The University maintains a comprehensive automobile liability insurance policy to cover bodily injury and property damage liabilities arising out of the use of rented vehicles being driven on behalf of SMU. Therefore, authorized employees traveling on University-related business should decline any insurance coverage offered by the rental car company. The University will not reimburse the costs of collision damage insurance unless approved by the Office of Risk Management. The University will not reimburse the costs of collision damage insurance unnecessarily acquired from rental companies. When renting a vehicle, the traveler must not accept the fuel option and is required to refuel rental cars per each rental locations’ refill requirements prior to returning the car in order to minimize cost.


When renting a vehicle in foreign countries, travelers must always accept the insurance offered by the rental car company. This is an exception to the general rules listed above.


Personal Vehicles

The University does not insure personal vehicles used for University business. Personal vehicle insurance is the sole responsibility of the vehicle's owner. All drivers must maintain insurance in accordance with state law.


Please refer to University Policy 3.8, Use of University-Provided and Personal Vehicles, for guidance regarding reimbursement and use of personal vehicles for University business.


Sub-Compact Utility Vehicles (SCUVs) or Golf Carts

Procedures for SMU authorization of owned, leased, borrowed, or contractor-owned SCUVs can be found here on the SCUV Safety website.


15-Passenger Vans

The use of 15-passenger vans is strongly discouraged due to the unique risks present with these vehicles. Please contact the Office of Risk Management in the event your department is considering using one to discuss alternatives.

Property Insurance


Property insurance offers coverage for all University real property. Should any damage occur through a covered inventory, the Office of Risk Management will investigate, as needed. Prompt reporting as soon as applicable is required.


Property losses are those arising from damage or destruction of University equipment, buildings or assets. Department personnel are responsible for providing documentation required by the claims adjuster or establishing the extent of any loss or claim.


SMU is not responsible for loss or damage to personal property of its employees, students, visitors or agents. Individuals are responsible for insuring their own property.


Workers' Compensation Insurance


Please reference the Office of Risk Management's Workers' Compensation page.

General Liability Insurance


General Liability Insurance protects the University from claims brought by third parties in the areas of:

Bodily Injury

Premises Liability

Personal and Advertising Injury

Products Completed and Other Coverage

International Travel Accident-Only Policies


SMU provides supplemental, accident-only policies to its students, faculty, and staff who travel outside of the United States on an SMU-sponsored trip. This coverage is not available for dependents or family members. The policy purchased by SMU does not negate the need for all participants to carry personal health insurance, but is intended to react in emergent, unforeseen circumstances.


SMU contracts with International SOS (ISOS), an international emergency assistance provider, to facilitate access to its international accident-only policy. As part of SMU's international travel registration process, you will be issued an ISOS card that will act as an insurance card. ISOS can assist you with the following:

  • Locating an appropriate medical provider;
  • Filing a claim with SMU's travel accident-only policy;
  • Monitoring your medical situation;
  • Emergency medical evacuation;
  • Emergency security evacuation and repatriation;
  • Emergency medical payments by fronting cash for any covered or non-covered medical procedures; and
  • Other additional services.

Should you be traveling with individuals who are not SMU students, faculty, or staff, including dependents, you may be interested in purchasing similar coverages on your own. Please contact ORM at 214-768-2083 for more information.