Insurance Coverage by the State

These questions relate to ASU's insurance coverage through Risk Management. For more information, contact ASU Risk Management or refer also to the Environmental Health & Safety Manual, "Insurance Services" section.

Yes. The Arizona Department of Administration, Risk Management Section, operates a program of insurance and self-insurance coverage for all State employees, including employees of Arizona State University. With limited exceptions the State’s insurance coverage protects all officers, agents and employees of the University against liability for acts and omissions of any nature while acting in an authorized capacity in the course and scope of employment.

Although no definition will cover every situation, in general, "course and scope of employment" includes all acts that are performed by an employee in the pursuit of the University's business and affairs and:

  1. are authorized to be performed by that employee
  2. occur substantially within the authorized time and space limit
  3. are activated at least in part by a purpose to serve the State.

Refer to ARS § 41-621.

Yes. State Risk Management provides coverage for discrimination claims. The alleged discriminatory act must arise while the employee is acting in an authorized capacity in the course and scope of employment.

So long as the employee is engaged in official University business, State Risk Management will provide defense either through the Arizona Attorney General's Office or assigned private counsel.

Of course, it is always possible that committee members may be sued for actions taken in official capacity as a member of a University hearing board, grievance committee, personnel committee, search committee, or other panel which is authorized to make recommendations to University administrators. However, it is extremely unlikely that the employee would be exposed to any liability. Under a legal doctrine known as "qualified immunity," courts have recognized that public officers should be able to carry out certain administrative tasks without fear of personal liability. So long as the actions are not malicious or motivated by bad faith, participation on University committees and hearing boards would be subject to this immunity. Coverage for authorized activities as a board or committee member would be provided in the same manner as in other negligent act situations.

Yes. It is true that many acts of University administrators are protected by a "qualified immunity." The immunity applies where the official is engaged in setting policy or performing an act that inherently requires judgment or discretion. The immunity from liability will be forfeited if the official:

  • acts outside the outer perimeter of the required or discretionary functions, or
  • acts with malice or bad faith.

So long as the case falls within Risk Management coverage, the defense will be provided. For other cases in which one is acting under the authority as a University employee, Office of General Counsel will provide legal services.

No. State Risk Management insurance coverage does not extend to claims alleging breach of contract. Even though no insurance exists for contract claims, it is highly unlikely that individual employees would be liable because these individuals would not be parties to the contract. All contracts between the University and third parties are in the name of the Arizona Board of Regents for and on behalf of the University.

Yes. State Risk Management excludes coverage for losses due to the commission of a felony. This exclusion is not applicable to acts arising out of the operation or use of an automobile.

Coverage is provided for all employees acting within the course and scope of their employment while driving State-owned vehicles on State business. Liability coverage also exists for employees driving State-owned vehicles to and from work and lunch if such use is authorized. If an employee is driving a vehicle not owned by the State, he/she will not be covered while driving to and from work or lunch unless on State business. Risk Management coverage is secondary to any existing insurance maintained by the employee on private vehicles.


  • No coverage is provided for damage to or loss of an employee-owned vehicle.
  • No medical coverage is provided as an employee would receive worker's compensation coverage.

Compensation to University employees injured in a job-related accident is provided under the State worker's compensation law. One should report a workers's compensation claim to the supervisor as soon as possible. To find out how to report a claim or to learn about available benefits, contact Office of Human Resources.

For members of outside, volunteer groups or off-campus visitors that assist the university in a volunteer capacity, this is an area that can be unclear.

Risk Management will not provide blanket coverage for booster and civic groups such as the Sun Angel Foundation or ASU Foundation. Certain projects undertaken by such organizations, however, may be eligible for Risk Management coverage. These activities would have to be submitted to Risk Management on a case-by-case basis. The safest course of action would be for the outside group to obtain its own insurance.

Anyone performing volunteer service on behalf of the University is covered by Risk Management for claims of negligence so long as the activities are performed under the direction and control of authorized University personnel, as such persons would qualify as agents. Individuals wishing to volunteer must first complete a Volunteer Registration Form. The university department is responsible for completing the form and submitting it to ASU Insurance Services.

State Risk Management will insure negligent acts by students when they also qualify as employees or as agents. Examples include when they are acting on behalf of the University and under the direction and control of authorized University personnel. This coverage includes students working in internship programs sponsored by the University as long as the students are acting within the scope of the program.

Officers, employees, and agents of the University engaged in officially sponsored off-campus activities are insured by Risk Management. Location is not necessarily the issue—authorized activity is.

However, if students, not acting as employees or agents, are required to participate in field trips, events, or other activities (or even if participation is voluntary), each student must sign a release and/or waiver. Contact ASU's Risk Management to determine if this is necessary, and if so, Risk Management will provide a release/waiver specific to the program/event.

Some of the legal material found at this site has been abridged from laws, regulations, court decisions, administrative rulings, ABOR and ASU policies and other sources. Further details may be necessary for complete analysis and understanding in particular matters. The information contained at this site, and related links, is not a substitute for professional legal counsel. Any discrepancy between the information at this site and ASU policy is not intended to alter or amend official ASU policy or procedure.

Any links to non-Arizona State University information are provided as a courtesy. They are not intended to nor do they constitute an endorsement by the Arizona Board of Regents or Arizona State University of the linked materials.