The state of Montana Risk Management & Tort Defense Division (RMTDD) administers a cost effective and comprehensive property/casualty insurance program for state agencies and universities. The RMTDD insures the state’s risks through a combination of commercial and self-insurance programs. They work to investigate, analyze, evaluate and resolve claims on behalf of their client agencies.
The RMTDD requires completion of the official Report of Incident form within 24 hours for any catastrophic property loss, data incident, or other loss which involves a fatality or bodily injury. All other incidents that occur, or are likely to result in damage or loss to MSU must be reported within five business days. Incidents that are not reported promptly can result in denial of the claim. Reportable incidents include property losses, vehicle accidents, non-MSU employee injuries (visitors, guests or students), cyber/data security and miscellaneous other incidents. MSU Safety & Risk Management recommends that you complete the Report of Incident even if you initially consider the incident minor or no cost:
- it helps us to track types of incidents and locations to help prevent similar incidents from occurring
- if costs exceed the $1,000 deductible MSU will have reported within the required timeframe, otherwise the claim may be denied
- tracking all incidents provides necessary data to apply for MUS and state grants to fund improvements
The Report of Incident is a multi-purpose form with different sections for property claims, vehicle accidents, personal injury of non-MSU employees, and cyber/data security /other. Only the first section and the section that is relevant to the incident you are reporting should be completed; then sign (digital signature OK) and date it. Upon clicking “Submit by Email” an email with the report attached will be generated (you may add notes in the email). Upon sending the email, the report will go directly to the SRM Insurance Manager for processing as a potential insurance claim.
All Reports of Incident must be submitted first to MSU Safety & Risk Management, allowing us to review the report and perform any necessary follow-up before sending the report on to the RMTDD. The RMTDD has designated MSU Safety and Risk Management as the single point of contact for incident reporting.
It is essential that MSU Safety & Risk Management is notified as quickly as possible, especially with regard to water or smoke damage. The RMTDD may be able to salvage damaged property including water-soaked computer equipment and documents by promptly arranging for the services of qualified property conservation firms. Quick action is necessary for salvage efforts to succeed. Claim reimbursement may not be approved for damaged items that may have otherwise been salvaged if not for a delay in reporting.
- The MSU employee with most direct knowledge of the incident must complete, sign and submit a state Report of Incident within the required notification period as described above. If submitted electronically (and this is preferred), the report will go directly to MSU’s Insurance Manager’s email for processing as a potential insurance claim.
- The immediate supervisor must conduct an investigation to help determine the root cause of the incident so that preventative action can be taken to help prevent reoccurrence.
- The department must prepare a list of all damaged property and anticipated repairs and costs, to include make, model and serial number when applicable.
- The RMTDD will assign a claim number, which must be referenced on all correspondence, including the subject line of emails and on internal invoices (e.g., computers purchased from MSU ITC).
- An independent adjuster may be assigned to the claim to conduct an on-site investigation and manage the claims process.
- Evidence with regard to what may have led to damage must be retained until it can be inspected (e.g., water supply lines, thermostats, plumbing fixtures).
- The MSU department will work with the adjuster and/or the RMTDD claims specialist to determine whether replacement cost or repair cost will be most cost-effective prior to replacing or repairing damaged items.
- Payment of invoices is to be drawn on the affected department’s accounts (i.e., there is no central Index). The department must then forward copies of invoices to either the adjuster or the RMTDD claims specialist. The RMTDD may pay some invoices directly to the vendor, and they will work with your department in that regard.
- Repairs or replacements that are outside of approved expenditures or are unrelated to the loss will likely not be reimbursed. The RMTDD will only replace damaged items with items of like, kind and quality; they will not pay for any upgrades.
- Damaged or missing personally owned items are not covered by the state’s self-insurance program.
- Computers including laptops must be evaluated by an IT professional who provides a written report indicating if the device can be repaired or if it should be replaced. Replacement cost for damaged or stolen computers will not be covered without such a report.
- If copiers were damaged, replacement should be per the Western State’s Contracting Alliance (WSCA) contract. A DPO will be required if not a lease; purchase requisition/quote if it is leased – contact Procurement Services to assist as needed.
The deductible for property claims is $1,000 and in most cases payable by the MSU department. “Spree events” are those that result in the damage or theft of several items and can potentially be considered one incident – in those cases the $1,000 deductible will be applied once to cover the entire claim.
Any incident or accident involving an MSU owned, leased, or loaned vehicle that results in damage to either the MSU vehicle, damage to vehicles owned by third parties, or injury to third parties requires that a Report of Incident be filed within five days. The deductible for state vehicles for which you have requested full coverage (physical damage) is either $250/$500 and is payable by the MSU department. There is no deductible for rented vehicles as the rentals have different insurance coverage.
Once third party incidents are reported to MSU Safety & Risk Management the reporting department has very little, if any, direct contact with the affected individual after that. If they do contact your department directly, please refer them to the SRM Insurance Manager. In any situation, university employees should not voluntarily assume liability or agree to compensate third parties for their loss.
For more information on property insurance, contact the Insurance Manager with MSU Safety & Risk Management at (406) 994-6888 firstname.lastname@example.org.