Montana State University
Safety and Risk Management > Risk Management > Certificates of Insurance

Certificates of Insurance

A certificate of insurance provides proof of insurance coverage to another party. They are often required when executing contracts. The certificate only evidences that coverage was in place at the time the certificate was issued.

Outgoing Certificates

Entities with which MSU does business may sometimes request proof of insurance coverage to verify certain aspects of the university’s insurance program. Certificates are obtained from the state of Montana Risk Management & Tort Defense Division (RMTDD), which self-insures state agencies and universities for general/auto liability and property/casualty coverage. The Montana University System self-insures all university employees for workers’ compensation coverage. All requests must flow through MSU Safety & Risk Management (SRM), allowing us to review the request and notify the RMTDD, if appropriate, to issue the certificate. If applicable, a copy of any existing contract or agreement associated with the activity must accompany the COI request to facilitate a thorough review. The RMTDD will not issue a certificate of insurance unless authorized by MSU SRM.

Certificates of Insurance can be requested by university employees/faculty/staff only. Do not request a certificate evidencing MSU insurance unless specifically requested in writing by the individual or organization with whom you are entering into an agreement. To obtain a certificate, complete the Certificate of Insurance Request form. The request form, along with a copy of the contract or agreement, must be submitted at least ten days prior to the date it is needed, although certificates are typically issued within 1-3 business days. You will receive the certificate via email, to be forwarded to the entity that requested it.

Please note: Montana State University is unable to add an Additional Insured endorsement for any reason. When requested, a letter from the RMTDD stating such will accompany the Certificate.

MSU Safety & Risk Management also provides evidence of Workers’ Compensation coverage available through the Montana University System Self-Funded Workers’ Compensation Program. Please contact our office if you have need of one.

Vehicle Certificate of Insurance

Most university-owned vehicles typically contain a Certificate of Insurance for Auto Liability in the glove box. If you vehicle does not have one, it may be downloaded here.

The state of Montana Certificate of Insurance for auto liability should be kept with you, on your person, for evidence of coverage when driving MSU’s owned, rented or leased vehicles. Do not place or leave the certificate in rented or leased vehicles when returning them to the rental agency.

If your department requires a more specialized certificate than those described above, contact MSU’s Insurance Manger at or (406) 994-6888.

Incoming Certificates

Vendors and contractors doing business with the university, or organizations using university premises or facilities, should carry insurance to protect their own interests from allegations of bodily injury or property damage liability.

A contractor could potentially cause financial loss to the university far greater than the value of the contract. To protect the university from loss, or injury or damage due to the negligent or intentional acts of the contractor/external user, MSU requires a Certificate of Insurance from all entities before engaging their services or permitting them to use university premises or facilities. The certificate is evidence that the group is insured by a financially stable company; verifies that it carries the appropriate coverage and adequate limits of insurance for the activity or service, and that the activity or service occurs within the policy period. In some cases the State of Montana and Montana State University should be listed as additional insured on the certificate and a properly executed contract must be in place. Contact our office for assistance.

Certificate Holder and Additional Insured shall read:
State of Montana and Montana State University
Attn: MSU Safety & Risk Management
1160 Research Drive
Bozeman, MT 59718

If required, a copy of the Additional Insured Endorsement must be attached to the Certificate of Insurance, verifying that the Insured’s policy has been endorsed as required (otherwise the certificate will be considered incomplete). Include a copy of the contract or agreement when submitting the certificates and endorsements to Safety & Risk Management for review and approval.

When the State of Montana and Montana State University are listed as additional insured, it means that our interests are protected under the insurance policies purchased by the outside party with regard to the work performed, services provided, products provided, etc. by the outside party.  Essentially, it allows us to use the insurance provided by the outside party.

Uninsured organizations may purchase coverage for the date(s) of their event through the Tenant’s and User’s Liability Insurance Program (TULIP). Keep in mind that insurance coverage must be in place prior to an outside organization/group’s use of university facilities. The process should be initiated one month prior to the date it is needed to ensure enough time to secure coverage prior to the event.

Minimum Insurance Limits

Third party contractors/vendors/performers (“Insured”) performing services/events/or seeking to use facilities at Montana State University (“Certificate Holder”) are required to carry the types and limits of insurance shown below, and to provide MSU SRM with a Certificate of Insurance. The Certificate shall be executed by a duly authorized representative of the Insurer, showing compliance with the insurance requirements below.

All Insurers shall have an AM Best rating (or equivalent) of A- or better and be licensed and admitted in the state of Montana. All coverage shall be written as primary policies and not contributing to or in excess of any coverage may MSU choose to maintain.

All contractors/vendors should carry the following minimum insurance limits, unless approved in advance by MSU Safety & Risk Management and/or university Legal Counsel:

  • Commercial General Liability, including bodily injury and property damage: $1,000,000 per occurrence (can be a combined single limit), and $2,000,000 aggregate.
  • Automobile Liability, including bodily injury and property damage: split limits of $500,000 per person; $1M per accident occurrence (personal injury); and $100,000 per accident occurrence (property damage) OR combined single limits of $1M per occurrence/any auto. Coverage should include Non-owned and Hired auto coverage.
  • Professional Liability, including Errors & Omissions insurance of not less than $1,000,000 on a “claims made” basis, to cover claims made during the policy period and reported within three years of the date of occurrence, referred to as “tail coverage”. This is needed because some contracts require that a “tail” be provided for Professional Liability coverage.
  • If applicable, Liquor Liability in the amount of $1,000,000 each occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate. MSU and the State of Montana are required to be named as Additional Insured via endorsement to their policy for all events that include alcohol (unless using Plonk, MSU’s contracted alcohol vendor).
  • Workers' Compensation following Montana statutory limits, to include $1,000,000 Employer’s Liability; or evidence of work comp exemption status.

These are the most common limits requested by MSU. Other lines of insurance coverage may be required for certain types of exposure, and limits of liability may vary depending on the type of contract.

MSU reserves the right to require higher limits from a contractor or vendor for a particular project or event due to the nature of the event/project, venue or anticipated number of attendees.

By requiring this insurance, MSU does not represent that coverage and limits will necessarily be adequate to protect the Insured, and such coverage and limits shall not be deemed as a limitation on the Insured’s liability. All contracts/agreements shall provide for thirty (30) days’ written notice to MSU prior to cancellation or material change of any insurance referred to in the provided certificate.


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REVISION 12.27.2013