Montana State University

Safety and Risk Management

Montana State University
P.O. Box 170510
Bozeman, MT 59717-0510

Tel: (406) 994-2711
Fax: (406) 994-7040

Physical Address:
1160 Research Drive
Bozeman, MT 59718

Brenda Lambert

Insurance & Workers' Compensation Manager
(406) 994-6888

Incident/Accident Reporting

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. Reportable incidents include property losses, vehicle accidents, third-party (non-MSU employee) injuries, cyber/data security and miscellaneous other incidents. Incidents that are not reported promptly can result in the claim being denied. The Report of Incident should be completed even if you initially consider the incident minor or no cost. This can help to prevent future incidents before they subsequently become more serious, and is a way to identify potential causal factors associated with claims.

The Report of Incident is a multi-purpose form with different sections for property claims, vehicle accidents, personal injury of non-MSU employees (third parties who can be visitors, guests or students) and cyber/data security/other. You only need to complete the first section and the section that is relevant to the incident you are reporting, 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 requires a single point of contact for incident reporting and they have designated MSU Safety and Risk Management for this purpose.

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 Supervisor’s Accident Report form is available for this purpose. Send the completed form to the Insurance Manager at MSU Safety & Risk Management as soon as possible after the incident.
  • 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., the MSU Information Technology Center Store).
  • An independent adjustor may be assigned to the claim to conduct an on-site investigation and manage the claims process.
  • The MSU department will work with the adjustor 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 all invoices is to be drawn on the affected department’s accounts. The department must then send copies of invoices to either the adjustor or the RMTDD claims specialist. Some invoices may be paid directly to the vendors by the RMTDD.
  • 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.
  • 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 coverage.

Once third party incidents are reported to MSU Safety & Risk Management the reporting department has very little, if any, direct contact with the individual after that. If they do contact you directly, feel free to 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 or

Report of Incident requires the use of Adobe Reader (Free download).

REVISION 12.27.2013