Certificates of Insurance
What is it?
A certificate of insurance is proof of coverage for liability for a given event or activity. In effect, it provides evidence of insurance to meet the requirements stipulated in a contract.
Why do we need one?
A certificate of insurance is critical to assure that MSU has the insurance protections afforded by the contractual requirements.
When do we need one?
A Certificate of Insurance must be provided to the university’s office of Safety & Risk Management (SRM) ten days BEFORE contracted services begin, the commencement date of a contract, or others seek to use facilities at Montana State University. When submitting for review, provide a copy of the agreement or contract or any other contracting document, if applicable.
Additionally, other entities may request a Certificate of Insurance from Montana State University.
Instructions for Certificates Issued to the University
- The sponsoring/contracting MSU department is responsible to procure a Certificate of Insurance (COI) from Contractors/Vendors/Performers providing duties/services/events or seeking to use facilities at Montana State University and to send it with the agreement or contract (if applicable) to SRM for review and approval.
- A properly completed COI must be received and approved by SRM before services may be provided or others may be permitted to use university premises or facilities.
- Montana State University named and referenced on the COI as an Additional Insured as follows: “Montana State University, its agents, officers, officials, employees and volunteers are hereby named additional insureds as their interests may appear”.
- The State, its agents, officers, officials, employees and volunteers are to be added as additional insured via endorsement to the Contractor’s policy for liability arising out of: activities performed by or on behalf of the Contractor, including the insured’s general supervision of the Contractor; products and completed operations; premises owned, leased, occupied, or used. Reference should be made to same on the COI, but the actual separate endorsement must be provided.
- The limits the university usually requests for Commercial General Liability are $1,000,000 each occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate. The university reserves the right to require higher limits from a contractor or vendor for a particular project or event based on the scope of work and associated risks to the university, or anticipated number of attendees. Feel free to contact email@example.com for input with regard to appropriate types and limits of insurance.
- If applicable, the COI should include Automobile Liability in the amount of $1,000,000 Combined Single Limits. Coverage should include Owned, Non-owned and hired vehicles.
- If applicable, Workers’ Compensation following Montana statutory limits, to include $1,000,000 Employer’s Liability.
- Certificate Holder shall read:
State of Montana and Montana State University
Attn: MSU Safety & Risk Management
1160 Research Drive
Bozeman, MT 59718
Instructions for Certificates Issued by the University
- Certificates of Insurance may be requested by university employees/faculty/staff only. For example, the Advisor of a Registered Student Organization should complete the request form not a student officer or member.
- Submit the COI request form at least ten days prior to when it is needed.
- The type of coverage and limits requested should not exceed the state of Montana’s self-insurance limits pursuant to §2-9-108, MCA ($750,000 for each claim and $1.5 million for each occurrence).
- The expiration date should be the expiration date of the contract, service or activity.
- Due to the state’s self-insured status, the other party cannot be named as an additionally insured to our insurance program.
- Complete the Certificate of Insurance Request form, sign and date it, then scan and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Incomplete forms will be returned for completion.
If your department requires a more specialized certificate than those described above, contact the university’s Insurance Manger email@example.com or (406) 994-6888.
For additional information on Certificates of Insurance, please scroll down. You may also download the additional information PDF.
CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE – Expanded Information
Agreements and contracts which the university enters into generally require insurance limits and evidence of the insurance via certificates of insurance. Certificates of insurance or self-insurance are issued by both the contractors’/vendors’ insurance carrier and the university to meet the contract requirements and evidence financial responsibility should a loss or claim arise out of the agreement or contract.
It is the responsibility of the MSU department, faculty or staff to procure a Certificate of Insurance (COI) from Contractors/Vendors/Performers providing duties/services/events or seeking to use facilities at Montana State University. MSU Safety & Risk Management (SRM) must receive a copy of the COI (including a copy of the agreement/contract) ten days prior to the event to allow time to review for adequacy, to address issues with COIs that do not meet our requirements, and to ensure that the terms and conditions of the contract are consistent with the COI. A properly executed COI must be received by MSU SRM before services may be provided or others may be permitted to use university premises or facilities.
Certificates Issued to the University
Contractors, Vendors and Performers 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. Non-university sponsors who do not carry liability insurance may apply for special event insurance through the Tenant User Liability Insurance Program (TULIP).
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 an Additional Insured on the certificate, and added as Additionally Insured via endorsement to the contractor’s insurance policy. In most instances, a properly executed contract must be in place. MSU Legal Counsel is available to assist with agreements and contracts.
All COIs issued to the university by the contractor/vendor must:
- Be executed by a duly authorized representative of the Insurer.
- 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 the university choose to maintain.
- Certificate Holder and Additional Insured endorsement 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 (or the certificate will not be accepted). Include a copy of the agreement or contract when submitting the certificates and endorsements to Safety & Risk Management for review and approval.
Uninsured organizations may purchase coverage for the date(s) of their event through the university’s 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 two to three weeks 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 the university choose to maintain.
All contractors/vendors should carry the following minimum insurance limits, unless approved in advance by MSU SRM and/or MSU 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.
- If applicable, 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. State of Montana and Montana State University are required to be named as Additional Insured via endorsement to their policy for all events that include alcohol (unless using the university’s contracted alcohol vendor).
- If applicable, owned or non-owned aircraft liability insurance coverage on an occurrence basis with at least $2,000,000 per occurrence with a sublimit for invasion of privacy of no less than $50,000. If there is an aggregate limit, it must be at least twice the required occurrence limit.
- If applicable, Workers' Compensation following Montana statutory limits, to include $1,000,000 Employer’s Liability. Certain employers may be exempt from Workers' Compensation. If so, a letter attesting to the exemption must be provided.
These are the most common limits requested by the university. Other lines of insurance coverage may be required for certain types of exposure, and limits of liability may vary depending on the type of agreement or contract. The university reserves the right to require higher limits from a contractor or vendor for a particular project, or event based on the scope of work and associated risks to the university, or anticipated number of attendees.
By requiring this insurance, the university 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 agreements/contracts shall provide for thirty (30) days’ written notice to the university prior to cancellation or material change of any insurance referred to in the provided certificate.
Requirements for Drone/UAV use
Non-university operators requesting to use UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones) on university property must first obtain permission from Montana State University. Any approved use of UAV on university property must follow the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations for such use under the applicable Certificate of Authorization (COA). Approval associated with use of UAV must be obtained prior to any use of UAV on University property.
Those requesting to use UAV on university property must purchase and maintain commercial general liability with combined single limits for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 general aggregate; and must include owned or non-owned aircraft liability insurance coverage on an occurrence basis with at least $2,000,000 per occurrence with a sublimit for invasion of privacy of no less than $50,000. If there is an aggregate limit, it must be at least twice the required occurrence limit. The requestor must also carry automobile liability coverage with split limits of $500,000 per person (personal injury), $1,000,000 per accident occurrence (personal injury), and $100,000 per accident occurrence (property damage), OR combined single limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence. If applicable, Workers’ Compensation coverage.
- Requestors/operators will be asked to sign a written agreement to defend and indemnify the university in the event of an accident resulting from the operator’s negligence.
- The written agreement will include the provision that any available insurance Montana State University may carry will be excess and non-contributory to the requestor/operator’s policy.
- A Certificate of Insurance will be required of above coverage naming the State of Montana and Montana State University as additionally insured on all liability coverages.
If the above requirements are incomplete; fail to comply with applicable laws, government regulations, and other University policies and guidelines; if the activity poses an unacceptable threat to health, safety, privacy, or the environment, as determined by the University; or is judged by the University to be against the best interest of the public and/or the University, approval will not be granted.
Certificates Issued by the University
Entities with which the university does business may also 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 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. If you are not sure if an agreement or contract should be used, consult with MSU Legal Counsel.
Certificates of Insurance may be requested by university employees only. Only request a certificate evidencing the university’s insurance if it is specifically requested in writing by the individual or organization with whom you are entering into an agreement. A Certificate of Insurance Request form must be completed to request a certificate. Certificates should be requested in the legal name of the contracting party (Certificate Holder). The signed request form, along with a copy of the contract or agreement, must be submitted to SRM at least ten days prior to the date it is needed, although certificates are typically issued within 1-3 business days. If approved, the issued COI will be sent to the requestor via email to be forwarded to the entity that requested it.
Please note: The university is self-insured by the State and pursuant to §2-9-101, MCA through §2-9-305, MCA, the State of Montana is unable to name third party contractors as additional insured. When requested, a letter from the RMTDD stating such will accompany the Certificate.
MSU SRM 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 your vehicle does not have one, a Certificate of Insurance for Auto Liability can be downloaded online.
The state of Montana Certificate of Insurance for auto liability should be kept with you, on your person, for evidence of coverage when driving the university’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 the university’s Insurance Manger at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 994-6888.