Q. I am taking a State owned vehicle outside Maine - am I insured?
A. The vehicle liability insurance for State owned vehicles applies anywhere in the continental United States and Canada that you are permitted to travel. It does not, however, apply in Mexico. Our office does not require notification of trips outside Maine. We do recommend that a current insurance card be carried in the vehicle. Insurance cards can be obtained from either our office or Central Fleet Management. Any vehicle accidents occurring outside Maine should be reported to our office within 24 hours on our toll free number 1-800-525-1252.
Q. I am renting a facility so that my organization can do its annual training. The facility manager is asking me about proof of insurance and a certificate, what do I do?
A. Caution: Most facility rental agreements contain indemnification and insurance clauses. Sometimes these clauses are unacceptable to the state or uninsurable by our office. Before signing a facility rental agreement, we recommend that the agreement be reviewed by your legal counsel, an AAG or our office for acceptability. This can prevent last minute trouble for you! If an agreement is acceptable, Risk Management can issue a certificate of insurance for any organization we insure. We can usually prepare one on a same day basis although requests that include proof of Workers Compensation insurance do require a bit more time. A form with instructions has been prepared to help Risk Management get you the certificate you need.
Q. I am leasing a piece of equipment and the lease agreement requires that I provide proof of insurance for the leased equipment. How do I get the proof of insurance needed?
A. Caution: Most equipment rental agreements contain indemnification and insurance clauses and sometimes these are unacceptable to the state or uninsurable by our office. Before signing a equipment rental agreement, we recommend that the agreement be reviewed by your legal counsel, an AAG or our office for acceptability. This can prevent last minute trouble for you! Risk Management also has a bulletin dealing with this issue. If after reading the bulletin you believe that Risk Management can help, please download a form with instructions that will enable us to help you.
Q. I was involved in a car crash a month ago while at work. I keep getting letters from some insurance company wanting me to fill out a questionnaire or wanting me to call them. What do I do?
A. Call us at 1-800-525-1252 and let us guide you through the process.
Q. I am going to a three day seminar in another state and will need to rent a car once I get there. What do I do when the rental agency asks me if I want insurance?
A. If you are renting a vehicle in your personal name and/or putting the charge on a personal credit card, you should call your personal insurance agent to seek insurance guidance because Risk Management provides no insurance in this situation. If you are renting a vehicle in your agency’s name and are using an agency credit card, for a three day rental such as this, we recommend you purchase both the vehicle liability insurance and the physical damage insurance offered by the rental agency. Click here to view the Risk Management bulletin on this subject.
Q. When I got to work this morning, I noticed that my computer was gone. I asked my supervisor and the others in the office if they knew where it was and no one has any ideas. What should I do?
A. If you have any reason to believe that your computer or anything in your office has been stolen, you should call the police right away. After you call the police, call Risk Management at 1-800-525-1252 to discuss what happened and we will determine whether or not the loss is covered.
Q. Our Health and Safety Committee has just come up with a great idea. Unfortunately, there is a cost involved and there is not much money available to make it happen.
A. Risk Management can provide one time matching grants to organizations that develop programs to prevent or reduce losses which might otherwise result in claims. Call us at 1-800-525-1252 or send to us your idea and request. We will discuss it with you and do what we can to help.
Q. We have a non employee (i.e. intern, volunteer, independent contractor) who is doing some work for us. Can the non employee drive a State vehicle?
A. Risk Management provides insurance and can only tell you if a non-state employee’s operation of a State vehicle will be insured or not. Risk Management does not have the authority to allow or disallow anyone to operate a State vehicle. Due to unique liability concerns, we discourage the practice of allowing non-state employees to drive State-owned vehicles. However, we recognize that some vehicle usage by non-state employees is inevitable and have developed an authorization form that allows us to provide insurance under certain situations. A bulletin is available for more information.
Q. We provide parking space for our employees. An employee just reported damage to his personally owned vehicle while it was parked and unoccupied in one of these parking spaces. Is the State liable for the damage? Is there insurance through Risk Management for this employee's vehicle damage?
A. Unless the State did something wrong for which it can be held legally liable, the employee will have to deal with the damage through their own insurance or by themselves.
Q. An employee uses a personally owned vehicle to conduct State business and it sustains damage during this use. Is the State liable for the damage? Is there insurance through Risk Management for this vehicle damage?
A. Risk Management has no insurance for this kind of vehicle damage unless it can be proven that the State is liable for the damages.
Q. Can I bring my dog, cat or pet to work with me?
A. Animals are generally not permitted in the workplace. Exceptions include guide and personal care dogs for persons with visual or other disabilities or other service animals as allowed by Federal or State law.
Q. Where can I get safety or loss prevention videos?
A.From the Department of Labor's lending library.
Q: If I use my personal vehicle to transport State owned property (like a computer, camera, projector, etc.) as part of my job, am I going to have to pay for the item(s) if damaged or stolen while in my car?
A: As far as Risk Management is concerned you are not going to have to pay for State owned property in such a situation so long as you have not intentionally or grossly mistreated the piece of property.
Q. If I have a vehicle accident while driving on State business, will this accident show up on my own driving record?
A. If the accident is reportable by Maine law and it was reported to a law enforcement agency, the answer is yes. It doesn't matter if you were in a State owned vehicle or in your own personal vehicle when the accident occurred the accident will be noted on your personal motor vehicle record.
Q. Can my own insurance company increase the premium on my personal auto insurance policy because of an accident that happened while I was driving on State business?
A. No, not if you are a governmental employee for whom statutes exist to prevent this - law enforcement officers and public works employees. If you work for the State in either of these capacities and your insurance agent or company increases your premium on the basis of one or more accidents that occurred while you were operating a State owned motor vehicle in the course and scope of your employment, then you may call our office for assistance in resolving the issue. If you do not fit one of these two categories then your insurance company may have the right to increase your premiums. As an insurance consumer, you can always contact the The Bureau of Insurance for help if you have questions about insurance matters such as this.
Q. I am employed by the State as a law enforcement officer (or as a public works employee) and had a vehicle accident while driving in that capacity. I have recently reviewed my motor vehicle record and see that the accident is on my record but it is not coded properly. For this reason, my personal insurance company will not know it was a work-related accident. What can I do about it?
A. You can call the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Drivers License Services, Accident Section at 624-9000 extension 52110 and ask them to manually correct their data.
Q: Who is allowed to ride in a state vehicle? Can non-State employees ride?
A: First and foremost, all departments are required to have policies covering the use of state owned vehicles which should include who may and may not ride in them and you are urged to review and abide by your department’s policy. Your Human Resources Service Center contact person should be able to provide you with the most current policy and answer any questions you may have about it. A list of contacts can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/bhr/employee_center/personnel.htm
In addition, Risk Management recommends from an insurance perspective you limit your passengers to the fewest number of people necessary to safely complete any task or job. Necessary or essential non state employee passengers in state vehicles might include, but are not limited to, your department’s clients, customers, wards, prisoners, etc. Other business related individuals might include consultants, contractors, board members, business peers and the like.
Some, but not all, state employees are permitted to transport immediate family members in state owned vehicles while on duty. Please consult with your departmental personnel officers to determine if this applies to you or if you have questions regarding who is considered an immediate family member.