When a sponsored project agreement allows and is budgeted for a vehicle, the project’s principal investigator may lease a vehicle through RFCUNY. The principal investigator may work directly with the auto dealer regarding the selection, registration, and delivery of the leased car. RFCUNY manages the details of issuing auto insurance cards for project use as leasing companies and state law require cars to operate on public roads with adequate auto insurance.
Vehicles leased under RFCUNY require that RFCUNY, as the responsible party, appropriately title, register, and insure a vehicle. As a part of its risk management program, RFCUNY fully insures all leased cars for collision and liability, ensures vehicles are properly registered, and monitors the driving behavior of all scheduled NYS resident drivers through the NYS License Notification System (LENS).
To insure a leased car, RFCUNY is required to furnish the auto insurance carrier with photocopies of the following documents:
Scheduled Drivers List
While most lease cars are intended to be used only by the designated driver, oftentimes principal investigators may allow project-related colleagues to use the vehicle on project business. Those who are recognized as permissible users of an RFCUNY lease car must be scheduled with the insurance company. Each driver must submit a copy of their driver’s license and a signed permission form.
The insurance company conducts a Department of Motor Vehicles check of all scheduled drivers’ driving histories at the time of a vehicle’s initial registration and annually thereafter (at the time of renewal). The insurance company will notify RFCUNY in cases of egregious driver behavior (tickets, DUI, license suspensions, etc.). NYS drivers sited for traffic offenses or accidents will appear on LENS, which immediately emails the IM a report thereof. Scheduled drivers shown to be chronically operating vehicles in an unsafe or illegal manner will be prohibited from driving RFCUNY vehicles. Drivers are responsible for the payment of fines for their own driving infractions.
RFCUNY pays the fleet auto insurance premium at the beginning for the fiscal year. The project’s principal investigator must submit the Project Sub-Year (PRSY) number that RFCUNY will use to withdraw the cost of that fiscal year’s auto premiums.
In the event a leased car is in an accident, the project leasing the vehicle is responsible for the deductible ($1,000). RFCUNY will pay the repair facility directly and charge the project for the deductible. If the driver of an RFCUNY leased vehicle is not at fault, the insurance company will reimburse the insured for the deductible after subrogation proceedings have been completed.
Cancellation of Auto Insurance/ Surrender of License Plates
RFCUNY will continue to insure the vehicle until official confirmation has been obtained that the car has been returned to the dealer or the plates have been surrendered to the State Department of Motor Vehicles. Failure to provide RFCUNY with the appropriate surrender forms will result in charge for auto premiums against the project.
An auto dealer typically provides the driver/RFCUNY procurement department with written evidence of the vehicle’s return. Included will be the state’s license plate surrender form FS-6T, which RFCUNY will submit to the auto insurance company. Failure to present evidence of license plate surrender will result in the continuing insurance coverage of the vehicle. Any additional insurance costs are chargeable to the project.
Insurance for Rented Vehicles on Business Trips
RFCUNY requires all individuals renting cars on business trips to accept the liability and comprehensive/collision coverage offered by the rental company. These expenses are chargeable to the project’s account. Uninsured losses are the responsibility of the individual renting the car. RFCUNY will not reimburse for damages to a rental car or other third parties. When completing a rental car agreement, check off all boxes pertaining to the acceptance of liability, comprehensive, and collision insurance.
Insurance for Employee Owned Vehicles for RFCUNY Business
An employee who drives their own vehicle on business is responsible for the safe and lawful operation of the vehicle. RFCUNY accepts no liability for damages to either the employee’s vehicle or to third parties. Employees driving their own vehicles for RFCUNY business should carry the minimum level of coverage required by law. Uninsured losses are the responsibility of the driver/owner of the car.