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The following information is provided to inform students about the insurance coverage that the college may purchase, and how the coverage may apply to students. The descriptions of coverage are not intended to, nor do they, supplement, amend or modify any insurance policy terms and conditions. The college reserves the right at all times to modify its insurance coverage, terms, conditions and limits without notice to any person or entity, including students, faculty or staff. Students may wish to make adjustments in their own coverages if they feel that it would be appropriate to their interests. More information on insurance and personal risk management is available at www.fivecolleges.edu/riskmgmt/studentrisk.
The comprehensive fee covering tuition, room and board provides basic medical care at the Amherst College and University of Massachusetts health facilities. If a student needs more extensive testing or treatment, additional charges may apply and will be billed to the student’s health insurance carrier. Massachusetts law requires that all college students carry adequate health insurance.
A fee for Amherst College’s Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Program appears on the tuition bill as an additional charge. If a family or student has other equivalent coverage for the student, the student may submit information confirming the coverage via the AJ Gallagher Insurance online waiver form, and if the coverage is acceptable, the insurance charge will be waived. (Visit https://www.gallagherstudent.com/students/ and follow instructions.) Paper waivers are not accepted.
Payment for Amherst College’s Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Program is administered by the Comptroller’s Office. Referrals and questions about coverage are handled by the Student Health Service. Benefits include emergency, ambulance, inpatient, surgery, specialty consultations, physical therapy and dental injuries to sound, natural teeth. Please note that there are coverage limits: caps, co-payments or exclusions may apply. The policy conditions may result in the student incurring partial or full charges for some medical care. Amherst College is not responsible for any co-payments or medical, dental or surgical expenses not covered by the Amherst College Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Program or the student’s own insurer or any uninsured or excluded medical, dental or surgical expenses.
Claims are handled by the program administrator. The staff at Student Health Services may provide assistance with claims problems. The program is a managed-care program, so in the event of an injury or sickness the insured student should, if at school, immediately report to the Student Health Service. Students away from school should consult their doctors and follow their instructions. Report all claims to the program administrator (see the plan brochure for information) and follow their instructions.
Intercollegiate and club sport athletes have additional benefits available under certain policies that are purchased on their behalf by the college. Coverage applies to athletes who are injured while in organized competition or practice, which is constructively supervised, or traveling to or from one of these events. The Sports Accident Policy provides up to $90,000 for intercollegiate and $25,000 for club sport injuries; it has a $500 deductible and a two-year limit from the date of injury during which claims may be submitted. Students who do not carry the Student Medical Insurance are responsible for meeting the deductibles either with their own insurance or out-of-pocket. (The Student Medical Insurance provides $500 for intercollegiate sports injuries or covers club sports as any condition subject to policy limits, terms and conditions, which meets the deductible.) The NCAA policy insures for an unlimited amount (subject to policy terms) over the Sports Accident Policy, for intercollegiate sports only, and benefits range from medical and rehabilitation to lifetime disability income and home health care. The limit on Club Sports Catastrophic Policy is $5,000,000, for medical expenses only, in excess of all other collectible insurance and a $25,000 deductible. The benefits of all of these policies are over and above benefits available through any other valid and collectible insurance available to the injured person. The Comptroller’s Office administers these insurance policies. These policies do not extend to participants in intramural or any other recreational sports. They cover intercollegiate and college-recognized club sports only.
The college accepts no responsibility for any losses, costs or expenses not covered by the insurance policies listed above, whether by coverage terms or exclusions or the injured student’s failure to comply with policy-required claims procedures.
Additional information about medical coverage and health services is in the Student Health section of this handbook. For a complete description of NCAA and Club Catastrophic Coverages provided for athletes, contact the Department of Physical Education and Athletics.
The college provides limited travel accident insurance, including medical evacuation and repatriation to students traveling on college or academic business, worldwide. Worldwide travel assistance services are also available. Contact the Office of Student Affairs for details or online at: https://www.fivecolleges.edu/riskmgmt/studentrisk/travelassist.
Amherst College purchases auto liability insurance that protects both the college and the driver from third-party liability claims and third-party property damage claims arising from the use of college-owned, -hired/rented and non-owned vehicles when driven on college business.
A. For college-owned vehicles, the student driver must have permission from a faculty member, dean, coach or department head to drive a college vehicle; be legally licensed to operate it in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and be credentialed by the college to drive. More information is available on the Amherst College Campus Police website under “Community Services”/“Driver Credentialing” and here. Procedures for claims can be found here.
B. To rent a vehicle or to drive a rented vehicle for college business, the student must have advance written authorization from an authorized person (see A, above) and be a college-certified driver and a scheduled driver with the rental company. Most car rental agencies prohibit persons under the age of 25 from driving rented vehicles. The college policy is to waive coverage for liability and collision coverage on domestic rentals; however, students should follow departmental guidelines with respect to waiving the rental company insurance. If the college insurance is used, a certificate of insurance should be obtained as proof of insurance.
C. If a student drives his/her own vehicle on college business, such use must be specifically authorized in writing, before the use occurs, by an authorized person (see A, above). The college policy is in excess of the student’s own policy with respect to liability coverage. No coverage is provided for any physical damage to the student’s vehicle, nor will any deductible amount be paid by the college, whether the vehicle is used for college business or not and regardless of any liability of the driver or other parties.
The college auto insurance policy may not respond to cover unauthorized drivers. Unauthorized drivers may be personally liable for claims brought against them. The college may also have a right to claim against unauthorized drivers.
Departments are responsible for credentialing drivers. Students must complete the online credentialing application, indicating their experience and agreement to college rules, and provide photocopies of their driver’s licenses. Driving college vehicles is a privilege, not a right, and the college has the right to withdraw the privilege or initiate disciplinary action for failure to follow the rules or any at-fault accident.
The college is not responsible for, nor will it pay any claims for, damages to student-owned vehicles resulting from falling ice, snow, tree limbs or any other natural occurrence or event on its property or elsewhere, whether the possibility of such an event is warned against or not. The college is not responsible for nor will it pay any losses, claims or damages to student-owned vehicles resulting from vandalism, collision or other acts by any person, other than damage caused directly by its employees.
The college does not have property insurance for student possessions, and it accepts no responsibility for any personal possessions or property of students. Any possessions in student rooms or left in storage areas or anywhere on campus are left at the owner’s own risk. Students are responsible for insuring their own property against loss and may be able to do so using parents’ policies, by obtaining a tenant’s policy through a local insurance agent or through specialized programs. It is recommended that students keep their doors locked at all times and not leave valuable items in storage areas.
The college is not liable for the actions of its students, nor is it possible for the college to obtain liability insurance on behalf of its students. Student athletes especially should be aware that if they are sued for injuries or damages caused to others in the course of an athletic event, Amherst’s insurance does not provide coverage. The liability section of a parent’s homeowner’s policy or renter’s policy may provide for the defense of the student and damages awarded, if any, in a suit alleging negligence. Students are responsible for avoiding intentional acts or negligent behavior that could harm others or give rise to adverse legal action. Although Amherst College will not provide liability protection, it may assist in obtaining a defense if it is not provided for by parental insurance coverage at its sole discretion.
If a student is sued for an act or omission and believes that s/he was acting in the capacity of an employee or agent of the college at the time of such act or omission, s/he should contact the director of student affairs immediately for instructions.
Students who are employed by the college and who are injured in the course of their work may be eligible for workers' compensation. Regardless of the degree of injury, if a student is injured on the job, the student must contact his/her supervisor immediately to report the injury and complete an accident investigation form. Questions should be directed to the student’s supervisor and the Office of Human Resources.