A. No. When an employee uses their personal car for WHOI business, the primary coverage is generally provided by the individual's personal auto insurance. Should the employee's liability coverage turn out to be inadequate, WHOI has coverage that will step in.
Q. What should I do if I am driving one of the WHOI-owned vehicles and get in an accident?
A. Please report the accident immediately to the Distribution Manager. You will be required to fill out an Automobile Accident Report Form.
Q. What kind of insurance do we have for rental vehicles?
A. Always choose to rent any vehicle using your Corporate Visa card. Using the Visa card activates the Visa Auto Rental Insurance (ARI) at no additional cost. If you are renting a truck or van (depending on the type of van), you should accept the optional insurance provided by the rental agency (please see below). If you are renting a passenger car, do not accept the optional insurance.
The Visa ARI (Auto Rental Insurance) provides primary coverage world wide (with exceptions!). Please check with the Visa Benefits Adminstrator (1-800-VISA-911) before you travel. In order to activate the ARI coverage you must use your Visa Corporate card to initiate and complete the entire rental transaction. You must also decline the car rental company's collision damage waiver (CDW/LDW) option.
NOTE: If you a renting a car in a foreign country, it is very important you check with the Visa Benefits Administrator (1-800-VISA-911) before you travel to make sure Visa ARI CDW will apply.
Q. Do I accept optional insurance offered by a commercial car rental agency?
A. No, with exceptions. The Visa Corporate ARI (Auto Rental Insurance) provides primary coverage world wide (with exceptions!! Check with the Benefit Administrator 1-800-VISA-911 before you travel) up to the actual cash value of most rental cars for damage due to collision or theft for rental periods, which neither exceeds nor are intended to exceed 31 consecutive days. The entire rental transaction must be charged to your Visa Corporate card to activate the VISA ARI. This means you must use your Visa Corporate card to initiate and complete the entire rental transaction. You must also decline the car rental company’s collision damage waiver (CDW/LDW) option. Exceptions are truck or van rental and some foreigh countries.
Q. Is a pickup truck covered?
A. If you are renting a truck or van (depending on the type of van), you should accept the optional insurance provided by the rental agency.
Q. If an accident does occur while in a rental car who do I contact?
A. If rental was charged to your Visa Corporate card immediately (within 48 hours), but no later than 45 days following the date of damage or theft, you -the cardholder- are responsible for reporting your claim to the Visa Travel Assistance Accident Claims & Questions at 1-800-VISA -911 or your claim will be denied. Notice to any other party will not suffice. (The Rental Agency is not responsible for filing your claim under this program unless you are traveling outside the U.S. and sign a Cardholder Assignment Form, which should be provided by the Rental Agency). In the event of an accident and your Visa Corporate card was not used you would notify the auto rental outfit and contact the Distribution Manager. You should also note that most police reports need to be filed within 48 hours of an accident involved with another vehicle or causing other property damage in excess of $500.
Q. If I rent a car and I am listed on the contract as the driver and let another individual drive, if they had an accident would it be covered?
A. Technically a signature of the secondary driver is not required on the rental agreement as long as the corporate rate is used and the additional driver is a WHOI employee. The recommendation is to verbally state at the time of booking there will be or may be an additional driver(s)and the rental agent will notate this in the computer system. This will ensure the additional driver is on file with the agency should it become necessary to validate authority to operate the vehicle.
Q. Are drivers under the age of 25 covered?
A. Under both National’s and Enterprise's corporate agreement, minimum age is 21 with a valid driver’s license. They are subject to fees at some locations if under 25.
Q. Can I rent/pick up a car for another individual, putting it in my name and then use a copy of their driver’s license and I sign the agreement without the original signature from that driver?
A. No. This could be considered fraud. If the driver is not on the agreement and has not signed that agreement and gets into an accident or pulled over for speeding the police could consider it a stolen car. No insurance company would cover us. Both National and Budget require an original drivers license and an original signature of the driver. (All other rental agencies should require the same).
Q. Would the employee’s personal driving record be affected if they have an accident while driving a rental car for business?
A. Yes. An employee’s personal driving record will be affected if he/she causes an accident even if they are driving on business, be it in a rental car or a company owned car. They don’t have to be cited in order to be penalized. Example: A WHOI employee, while renting a vehicle on business rear-ends the car in front of them. This is a case of clear-cut liability (i.e. there is no question that the WHOI employee is at fault). That employee will be surcharged on his/her personal insurance for causing the accident. Another example might be a WHOI employee cited for speeding in a rented vehicle while on business. This too, will result in a surcharge on the employee’s private auto coverage.
Q. Who reports the accident to the state, is it WHOI, the insurance company or the rental car company?
A. In most U.S. states, you are required to complete and file a police report within 48 hours of an accident involved with another vehicle or causing other property damage in excess of $500. When you report this loss to the police, your driver information is provided to the state and surcharges may result. Also, when an accident is reported to the Institution's insurance company and the WHOI driver is at fault, this information may be filed with the state in which surcharges may result against you as the 'at fault' driver. In due time, a surcharge will appear on an individuals personal insurance bill. A similar system would apply if an individual were cited for speeding or some other traffic violation. The Police Department would submit info into the
merit rating system and the individual would be surcharged.
Q. Will WHOI’s Insurance kick in if the Visa insurance refuses payment?
A. Yes, there are two policies that would potentially kick in, one providing domestic coverage and the other foreign coverage. These policies, as all insurance policies are subject to various exclusions and limitations, but in general terms they would respond and help to fill in where the Visa coverage leaves off. NOTE: WHOI's Auto Policy has a $1,000 deductible.
Q. Will WHOI’s insurance cover damage to rental cars worldwide?
A. The worldwide policy that we have in place for WHOI provides only liability coverage, not physical damage (i.e. collision damage or theft of the rental vehicle). It applies outside of the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and also excludes Cuba, North Korea, Libya, Iran, Iraq, and the Sudan. The latter locations are considered too volatile. It is also important to remember that compulsory liability insurance varies from country to country and that is must always be purchased locally.
Q. Does WHOI’s insurance cover damage to other vehicles that are involved in an accident with a rental?
A. Yes, if WHOI is at fault, both the domestic and worldwide policies coverage applies to damage to other vehicles that are involved in an accident. This is called Property Damage Liability coverage (as opposed to physical damage).
Q. Which policy would apply in a case of an injury involving a rented vehicle?
A. Both policies also provide coverage for Bodily Injury Liability (i.e. injury to someone in the other vehicle on some other third party)
Q. Will I get the corporate rate when renting a car for personal travel and will insurance coverage be in effect?
A. You will get the corporate rate for renting a vehicle as long as you identity yourself as a WHOI employee. As for the insurance coverage, the WHOI auto policy will not provide coverage for employees renting vehicles for personal travel. The employee should check with his/her personal insurance provider to determine what coverage, if any, would apply.
Q. What do I do when a car rental agency demands to be shown certificate of liability coverage?
A. WHOI’s insurance partner can provide a Certificate of Insurance which will provide you with evidence and some detail of WHOI’s auto insurance. These are widely accepted by all businesses. Please contact Deb Hamel x3517 if the situation arises.
Q. What if a Travel Authorization was not submitted prior to my trip and I get in an accident, am I covered?
A. While not required by the insurer, the Travel Authorization ensures some type of documentation that you were traveling on WHOI business. If the employee were in an accident while traveling on WHOI business he/she would be covered by various insurance policies, which are: