Motor Vehicles Accidents and Insurance Policy and Procedures


All University staff members, students and other individuals using University vehicles or vehicles for University travel.


To detail the University’s position regarding incidents or accidents involving a University vehicle, or vehicles hired for domestic and international University travel.


Insurance cover

1. All University vehicles in New Zealand are to be covered by the University’s Motor Vehicle Insurance policy held with the Insurer which is managed by the University’s Performance and Risk Manager.

2. Vehicles hired within New Zealand for University travel are also to be covered by the University’s Motor Vehicle Insurance policy.

3. Vehicles hired outside of New Zealand for University travel are not to be covered by the University’s Motor Vehicle Insurance policy and therefore drivers must purchase comprehensive insurance as detailed in the Travel Expenses Procedures and Travel Booking Procedures.

Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy – additional points on cover

4. The University’s insurance is invalid and the driver will be held personally liable if an accident occurs while the approved driver is:

  • under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication which may impair the ability to drive safely; or
  • not holding a valid licence for the vehicle type or adhering to license conditions; or
  • carrying loads in excess of manufacturer’s specification, or dangerous goods inappropriately; or
  • in breach of any laws, including law relating to driving hours or failing to stop or remain at the scene of an accident.

5. The University’s insurance will not cover any loss, damage or liability incurred while the vehicle is being driven is in an unsafe condition where:

  • the condition causes or contributes to the damage, loss or liability; and
  • the University or driver was aware, or should have been aware, of the unsafe condition of the vehicle.

6. The University will not assume responsibility for any loss or damage to personal items. The University’s Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy will only consider claims for loss or damage to personal effects where:

  • no other valid and collectable insurance is in place; and
  • no claim for motor vehicle damage or loss is otherwise being filed.

7. Deductibles do apply for each claim and vary depending on the age of the driver and the nature of the claim.

Private vehicles

8. In general terms, the use of private vehicles for University travel or business will not be covered by the University’s Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy.

9. Owners of private vehicles being driven for University travel must accept that the use of the private vehicle is at their own risk and their personal insurance will be called on first in the case of an insurance claim. The University’s insurance policy will only consider the claim if:

  • the car owner’s personal insurance does not cover the claim; and
  • the private vehicle is being used for purposes that meet the definition of University travel; and
  • all terms of the Travel Expenses and Booking Procedures are met, including authorisation to use the private vehicle for University travel.

10. Should a staff member experience a claimable incident occurring during University travel with a private vehicle, the staff member’s manager (at level 3 or above as per the Financial Delegations Policy) may, in consultation with the Performance and Risk Manager, reimburse the policyholder’s deductibles up to $500 per occurrence.

11. A manager (at level 3 or above as per the Financial Delegations Policy) may, in consultation with the Performance and Risk Manager, approve the expense for alternative transport up to $500 if a private vehicle (which has existing Comprehensive insurance cover) is damaged or a private vehicle (which has a minimum of third party fire and theft insurance cover) is stolen in the course of University business.

12. Any use of private vehicles for University purpose must be notified to the car owner’s insurance provider.

Note: for more information and requirements related to selecting transport for field activities, please refer to Field Activity Operations Guidance.

Incidents and accidents

13. Any incident or accident involving a University vehicle or a vehicle hired for University travel must be reported as follows:

  • Immediately report to the staff member’s manager or in the case of students/visitors/honorary academics to their lecturer, reporting supervisor, host or department/school manager; and
  • Comply with the University Accident Reporting requirements by submitting an incident report to (this includes near misses where an accident was only just avoided).

14. The driver must NOT enter into any discussion of liability for an accident.

15. Where the damage involves another vehicle, the name and address of the other driver, details of their insurance company and details of the other vehicle should be obtained.

16. Where damage involves other property, the identity of the property owner must be established.

In addition to points 13-16, for accidents involving a University vehicle:

17. Where damage or loss has occurred, report to the vehicle administrator within 12 hours or the next working day (whichever is sooner) of the incident.

18. The vehicle administrator must notify the fleet manager of any incident or accident involving a University vehicle where damage or loss has occurred.

19. The fleet manager will notify the insurance company if the repair quote exceeds the insurance policy excess or claim involves a liable third party and request the driver to complete a Motor Vehicle Claim form.

20. No repairs are to be undertaken without first contacting the fleet manager.

21. The costs of a temporary replacement vehicle are not covered by the motor vehicle insurance.

In addition to points 13-16, for accidents involving a vehicle hired for University travel:

22. The driver must report the accident and follow the steps outlined in the Guidelines for Rental Vehicle Insurance Claims.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Approved driver is someone who has been allocated a vehicle by a vehicle administrator.

Deductibles mean the amount of expenses that must be paid out of pocket before an insurer will pay any expenses.

Fleet manager is an external specialist organisation appointed by Financial Services to manage the University’s vehicle fleet. They are responsible for the delivery of all the University requirements as specified in the terms of their agreement.

Private vehicles include any vehicles that are not University vehicles nor vehicles hired for University travel.

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

University travel is travel that has been approved as being for University purpose and is funded by the University, a grant or a third party.

University vehicle (s) includes but is not limited to: cars (primarily people-carrying, including saloons, station wagons, hatchbacks, estate vehicles), vans (primarily not people-carrying), utilities, trucks, trailers, boat trailers, motorcycles, motor scooters, quad bikes, forklifts, and mini buses that are owned or leased by the University.

Vehicle administrator(s) is nominated by units as the vehicle ‘owner’, and is responsible for liaison internally with the Procurement Manager in Financial Services and externally with the University’s Fleet Manager, manage all online bookings, maintenance of log books and processing driver agreement forms.

Key relevant documents

Include the following:

Document management and control

Owner: Chief Financial Officer
Content manager: Financial Services
Approved by: DVC (Operations) & Registrar
Date approved: 11 December 2019
Review date: 11 December 2024