Liability Coverage

This guide describes the UW-Madison liability coverage for employees, officers, and agents.

The University is protected for liability arising out of the negligent actions of its employees, agents and officers through the State of Wisconsin Self-Funded Liability Program (SSLP). The State’s liability protection is administered by the Department of Administration under State Statutes 893.82 and 895.46 and extends to all employees and agents (including volunteers) operating within the scope of their employment or agency. The State’s Self-funded Liability Program provides coverage against claims made as the result of the negligent acts of University officers, employees and agents. Negligence may be defined as the failure to act as a reasonable person would have under the same or similar circumstances. In order for a claim to exist, the negligence must have caused property damage or injury to a person.

The program provides coverage for University employees, agents (e.g. volunteers) and officers while acting within scope of employment or agency. In order for coverage to exist, negligence must be proven on the part of a University agent, employee, or officer. The self-funded program provides broad coverages to respond to claims in areas such as general liability, auto, civil rights, employment practices, environmental, medical malpractice, professional liability/ errors and omissions.
Wisconsin. Statutes, s. 895.46 provides for the payment of judgments taken against these State officers, employees and agents. Wis. Stats., s. 893.82 establishes claim procedures and sets time requirements for filing a notice of claim against a State officer, employee or agent.

Wisconsin State Statutes 893.82 (6), limits the amount recoverable to $250,000 per claimant per negligent State officer, employee and/or agent involved. However, certain claims (Civil Rights, Employment Practices, and Environmental Liability) and claims from out of state actions are not subject to this statute. The State of WI Department of Justice provides for legal representation to UW-Madison employees and agents in these cases.

Excess Liability Coverage

In an effort to reduce the State’s exposure to catastrophic loss, State Risk Management purchases some commercial liability insurance through AON. The policy limits of this excess insurance are $49 million per occurrence, which is in excess of the $4 million per occurrence self-insured Retention under the State of Wisconsin Self-Funded Liability Program.  Excess coverage is stacked among various carriers (Lexington (AIG), Allied World Assurance, Chubb/ACE. Part of overall liability premium.

The DOA Bureau of Risk Management assesses an annual premium to all State agencies to fund the self-funded liability program. This includes the excess liability insurance.

UW-Madison FY’18 Liability Premium was $1,695,555. In addition, certain claims have pay back requirements (such as employment practice claim settlements).

UW-Madison works with DOA Bureau of Risk Management on investigation and response to claims. UW-Madison Risk Management, Legal Affairs and other campus units are involved depending on the type of claim. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) provides legal representation where necessary. Outside adjustors (Sentry Insurance) may be assigned as well.

Additional Coverage

In addition to the self-funded coverage the following commercial insurance liability related products are purchased to cover gaps in the State Self-Funded and excess programs:

UW-Madison Agreement for Assumption of Risk, Indemnification, Release, and Consent for Emergency Treatment Forms

When a UW-Madison school, college, unit or department desires to use a contract to limit its own liability when outside parties are using University System facilities or participating in University System functions, the department should consult with the UW-Madison Risk Management Office in developing acceptable language.

The following templates are utilized in development of these agreements.

Review with risk management to finalized.

Completed agreements shall be maintained in the originating office for five years from the date of the agreement. In the event of a claim, risk management will request the original copy.

Conversely, when a school, college, department, etc. is presented with a contract from an outside party, whether it be for the use of facilities or equipment, for participation in some event, or for any other purpose, the contract should be sent to the risk management office for evaluation. See Contract Page for further details .

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How to File a Liability Claim

If a department becomes aware of a potential claim, they must contact the Risk Management office to report the incident. An investigation will be conducted and the claim processed if applicable. Be aware that there are specific guidelines for the filing of claims against employees, officers and agents of the State, which are spelled out in Wisconsin Statute 893.82. The Office of the Attorney General defends claims brought against the State. Please note that liability protection is not for injuries to UW personnel, but for injury to others, or damage to their property, caused by the negligent acts of our employees and agents.

Liability protection is also extended to Authorized Drivers, when driving a State vehicle on University business within the scope of their employment. When driving a personal vehicle on University business, the owner’s personal vehicle insurance is primary. State protection applies only on an excess basis. See Automobile Coverage for further details.



Risk Management's location

Risk Management
21 North Park Street, Suite 5301
Madison, WI 53715

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General Risk Management

Driver Authorization and Automobile

Worker’s Compensation