Stanford University Risk Management Department


For humanitarian, social, legal, and financial reasons, the University will make every reasonable effort to protect the health and safety of members of the community and the public from any hazards incidental to operations of the University. We will keep a major focus on continually evaluating the cost/benefit of both the insurance and self-insurance programs. We strive to preserve and protect Stanford's resources against losses arising out of any occurrence, thereby enabling the University to carry out its goals and purpose of providing quality education, research, patient care and public service programs. In order to fulfill these objectives, we will consider all types of risks, including but not limited to, natural risks, environmental risks, political risks, compliance risks, economic/business risks, social risks and technological risks.


The University is exposed to various risks which may be insured or not insured. Also, certain risks may be avoided, reduced, spread, or prevented. Recognizing the need and responsibility to preserve the University's resources, the following policy and guidelines have been prepared for the managing of insurance and risks:

  • We will achieve and maintain a lower cost of risk (both insurance and self-insurance) as compared with sister schools without placing Stanford
On this page: Additional Content of Interest:

    in a position of risk exposure which could have a significant impact on its financial security and academic/research mission.

  • All risks of loss and need for insurance are to be evaluated from both a single department and entire campus viewpoint. Conditions and practices which may cause loss are to be eliminated or modified whenever possible. Risks are to be assumed or self-insured whenever the amount of potential loss would not significantly affect the University's financial position.

Exceptions may be made:

  1. when insurance is not available at any cost; when cost of insurance, compared with the risk, indicates purchase of insurance is not financially sound; or,
  2. the risk has been analyzed and included in the report as an uninsured risk for the reasons stated.
  3. The decision process for the insurance and risk management programs, including uninsured risks and the selection of large deductibles has involved the participation of the Risk Management Office, actuaries, consultants, insurance brokers, faculty and graduate students of the Graduate School of Business, Operations Research, Geology and the Blume Earthquake Center, the Chief Financial Officer, Vice President for Faculty Staff Services, and finally the Provost, President and the Board of Trustees.


The Director of Insurance/Risk Management has the authority and responsibility for:

  1. preparing an Annual Report for the Board of Trustees and auditors; developing and implementing risk management--risk identification, measurement, evaluation, and claims control programs; recommending those risks which are to be insured and which are to be self-insured or assumed; establishing types and amounts or limits of coverage to protect the University's resources; selecting risk funding alternatives; recommending level of funding for self-insurance reserves; purchasing and administering all University insurance and self-insurance plans relating to property, casualty, workers' compensation, crime, boilers, machinery, bonds, builder's risk, overseas programs, athletic programs, travel accident, etc.; providing counsel to the Benefits Office for the administration and purchase of employee benefits insurance programs; recommending selection of insurance sources (agents, brokers, companies, etc.); working with the Legal Office, insurance companies and others in negotiating, adjusting and settling all insured or self-insured losses;
  2. maintaining insurance and accounting records.

Insurance is to be purchased from whatever source (agent, broker, or insurance company) is deemed to be in the best interests of the University, using the following guidelines:

  • A competitive atmosphere is desired. However, continuity of relationship with insurance sources is advantageous and will be maintained unless there is a significant reason for making a change. Insurance negotiations will be conducted by invitation to selected sources or open bidding.
  • Selection will be based on quality of protection, the services provided, and the ultimate cost.


  1. Risk Management--risk identification, measurement, evaluation and claims control Determines and recommends risks to be insured or self-insured or assumed and types, amounts or limits of coverage Selecting risk funding alternatives Establish amount of self-insurance reserves Manage all University (including SLAC), Real Estate insurance and self-insurance plans relating to property, casualty, workers' compensation, crime, boilers, machinery, bonds, builder's risk, overseas programs, athletic programs, travel accident, etc. Prepare and present annual reports to Stanford Board of Trustees Consult with personnel department for the administration and purchase of self-insurance of employee benefits insurance programs Selection of insurance agents, brokers, adjusters, actuaries, negotiate contracts Work with legal office, insurance companies and others in negotiating, adjusting, and settling all insured or self-insured losses Maintain insurance and accounting records; prepare and maintain OSHA logs Contract with actuaries, auditors, insurance brokers and insurance companies to receive and obtain insurance/self-insurance services Assist Real Estate, Office of Technology Licensing, Sponsored Projects, Legal, Facilities Projects Management, procurement and others with contract provisions relating to indemnification and insurance Request, analyze, validate and record evidence of insurance for mortgage interest in the home loan program, research park, contracts, real estate leases, outside and gift properties as required by leases and contracts (approximately 2,000 per year) Prepare insurance/self-insurance budgets for Risk Management Allocation of insurance/self-insurance costs in compliance with DCAA requirements Provide professional guidance and advice in collection of reimbursement for costs associated with pollution in the Research Park & at other sites Prepare specifications, application and requests for proposals for insured plans Obtain and report insurable values to insurers for premium and coverage purposes Fiduciary compliance of securities held in Trust by others Update and maintain lists of vehicles for insurance premium and coverage purposes Review and respond to insurance company recommendations and engineers' reports Serve as member on a variety of panels and committees dealing with risk and loss control issues Provide reports and information to insurance company, internal and institutional auditors Develop and maintain software programs to track trends in losses, make forecasts, establish priorities for loss prevention
  2. Work with EH&S regarding loss prevention issues and programs



Administration and Personnel
Employee Benefits
Worker's Compensation
Athletic Department
Athletic Risk
Deans, Directors, and Department Chairpersons
Claims, Incident reports
Loss Prevention
Facilities and Services
Housing & Food Services
New Construction, Remodeling
Operations and Maintenance
Finance Accounting
Allocation of Costs
Property/Casualty Insurance
Institutional Advancement
Broadcast Liability
Events and Services
Publication Risk
Public Affairs
Internal Audit
Cash and Assets
Legal Counsel
Incidents, Contracts Investigation
Medical Center
Malpractice and Patient General Liability, Loss Prevention
Trust Fund Administration
Incidents and Investigations Coordination
Property Control (Hold Harmless Agreements)
Real Estate
Farm Properties
Research Park
Research Administration
Contracts and Grants
Drug Studies
Federal Requirements
Technology Licenses
Chemical and Radiation Waste
Inspection, Fire Prevention, Reporting
Budgets and Reserves for Self-Insurance
Reports and Examinations
Claims Negotiations
Claimants' Attorneys
Defense of Claims
Claims Administration
Claims Management and Control
Consultants and Inspectors
Studies and Inspections
Contractors and Vendors
Contract Terms and Certification of Coverage
Certificates of Insurance
Insurance Brokers
Marketing and Procurement of Insurance
Insurance Companies
Insurance Policies
Negotiation of Claims
Public Service
Aid to Other Universities
Health Improvement Program
Help Center
Professional Organizations
Contract Terms and Certificates of Insurance

Risk Management Process and Its Guiding Principles

Four Elements of the Risk Management Process Guiding Principles
Risk Assessment 1. Identify total assets and resources of organizations.

2. Identify major exposures to loss.

3. Calculate values of assets and resources.

4. Measure current risk.

5. Project and communicate future losses and potential risk.

Risk Control

6. Support proactive risk and loss control program.

7. Provide maximum incentive for participation in risk control program.

8. Monitor effectiveness of risk control activities.

Risk Financing 9. Finance risk, taking advantage of all available financial resources.

10. Maintain appropriate catastrophe protection.

11. Allocate risk financing costs among operating units on an equitable, understood, and acceptable basis.

Administration 12. Create and sustain management commitment to risk management.

13. Adopt a clearly defined risk management structure.  

14. Develop clearly targeted annual objectives.  

15. Maintain sound communications with all affected levels of management.

Workers' Compensation Highlights for Supervisors

  1. Administrative Guide (note: documents in the Administrative Guide are in PDF format and require the Acrobat Reader to view)
    Sections on Worker Compensation:
    2.1.7 Sick Leave and Other Paid Disability Leave
    7.2.1 Emergency/Accident Procedures
    7.6.1 Accident and Incident Reporting
    2.3.5 Disability Benefit Plans

Insurance/Risk Management Highlights for Supervisors

Administrative Guide Sections
Accidents/Incidents/Exposure Report (SU-17) 7.6.1
  Sick Leave and Other 2.1.7
Paid Disability Leave
  Employees 7.2.1, 7.6.1
  Insurance 2.3.1, 2.3.2
University Vehicles 8.4
Affirmative action policy 2.1.2
Alcohol in the workplace 2.2.8
Annual Physical examination 7.7.1
Asbestos 7.7.1
  University-owned 8.4
Cal-OSHA 7.6.1
Cars, University-owned 8.4
Exposure 7.2.1, 7.6.1
Medical monitoring 7.7.1
Conflict of Interest 1.5.2
Corrosive materials, training in use 7.4.1
Embezzlement 3.5.1
Fire department
  Emergency and injuries 7.2.1
  First Aid 7.2.1
Group travel 5.4.2
  Equal employment policy 2.1.2
  Grievance procedure 2.1.11
  Sexual 2.2.4, 2.2.5
Hazardous equipment, sale of 5.2.4
  Emergency procedures 7.2.1
  Medical surveillance 7.7.1
  Reporting of 7.3.1
  Safety training 7.4.1
Health and safety 2.3.1
  Crime 2.4.4
  Dental 2.3.2
  Disability 2.3.5
  Health care 2.3.2
  Leased or loaned property 2.4.4
  Liability 2.4.4
  Life 2.3.1
Gifts of 4.2.1
  Property 2.4.4
  Travel 2.3.1, 5.4.2
  Vehicles 8.4.2
Misconduct, reporting of 2.2.4
Noise exposure 7.7.1
No-smoking policy 2.2.6
PINs (personal identifcation numbers) 6.4.1
Police Department
  Emergencies 7.2.1
  Reporting theft 2.4.5
Private vehicles for travel 8.4.2, 5.4.2
  Gifts of 4.1.1, 4.2.1, 4.2.3
  Government-owned 2.4.4, 8.4.2
  Protection of 2.4.5
  Sale of University-owned 5.2.4
Protective equipment 2.4.5
Racial discrimination 5.5.1
Radioactive materials
  Administrative Panel on 7.1.1
  Emergency procedures 7.2.1
  Purchase of 5.1.1
  Training 7.4.1
  Automobiles 5.4.2
  Equipment or material 5.2.2
Safe deposit boxes 2.4.5
  Performance standards 7.5.1
  Training 7.4.1
  Assault 2.2.5
  Discrimination 2.1.2
  Harassment 2.2.4
  Permitted areas 2.2.6
  Prohibited areas 2.2.6
  Accident insurance 2.3.1
  Tuberculosis tests 7.7.1
Vehicles, University 8.4.1, 8.4.2

© 1998 Stanford University. All Rights Reserved; Questions/comments/suggestions to Risk Management.
Last modified: Friday, 26-Jul-2013 10:27:53 PDT
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