Insurance and Student Organizations

University student activities programs have status as State of South Dakota entities and are insured under the State of South Dakota self-insurance program. Individual students are not insured under the program.

1. General Liability Insurance-On-campus Events

The university is self-insured by the State of South Dakota Public Entity Pool for Liability (PEPL) fund which provides coverage for claims of bodily injury and property damage against the University arising out of the negligent actions of the insured party. Faculty and staff advisors are covered under the university's policy.

However, Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and their individual members are not covered by the PEPL fund.

While RSOs do not have general liability insurance coverage from the university, the university does not expect RSOs to purchase additional insurance for most of their on-campus activities. Here is a list of on-campus activities that would not have insurance needs:

a. Group meetings

b. RSO sponsored concerts attended by university students

c. All RSO meetings and events within student center facilities

d. Campus space reservations

e. Working concession sales at events in university facilities

f.  RSO dance practices

g. RSO on-campus events and programs intended for and attended by university community and students

2. On-Campus Events that RSOs may Consider the Purchase of Liability Insurance

Since RSOs are not covered under the PEPL fund and do not normally have general liability insurance, the following list provide examples of events that RSOs should take into consideration the need for insurance during event planning sessions:

a. Athletic events, including 5K or Fun Runs (intramural sports are exempt from insurance requirements)

b. Activities or events to which the general public is the primary audience

c. Activities involving the use of amusement devices (e.g. rides, slides, inflatables, bungees, climbing walls, dunk tanks)

d. Activities or events which involve animals

e. Activities determined by student activities and the environmental health and safety office to be a potential risk to the university or its students, faculty, or staff members

When insurance is purchased, RSOs should provide a certificate of insurance to the finance and administration office. In these cases, insurance requirements for RSOs should be consistent with the terms of the university's agreements with other third-party users of university space. 

For the events in which insurance is purchased, the RSOs should provide proof of general liability insurance coverage (i.e., a certificate of insurance) covering that organization's event, naming the university as an additional insured, and evidencing coverage with a limit of not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit for bodily and personal injury and property damage.

If an RSO does not have its own coverage, they may purchase event insurance. Here are some example links to companies that carry this type of insurance:   

3. Coverage for Off-Campus Activities

a. In addition to not being covered by the university for their on-campus activities, RSOs and their individual members are not covered for liabilities arising from their off-campus activities by the PEPL fund. The list of insurance companies listed above can also be used by RSOs for off-campus activities. While the university cannot provide this coverage, other insurance agents may be able to provide coverage for your organization.

b. When traveling overseas, the BOR has special requirements for insurance. The university will take no responsibilities for RSO activities abroad. Contact the Ivanhoe International Center for more information.