Acquire and Insure a Vehicle

Learn about vehicle acquisition, insurance, registration, and changing vehicle information at Columbia University. 


Procedures for acquiring or leasing (long-term) a vehicle:
  1. For guidance on acquiring a vehicle and insurance, the University has developed the following policy: ​Vehicle Acquisition, Operation, and Disposal Policy.
  2. Risk Management must provide prior approval before purchase is initiated to ensure the specific make and model of a desired vehicle is acceptable for purchase/lease. Fill out a Vehicle Acquisition form and send to [email protected].
  3. Once you are approved by risk management, follow Buying and Paying procedures to purchase the vehicle. Vehicles that cannot legally be registered or pose an unacceptable risk to the University’s fleet profile will not be approved for acquisition.
  4. Inform Risk Management when a requisition number has been generated and is in an approval queue. 
Insuring a Vehicle

All University vehicles are required to have liability coverage for their vehicles, which is obtained through the Risk Management department. Departments may choose to add comprehensive and collision coverage for an additional monthly fee. Send an email to Avi Mimun, Assistant Director, Property, Budget, and Fleet Administration, at [email protected] to inquire about insurance options.

Vehicle insurance is managed by and billed through the Insurance and Risk Management department; insurance costs and any applicable deductibles are passed on to the department operating the vehicle on a semi-annual basis (December 31 and June 30). The Risk Management department charges these costs to the respective department's ChartString. Any changes to the ChartString should be reported to the Risk Management department.

A standard deductible of $2,500 for all claims and a glass deductible of $500 applies to all types of coverage. 

New York State Insurance Identification Cards (FS-20) issued by the University’s insurance carrier must be kept in vehicles at all times. To request a new or obtain a duplicate Insurance I.D. card (if the original is lost), complete and submit a Vehicle Insurance ID Request form. Risk Management will email the requestor with a printable PDF insurance ID card in 2-4 business days.

Insurance for Short-Term Rental Vehicles

Policies, procedures, and information regarding securing insurance for rented vehicles are managed by the Accounts Payable department. Please refer to the Business Expense Policy for more information. 

Accidents that occur in a rented vehicle should be reported to the local police immediately. The accident should also be reported to the vehicle owner (i.e. the rental agency) as soon as possible. Accidents involving rented vehicles may also be reported to the Insurance and Risk Management Department; however, Risk Management does not manage or settle such claims.

Vehicle Theft

In the case of a stolen vehicle or license plates, report theft to the police immediately. In addition, notice must be given to the Insurance and Risk Management department within 24 hours of discovery. It is the department’s responsibility to report the incident to the police department and Columbia's Public Safety Department.  A copy of the police report and incident report must be forwarded to Risk Management in a timely manner.  Contact us by email at [email protected].

The University's Property Loss/Damage Claim Reporting and Reimbursement Policy provisions apply to any University property that may be lost or damaged while in a University-owned or leased vehicle. Valuable property should never be left in an unattended University vehicle.  Please note, personal property is not eligible for reimbursement in the event of loss/damage. 

Typically, the registration of a vehicle is managed by the dealership. If the dealership cannot provide this service, email [email protected] as soon as possible to facilitate the registration. Send the following original documentation to Cristian Morales, Assistant Director, Property, Budget, and Fleet Administration, 615 West 131st Street, 362E, New York, NY 10027:

  • Certificate of Origin
  • Odometer Reading
  • Bill of Sale
  • MV 82 form, partially completed by the dealership

The Insurance and Risk Management department holds all original titles for Columbia University-owned vehicles.

All vehicles should be registered under the following:

The Trustees of Columbia University
615 West 131st Street, 362E
New York, New York 10027

Registration and Insurance Renewals

Vehicle registration renewal notices should be mailed to by the DMV to the Insurance and Risk Management Department at the address below. Risk Management will automatically renew a vehicle registration, charge the fee(s) back to the department, and contact the departmental Vehicle Coordinator with details. When the new registration sticker arrives, it will be forwarded to the department. A copy of the registration sticker is kept by Risk Management.

Registration renewal notices are typically received several weeks prior to the vehicle's registration expiration date. If a vehicle registration is within 3-4 weeks of expiring and you have not heard from Risk Management, please contact Avi Mimun at [email protected].


Insurance and Risk Management must be informed of any significant changes that affect University-owned or leased vehicles. Information changes should be reported to Risk Management using the Vehicle Information Change Form.

Information changes include updating the departmental vehicle coordinator contact information and changing the ARC account number charged for vehicle-related expenses, such as insurance premiums and registration renewal fees.

Acquisition, operation, and disposal of vehicles outside the United States is governed by separate policies and procedures. Foreign vehicles must be registered to the local operating organization—not the Trustees of Columbia University. Foreign vehicles are required to carry reasonable and customary insurance. For more details, contact the local country manager. 

The Insurance and Risk Management department is available for consultation in matters regarding international vehicles: please contact Laura Schon at [email protected] or 1-212-854-1063.

Still have questions?

Contact [email protected].