Risk Management

Risk Management

Risk management is a critical piece of event planning, because its purpose is to protect the program planner(s), attendees, and all volunteers and speakers. There are several forms linked below that will help you ensure the safety of all involved with your event. 

The MSU Manual of Business Procedures will also provide as a helpful guide to managing risks: MSU Manual of Business Procedures

Youth Events

All youth program policies and procedures should be followed when planning events for youth. Guidelines may be specific to MSU Youth Policies and Programs and/or Children and Youth Institute and 4-H policies. Check with your department or institute leadership to determine what policies and procedures apply to your event.

Media Release Form (This sample is set up two forms per page)  

Use this form if photos, video or any other kind of image recording will take place during the program and used for promotional purposes. If you do not have a signed form on file, every effort should be made to exclude that participant from all photos, video, etc. There are special considerations for photos and videos taken at youth events, so be sure to check in with your institute or department leadership to make sure those considerations are followed.

Volunteer Selection Process (MSU Extension)

If your event will include volunteers, please visit the Volunteer Selection Process (VSP) site to learn more about the process.

MSU Policy Information Related to Risk Management

The following information outlines policies and risk management options.

Incident Report Form (also known as an Injury/Property Damage Report Form)

Accidents involving personal bodily injury or property damage that may give rise to a claim should be reported immediately. A copy of the Incident Report Form should be given to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance as soon as possible, with a copy of the local police or investigator’s report if available. Please view MSU's Accident Reporting Procedures for MSU employees, or click here for non-MSU employees: Injury/Property Damage Report

Transportation Information

Vehicle Restrictions

Use of 12- and 15-passenger vans is prohibited. More information on vehicle restrictions can be found in the MSU Manual of Business Procedures.


Drivers transporting youth on behalf of MSU must be 21 years of age or older. Verification of a valid driver’s license and current liability insurance is required for any adult driver. 

Insurance Coverage Information

It is important to understand the types of insurance coverage that is available and which insurance is appropriate in various situations. You can find more detailed information at the Office of Risk Management and Insurance. The two basic types of insurance that exist are:

Liability Insurance is provided to MSU employees or volunteers deemed by Michigan State University to be acting within the scope of their duties of performing services for the University. This insurance protects MSU volunteers and employees in the event they would be sued for claims of negligent acts that result in bodily injury to someone else, personal injury such as libel or slander, or damage to property of others. Liability insurance coverage is automatic and is provided for all who are registered as MSU volunteers or employed by MSU. 

When transporting others to and from an MSU program in privately owned vehicles, MSU liability insurance coverage is provided as a secondary insurance. That means that the insurance maintained by the person who owns the vehicle would provide the first insurance coverage and the MSU insurance be the second coverage. Coverage by the liability policy means that the liability insurance will provide defense in court for a registered volunteer or employee to cover allegations of a negligent act even through the allegations may be fraudulent or false, and will pay the damages in which the covered insuree is legally liable to pay. Report any incident that involves bodily injury or property damage which may give rise to a claim immediately in a written report. You should cover as much information as possible about the incident. Follow up contact will then come from MSU directly to the parties named in the incident report.

Accident and Illness Insurance is not provided by Michigan State University to program participants or volunteer workers and is not mandatory. Programs or groups can take out a special policy available through some insurance companies. Illness coverage depends on the type of coverage selected. Eligible covered expenses are paid in excess of any other valid and collectible insurance. Overviews of two known options are described below

Michigan State University Camp Insurance

All students enrolled into the camp insurance program will be covered for accidental injury while participating in sports/academic camps at Michigan State University. If you have questions regarding this coverage, please contact Risk Management and Insurance at 517-355-5022.

Certificate of Insurance

A certificate of insurance is a document provided to an outside organization as evidence of Michigan State University's insurance coverage.  Outside organizations typically request a certificate of insurance for the following reasons:

  • The University is holding an event or activity at an off-campus location
  • The University has a written contract which requires insurance.

A request for a Certificate of Insurance must be submitted by an MSU employee. Typically, a signed contract will be submitted with a COI request or a reason given why there is not a specific contract.

Certificate of Insurance Request