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Alameda County, CA, acgov.org

Auto Liability Claims Procedure

When an accident occurs and the general public is involved, details must be reported to supervision and Risk Management immediately or at the earliest possible opportunity regardless of how insignificant the loss may appear. Reporting an accident promptly is critical as there may be potential liability arising from claims of bodily injury or property damage. Prompt reporting will protect County interest and minimize County costs as late reporting could jeopardize the defense of a claim or lawsuit. The County contracts with Acclamation Insurance Management Services (AIMS) to handle the adjusting and investigation of claims and lawsuits.

GUIDELINES FOR COVERAGE-The County of Alameda has liability protection programs that apply to claims, costs, injuries or damages that are caused by or result from the negligent acts or omissions of the County, its officers, agents, employees, or volunteers when using a County vehicle. Under certain circumstances, coverage may be applicable to County employee’s personal vehicle and rental vehicles when used to perform official County business. The County’s liability program will pay on behalf of the County all the amounts that the County will be obligated to pay by reason on liability imposed upon the County by law, or liability assumed under written agreement by the County.

County Vehicles

All persons authorized to drive County vehicles are required to be familiar with the vehicle and the County of Alameda, Vehicle Use Policy and the Motor Vehicles User Guide (2016) (PDF).

County Employee’s Personal Vehicle

If the County employee chooses to use his/her personal vehicle on official County business, the employee’s personal vehicle must carry proof of financial responsibility at all times. By California law, the County employee’s personal automobile insurance will be the primary source of insurance coverage for damage’s to the employee’s vehicle and injury and property damage to the other party. The County’s liability coverage applies on an excess basis only. Injury to the employee will be covered under the County’s Workers’ Compensation Program.

Rental Vehicles

If the County employee chooses to use a rental vehicle on official County business within the contiguous United States, damages to the rental vehicle and bodily injury and/or property damage to a third party are covered under the liability program. If additional insurance is purchased in lieu of the County’s self- insurance, the purchased insurance becomes primary with the County’s liability coverage as excess. Only passengers on official County business are allowed in the rental vehicles. If traveling to foreign countries, property and liability insurance coverages offered by the countries are required.

Claims Reporting Procedures

Immediately or at the earliest possible opportunity, the County driver must report the accident to his/her supervisor and Risk Management. In addition, if driving a personal vehicle or rental vehicle in the course and scope of employment, contact the personal car insurance carrier or the rental car company.

SIGNIFICANT INJURY, DEATH, OR EXTENSIVE PROPERTY DAMAGE-The following steps need to be completed.

  1. All accidents involving significant injury , death, or extensive property damage should be reported immediately to the following:
    1. Highway patrol or local law enforcement
    2. Alameda County’s Third Party Administrator, Acclamation Insurance Management Services (AIMS) at 510-633-5650.
    3. County’s Risk Management Unit at 510-272-6920, Monday through Friday, 8:30AM to 5:00PM.
  2. If a minor child (under 18) is injured, notify the parents or guardians immediately and remain with the minor until their arrival.

COUNTY DRIVER’S RESPONSIBILITY AT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT-

  1. Stop the vehicle immediately in a manner that will clear traffic lanes and not present a hazard to moving traffic.
  2. Determine if there are any injuries and render aid to the best of your ability. Call 911 for qualified medical assistance and local law enforcement.
  3. Exchange identifying personal information with all parties. Additional information to include vehicle information (year, make, model, plate number and name, address, insurance policy number of registered owner). Witness cards and the Vehicle Accident/Vehicle Incident Report (Form 430300-1) (Word - 309kb)** can be found in the glove compartment of the County vehicles.
  4. Do not discuss fault, liability, or responsibility for the incident/accident.
  5. If possible, take photos of any damaged property and forward with incident/accident reports.
  6. Contact the County garage and be prepared to give identifying vehicle and location information. Advise if the vehicle can be safely driven.
  7. If the accident involves a minor (under 18), notify the parents or guardian immediately or as soon as possible. Remain with the minor until the parents/guardian arrive and obtain as much identifying information as possible.

COUNTY DRIVER’S RESPONSIBILITY IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE ACCIDENT-

  1. The Alameda County’s Vehicle Accident/Vehicle Incident Report (Form 430300-1) (Word - 309kb)** must be completed immediately or at the earliest possible opportunity from the time of the actual loss. All spaces and boxes on the form must be completed in entirety. If they are not applicable, write N/A. The form must be signed by the reporting employee and his/her supervisor and be submitted to Risk Management at VAR_IRF@acgov.org. If email is not available, submit by QIC 28505. Send the original to the GSA Motor Vehicle Department. The completed forms are Confidential and Attorney-Client Privileged and should only be accessed by County Departments.
  2. If the County employee or supervisor is contacted by one of the following persons, a statement regarding liability is not to be given to the individual without first contacting AIMS (third party administrator) or Risk Management.
    1. the person who suffered the injury or property damage, or
    2. the personal insurance carrier of the person who suffered the injury or property damage, or
    3. the employer’s insurance or attorney of the person who suffered the injury or property damage.
  3. If the County driver was injured as a result of the accident, the County driver needs to notify his/her supervisor and the Workers’ Compensation Liaison.

Claims Reimbursement Guidelines

THIRD PARTY CLAIM- If the third party, person who suffered the injury or property damage, requests information on how to file a claim, refer to the following.

  1. The Claim Against the County of Alameda (PDF - 18kb)* claim form can be obtained in person at the Clerk of the Board, 1221 Oak Street, Room 536, Oakland, CA 94612
  2. If the third party has additional questions, refer them to Risk Management 510-272-6920.

COUNTY VEHICLE DAMAGE CLAIMS-Cost to repair damages to County vehicles that were intentionally misused is not reimbursable. For reimbursement of repair costs less the departmental deductible of $500, the Vehicle Accident/Vehicle Incident Report (Form 430300-1) (Word - 309kb)** form needs to be completed and forwarded to Risk Management (QIC 28505). Any loss or damage to County vehicles submitted more than 12 months from the date of the occurrence to Risk Management will not be eligible for funding or reimbursement.

COUNTY EMPLOYEE’S PERSONAL VEHICLE DAMAGE CLAIMS-The County will reimburse for the repair cost of your vehicle or your vehicle insurance deductible, up to a maximum of $500, whichever is less, for damage incurred while “driving” the vehicle. “Driving” refers to a vehicle in motion. The employee must be deemed “not at fault” for the accident. Complete Employee's Claims for Loss or Damage to Personal Property or Personal Vehicle (Form 430300-4) (PDF - 138kb)*. Damage to personal vehicles while parked will not be reimbursed. Claims by collision while parked may be considered if the identity of the offending party is obtained. Maintenance, wear and tear, as well as resulting losses due to maintenance and/or wear and tear, will not be considered for coverage.

If bodily injury and/or property damage occurs to another party while driving a personal vehicle on official County business, the cost to repair the damages to the other vehicle, medical expenses, and other costs will be paid by the personal auto insurance as the primary source of coverage. The County’s coverage will be excess to the personal auto insurance. All third party claims that involve the personal vehicle should be handled in entirety by the personal auto insurance carrier.

CONTRACTED RENTAL VEHICLE CLAIMS-Unless additional insurance (primary) is purchased through the rental car agency, the County provides coverage for damages to the rental vehicle and bodily injury and/or property damage to a third party when rented for official County business. The rental car agency will need to file a claim with the County for repair/replacement cost of the rental vehicle by submitting a Claim Against the County of Alameda claim form to the Clerk of the Board. Similarly, any third party sustaining bodily injury and/or property damage will also need to submit a Claim Against the County of Alameda claim form to the Clerk of the Board.

  1. The Claim Against the County of Alameda (PDF - 18kb)* claim form can be obtained in person at the Clerk of the Board, 1221 Oak Street, Room 536, Oakland, CA 94612
  2. If the rental car agency or third party has additional questions, refer to Risk Management 510-272-6920

* Portable Document Format (PDF) file requires the free Adobe Reader.

** Microsoft Word (DOCX) file requires the free Microsoft Word Viewer.

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