9.83 Liability insurance for public employees.

(A) The state and any political subdivision may procure a policy or policies of insurance insuring its officers and employees against liability for injury, death, or loss to person or property that arises out of the operation of an automobile, truck, motor vehicle with auxiliary equipment, self-propelling equipment or trailer, aircraft, or watercraft by the officers or employees while engaged in the course of their employment or official responsibilities for the state or the political subdivision. The state is authorized to expend funds to pay judgments that are rendered in any court against its officers or employees and that result from such operation, and is authorized to expend funds to compromise claims for liability against its officers or employees that result from such operation. No insurer shall deny coverage under such a policy, and the state shall not refuse to pay judgments or compromise claims, on the ground that an automobile, truck, motor vehicle with auxiliary equipment, self-propelling equipment or trailer, aircraft, or watercraft was not being used in the course of an officer's or employee's employment or official responsibilities for the state or a political subdivision unless the officer or employee who was operating an automobile, truck, motor vehicle with auxiliary equipment, or self-propelling equipment or trailer is convicted of a violation of section 124.71 of the Revised Code as a result of the same events.

(B) Funds shall be reserved as necessary, in the exercise of sound and prudent actuarial judgment, to cover potential expense, fees, damage, loss, or other liability. The office of risk management may recommend or, if the state requests of the office of risk management, shall recommend a specific amount for any period of time that, in the opinion of the office of risk management, represents such a judgment.

(C) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the department of administrative services to purchase liability insurance for all state vehicles in a single policy of insurance or to cover all state vehicles under a single plan of self-insurance.

(D) Insurance procured by the state pursuant to this section shall be procured as provided in section 125.03 of the Revised Code.

(E) For purposes of liability insurance procured under this section to cover the operation of a motor vehicle by a prisoner for whom the insurance is procured, "employee" includes a prisoner in the custody of the department of rehabilitation and correction who is enrolled in a work program that is established by the department pursuant to section 5145.16 of the Revised Code and in which the prisoner is required to operate a motor vehicle, as defined in section 4509.01 of the Revised Code, and who is engaged in the operation of a motor vehicle in the course of the work program.

(F) All contributions collected by the director of administrative services under division (H) of this section shall be deposited into the risk management reserve fund created in section 9.823 of the Revised Code to the credit of the vehicle liability program.

(G) Reserves shall be maintained in the risk management reserve fund to the credit of the vehicle liability program in any amount that is necessary and adequate, in the exercise of sound and prudent actuarial judgment, to cover potential liability claims, expenses, fees, or damages. Money in the fund may be applied to the payment of liability claims that are filed against the state in the court of claims and determined in the manner provided in Chapter 2743. of the Revised Code. The director of administrative services may procure the services of a qualified actuarial firm for the purpose of recommending the specific amount of money that is required to maintain adequate reserves for a specified period of time.

(H) The director of administrative services shall collect from each state agency or any participating state body its contribution to the vehicle liability program for the purpose of purchasing insurance or administering self-insurance programs for coverage authorized under this section. The amount of the contribution shall be determined by the director, with the approval of the director of budget and management. It shall be based upon actuarial assumptions and the relative risk and loss experience of each state agency or participating state body. The amount of the contribution also shall include a reasonable sum to cover administrative costs of the department of administrative services. The amounts collected pursuant to this division shall be deposited in the risk management reserve fund to the credit of the vehicle liability program.

Effective Date: 03-17-1998; 09-26-2003; 2007 HB119 09-29-2007