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Methods of Transportation and Allowances

About this Policy

Methods of Transportation and Allowances

Policy Number: 22602

Effective Date:

Last Updated:

Responsible Office:
UM System Controller’s Office

Responsible Administrator:
UM System Controller

Policy Contact:

Campus Accounting


  • Finance

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Applies to all employees and others who incur transportation expenses while conducting official University business.

All divisions or departments must adhere to the travel reimbursement policies contained herein and in other sections of University policy and may not establish lower limits, additional requirements or more restrictive policies unless required by an outside entity or third party.

Reason for Policy

This policy provides guidance on allowable transportation expenses.

Policy Statement

The method of transportation that is reasonable, necessary, and best meets the needs of the traveler and the University should be selected.  Travelers, in conjunction with their University department, are responsible for selecting the most cost-effective means of travel.

 Air or Rail Travel

It is recommended that individuals traveling by commercial airline or rail use the lowest available fare.  First-class or business-class travel is not allowed using University resources, unless it is required for medical reasons. Air travel that is paid for with U.S. government dollars must use a U.S. air carrier service in accordance with the Fly America Act (e.g. federal grant funds). Where use of leased or chartered aircraft is authorized, reimbursement for the full cost of the service will be made.

Vehicle Travel

The most cost effective vehicle travel option should be selected when traveling on University business.  The University’s Trip Optimizer tool can be used to calculate travel costs and ensure that employees select the most cost effective option for each trip. 

 Employees traveling to the same destination should car-pool whenever possible.  Employees who elect to travel using their personal vehicle when a car-pooling option is available, may have their reimbursement request denied.

 Car Rental Services

Car rental services may be used when the cost is less than or equivalent to other means of transportation or when University business activities require it.

  •  University One Card (MasterRental) Insurance

The car rental should be charged to a University One Card, which, via the MasterRental, provides $50,000 of Collision Damage Waiver/Limited Damage Waiver coverage.  Use of the One Card is encouraged since this shifts the initial burden of loss to the credit card company rather than the University’s self-funded program.  Per the MasterRental  Insurance agreement, you must decline the Collision/Damage Waiver. The cardholder and those designated in the vehicle rental contract as authorized drivers are covered by Primary Collision/Damage Insurance. Coverage will not be provided when a cardholder rents a vehicle beyond 31 consecutive days from the same rental agency. A new vehicle rented in a different city from the same rental agency is permitted. Coverage may not be available in all countries. Please contact your car rental agency before you travel.

  •  Discount Rate Programs Available

The University has negotiated discounted corporate rate programs with major car rental companies, which provide for significant savings over standard rates.  These programs should be used whenever possible and practical. 

  • Reimbursement Allowances

If the individual is unable to rent the vehicle using the University One Card, they may rent using personal funds and will be reimbursed for the cost of daily rental and gas.  Receipts are required.  Reimbursement for car rental insurance will be made under limited circumstances identified below.

  • Car Rental Insurance

Under most circumstances, University employees and authorized guests are sufficiently covered by the University's self-funded program. Therefore, purchase of insurance from car rental companies is usually not recommended and will not be reimbursed by the University.  However, there are special circumstances, which necessitate additional coverage.  Employees and authorized guests should be aware of these exceptions and obtain the necessary and appropriate type of insurance, which is identified below.  Only in these cases, will the University reimburse employees and authorized guests for the expense of additional insurance:

  • Personal Accident Insurance (PAI): Purchase of PAI is not necessary.  There are no special circumstances, which warrant its purchase, nor will it be reimbursed by the University.
  • Liability Insurance: Liability coverage should only be purchased when:
    • The vehicle is to be driven outside the U.S. or Canada, or
    • The driver or renter is not a U.S. or Canadian citizen.

Under either of these circumstances, the renter should purchase liability coverage offered by the rental agency.  Limits purchased should not exceed $1,000,000 combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage.  These expenses will be paid by the University.

  • Collision Damage Waiver/Limited Damage Waiver (CDW or LDW)

CDW/LDW coverage should only be purchased when:

  • The vehicle is to be driven outside the U.S. or Canada and paid for with funds other than the University One Card, (see above); or
  • The driver or renter is not a U.S. or Canadian citizen; or
  • The vehicle has a passenger capacity greater than eight (8); or
  • Trucks or other similar vehicles are rented for the primary purpose of transporting any type of cargo or property; or
  • Sports or utility vehicles are to be used off of maintained roads.

Under any of these circumstances, CDW/LDW coverage should be purchased (as offered by the rental agency).  For all other rentals, CDW/LDW coverage is provided and additional coverage from car rental companies should not be purchased.

Personally Owned Vehicle

When appropriate, individuals using a personal vehicle for official business will be reimbursed mileage based on the approved map mileage of the most direct route, plus any costs of parking and tolls.  The mileage reimbursement rate is set by the UM System Controller’s Office and posted on the UM System Controller’s website.  If an employee is denied use of a University owned vehicle due to their driving record, they may be reimbursed for the use of their personal vehicle on University business.

In the event of an accident resulting in liability while driving a personally owned vehicle on University business, the University’s coverage is secondary to the coverage of the owner/employee.  The University’s coverage will only become involved after the employee’s limits have been exhausted. 

An exception will be made only in the circumstance of an employee driving a personally owned vehicle pursuant to University of Missouri Health Care’s policy for staff transport during severe winter weather, in which circumstance the University’s coverage will be primary.

Physical Damage (Comp & Collision)

The University will not be responsible for damage to personally owned vehicles used in business and recommends that the employee arrange for physical damage insurance if desired. An exception will be made only in the circumstance of an employee driving a personally owned vehicle pursuant to University of Missouri Health Care’s policy for staff transport during severe winter weather, in which circumstance the University will provide primary coverage.

Aircraft Piloted by employee

Authority to approve use of owned or rented aircraft is delegated to the dean/director level.  As a condition of authorization for use of a personally owned or rented aircraft, employees must file with the UM Office of Risk & Insurance Management a certificate of aviation insurance showing the Curators of the University of Missouri as an additional insured and with minimum limits of $2,000,000 per person, $2,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 property damage.

Individuals authorized will be reimbursed mileage with the total not to exceed the rate of the lowest available commercial air fare; at a rate set by the UM System Controller’s Office.   No other expenses associated with use of personal aircraft will be reimbursed.  The University will not be responsible for damage to either personally owned or rented aircraft and recommends that the employee arrange for physical damage (hull coverage) insurance in all cases.

University-Owned Vehicles

Individuals using a University-owned vehicle will be reimbursed for all necessary operational expenses such as gas, oil, storage, parking, tolls, and repairs, not billed directly to the University.


Mileage - business mileage that is incurred for an activity conducted by an individual in the performance of duties as assigned by the University, excluding commute miles.  No other expenses associated with use of personal vehicle (i.e.: gas, oil, maintenance, repairs) will be reimbursed.  



  • Consult with department for the most cost-effective method of travel prior to travelling and select the most cost-effective method of travel
  • Utilize the Trip Optimizer tool, if necessary, to determine the most cost-effective method of travel
  • Attest to proper insurance coverage

The office of Risk & Insurance Management is responsible for updating policies as related to insurance coverages.

Additional Details



Related Information

If an accident or injury occurs with a rented vehicle, the UM Risk and Insurance Management is to be notified immediately by telephone (573-882-8100), regardless of the amount of damage.

Policy 22601 on Travel Authorization
Policy 24006 on Vehicles
Policy 13201 on Report All Accidents & Incidents
Policy 13302 on Insurance Coverages and Purchasing Insurance

Car Rentals
Mileage Reimbursement Rates
Risk and Insurance Management
Fly America Act


Updated February 1, 2018 for the University's new tool, Trip Optimizer, that is available to employees and departments for determining the lowest cost of travel by vehicle.  

Formerly Business Policy Manual 504 – Methods of Transportation and Allowances (revised 9/20/16)


Trip Optimizer:

Reviewed 2023-05-08