Property Program

The University of Wisconsin System is self-funded for property protection under Wisconsin Statute, Section 20.865. This statute provides all-risk, replacement-cost protection for damage resulting from direct physical loss, with some exclusions.

This coverage applies to buildings, contents, capital equipment, supplies and vehicles. All losses are subject to a $1,000 deductible, effective 07/01/2013, with two exceptions: there is a $2500 deductible for theft when there is no sign of forced removal and there is a $0 deductible on vehicle glass breakage.

Property Summaries
Each spring, our office solicits information from each department to update our coverage for fine arts, museum pieces, special libraries, fabricated equipment and other property categories. All values are updated and reported to UW System and State Risk Management to assure adequate coverage of all University-owned property. It is only through your cooperation and assistance that we can accomplish this task.

Certain types of information need to be reported on an on-going basis:

  • Transit Coverage: Whenever UW property is transported off campus, there are risks in the transit process that need to be insured. This also applies to equipment being shipped to campus, as in FOB shipping point, and for equipment being returned to campus after being away. For items that are leaving campus or being sent to campus for which we are responsible, it is essential that such items are tracked.  Up to $50,000, you need only keep records in your department files – please keep track of the items that are leaving or being shipped, serial #’s of these items, the replacement cost, dates of departure and the method of transit (including items that are being personally carried as baggage).
    For items $50,000 and over, all items must be reported to State (of Wisconsin) Risk Management via the following website:  State of Wisconsin-Report of Shipment/Request for Marine Insurance Coverage. This website will provide instruction as well as an online form for your use in scheduling items in transit.  Once the form is sent, the items will be scheduled for insurance through the State and a copy of the form will be sent to our office.
    Questions regarding this can be directed to our office via e-mail to either Margaret Hoffman, but in some cases, you may be directed to State RM for clarification of process.
  • Property Off Campus: It is important to remember that items off campus must be specifically listed with our office at the off-campus site.  For example, you may ship something to Mexico and request coverage for the item in transit. But in addition to the transit coverage, you must also send a written request (e-mail is fine) to our office to request coverage for the item while it is being housed/used at that location.  Again, a description of the item(s), serial #’s, values, start and end dates and specific location should be sent to Margaret Hoffman.
  • Art Exhibits: If you plan to have an art exhibit, each artist or owner must submit a signed "Request for Art Exhibit Coverage" along with an itemized listing of the works to be exhibited by name or description, and an individual value for each item. Should a loss occur, losses will be evaluated on the basis of the criteria on the Art Exhibit Coverage Request form.
  • Borrowed Property: In order to assure property coverage for non-owned items that are on-loan or borrowed, the following information needs to be given to Risk Management, Margaret Hoffman : a description of the item, including make, model and/or serial #, the name of the owner, the location of the item while on campus, the time span for coverage, the value and the department name. Equipment on loan may include items borrowed from other institutions and corporations, as well as privately owned items as long as they are being used on University business. Items that are personally owned by employees are generally not covered, but some exceptions may be made by our office. Equipment provided to the University that is here solely for "sale on approval" is the legal responsibility of the vendor and such coverage requests will be evaluated on a case by case basis, depending on the circumstances.

Property Claims

When a property claim occurs, it is important that the department react promptly to handle the situation and notify our department. If the loss involves theft or vandalism, the local law enforcement agency must be notified. Losses in excess of $10,000 must be reported immediately by phone to our office, since we may need to notify State Risk Management. In order to file a claim, we need an initial brief written report (e-mail is fine) telling us who, what, when, where and how the claim occurred. You will need to follow up with a formal report, using the Property Loss Report. You will also need to submit copies of repair estimates, replacement costs, and clean-up costs, as applicable. Theft or vandalism claims require the filing of a police report, and lightning claims require the completion of a Lightning Affidavit, by the repair person.

Claims must be filed with our office in a timely fashion. In order to meet State Risk Management deadlines, you should do everything you can to complete repairs or replacement within 120 days and make sure that the final bills get to our office immediately.  We have 120 days to file claims, but if that timeframe cannot be met, we must request an extension of the deadline at 90 days and show that there has been continuous progress to bring the claim to a timely conclusion.  Failure to do so, could result in increased deductibles, even as much as $10,000. Accordingly, in some cases, this could eliminate any reimbursement from the State.

Our office will work with you to make sure this doesn’t happen, but it is crucial that departments work quickly to conclude claims to avoid any increase in deductible. Remember that our office is only a facilitator and that the claim filing starts with your office and does require your commitment to getting the paperwork completed.

Reimbursement to the department may be accomplished by writing a requisition against our insurance escrow account, or by transfer to departmental funds to reimburse for expenditures already made. Use of the escrow fund is by permission only, so please contact our office before writing any requisitions. Each claim will be assigned a separate and distinct project/grant number, so that charges for every claim can be tracked.

Recovery will be made from the State Property Program, if coverage applies, over the deductible. If the damage was the result of someone else's negligence, we will pursue recovery from the negligent party.