Property and Equipment

Insurance coverages pertaining to property and equipment at UW Madison including how to file a property insurance claim, loan equipment procedures, and what items are covered.

State Funded Property Program

The State Self-Funded Property Program (SSPP) [WI Statute 20.865(1)(fm) and 16.865 and 20.505(2)] provides coverage for loss of University property (including autos) for damages by covered perils.  The SSPP is administered through the Bureau of State Risk Management (BSRM) in the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) through which all final coverage decisions and loss payments are made. The Bureau utilizes the Property & Liability Manual as the governing document.

Excess Property Coverage

The SSPP establishes a $5 million self-insured retention above which a $500 million excess policy is purchased through commercial providers. Excess coverage is stacked among various carriers, with primary provider currently Lloyd’s of London. AON provides brokerage services for the excess coverages. DOA also contracts with Sedgwick (formerly Cunningham and Lindsey) to provide insurance adjustment services on larger property claims (generally over $10,000).

The DOA Bureau of Risk Management assesses an annual premium to all State agencies to fund the self-funded program. This premium includes the excess property insurance coverages. UW-Madison FY’18 Property Premium was $4,168,164.

Note – the State does not provide coverage for personal property (unless otherwise agreed upon in advance and in writing to meet mission of the agency).

Additional Insurance Programs

In addition to the self-funded coverage the following commercial insurance liability related products are purchased to cover gaps in the State Self-Funded and excess programs:

  • Excess property and liability insurance procured by DOA Bureau of State Risk Management for coverage beyond established self-rentions in these areas as discussed above. Excess coverage premiums are built into our overall premiums assessed by BSRM.
  • Boiler and Machinery
  • Builders Risk (for UW managed construction projects). Coverage that protects our insurable interest during the construction or renovation of a building or structure should those items sustain physical loss or damage from a covered cause.  Premium charged to individual projects. If State project then this coverage included in SSPP.
  • Museum Collection and Temporary Loan Policy – Huntington Block. (Part of SSPP and provides specialized coverage for museum collections and loans.

What IS and IS NOT Covered

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All property owned by the University is automatically insured for the following perils:

  • Vandalism and malicious mischief
  • Fire (including smoke and water damage from the fire)
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Flood (See Section II.4.1.3 for additional information)
  • Rainstorm
  • Snow
  • Water Damage
  • Burglary (forced entry or exit) – visible pry marks or broken glass, for example
  • Theft (no forced entry or exit)
  • Sprinkler leakage
  • Explosion
  • Lightning

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NOT Covered

  • Research, except for media otherwise covered.
  • Embezzlement
  • Employee theft
  • Ordinary wear and tear or gradual deterioration
  • Smog, vapor, liquid and dust, unless caused by or results from a covered peril
  • Settling, cracking, shrinkage, bulging or expansion of pavements, foundations and walls, unless caused by or results from a covered peril
  • Mysterious disappearance or unexplained loss, i.e. inventory shortage
  • Loss caused by vermin or insects unless a covered peril results
  • Employee personal property, except as needed for legitimate State business purposes as determined and agreed to in writing in advance by the agency risk manager (or DOA Bureau of State Risk Management if the agency does not have a designated risk manager).
  • Nuclear reaction or nuclear radiation or radioactive contamination, all whether controlled or uncontrolled, and whether such loss be direct or indirect, approximate or remote, or aggravated by covered perils, provided however, that direct loss by fire resulting from nuclear radiation or radioactive contamination is covered
  • Hostile or warlike action in time of peace or war. However, loss or damage directly caused by acts committed by agent(s) of government, party, or faction engaged in domestic or foreign terrorism, war, hostilities, or warlike operations are covered, provided such agent(s) are not in connection with any operation of armed forces in the country where the property is situated.
  • Loss caused by fault, defect, error or omission in design, plan or specification, unless loss and/or damage ensues as the result of a covered peril, and then only for such ensuing loss and/or damage
  • Cost of making good, faulty or defective workmanship or materials, but not loss resulting there from
  • Environmental cleanup and removal of pollutants from land or water at insured locations, except where otherwise provided
  • Loss caused by programming errors or incorrect instruction about electronic or computer equipment, except coverage will apply to resulting loss and/or damage from an insured peril
  • Except as otherwise provided, any loss or damage caused by, resulting from, contributed to or made worse by actual alleged or threatened release, discharge escape or dispersal of ‘CONTAMINANTS” or “POLLUTANTS, all whether direct, indirect, proximate or remote or in whole or in part caused by contributed to or aggravated by any physical damage insured by this program. This exclusion shall not apply when loss or damage is directly caused by fire, lightning, aircraft impact, explosion, riot, civil commotion, smoke, vehicle impact, windstorm, hail, vandalism, malicious mischief. This exclusion shall also not apply when loss or damage is directly caused by leakage or accidental discharge from automatic fire protection systems.
  • The removal of asbestos, dioxin or polychlorinated biphenyl’s due to the peril of flood.


Special Considerations

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Annual Property Insurance Inventory

Each spring, Risk Management, as directed by UWSA, solicits information from each department to update our coverage for vehicles, non-licensed vehicles, fine arts, museum pieces, special collections, library values, watercraft, borrowed/loaned equipment, farm property, foreign, moveable equipment and other property categories. All values are updated and reported to UW System and State Risk Management to assure adequate insurance coverage of all University-owned property. Risk Management will send out an annual survey to collect your inventory information.

Art Exhibits

Art Exhibits: If you plan to borrow an art exhibit from an external party, each artist or owner must submit to UW-Madison Risk Management 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 Request for Art Exhibit Coverage or equivalent form.

UW-Madison Art exhibits being loaned to external parties contact UW-Risk Management for direction.

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.

Borrowed Property

In order to assure property insurance coverage for non-owned items that are on-loan or borrowed from external parties, a final, signed agreement and pertinent information shall be submitted to Risk Management at: The information needed for insurance purposes includes:

  • Description of the borrowed item, including make, model and/or serial #
  • Name of the owner
  • Location of the item while on campus
  • Time period of loan
  • Replacement dollar value
  • UW-Madison department name and contact person

Equipment on loan may include items borrowed from other institutions and corporations, as well as privately owned items for University business purposes. Items that are personally owned by employees are generally not covered, but some exceptions may be made if written authorization is provided from campus unit evidencing University business need. Equipment provided to the University that is here solely for “sale on approval” from a vendor is the legal responsibility of the vendor and any coverage requirements would need to be part of an approved agreement.

Proposed loan/borrowed property agreements are to be first submitted to UW-Madison Capital Equipment for signature authority process. Capital Equipment will then coordinate review of the agreement with Legal, Risk Management and Purchasing, as necessary. The final signed agreement should then be emailed to Risk Management at to secure insurance coverage as discussed above.

Property involved in flight/aviation

Drones/Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Each unit must be reported to Risk Management (Manufacturer, Model/Number, Serial Number, Replacement Value) prior to it being insured.

Other aircraft are not allowed unless approved by State of WI Governor’s Office.

Equipment or Property attached to any aircraft in flight. Contact Risk Management for guidance as there are exclusions and special reporting required.

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 via email 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

How to File a Property Claim

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Step One: Submit an initial brief written report

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.

Step Two: Complete your repairs and submit bills within 90 days

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.

Step Three: Work with us to wrap up your claim quickly

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.

Step Four: How to get reimbursement delivered

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.

Step Five: Understand your deductibles for property claims

All losses are subject to a $1,000 deductible with two exceptions: there is a $2500 deductible for theft when there is no evidence of forced removal/entry and there is a $0 deductible on vehicle glass breakage. The campus unit filing the claim is responsible for covering deductible.

Personal Property on Campus

The University insures only the property it owns, borrows or leases. UW-Madison insurance does not generally cover personal property that is on campus. The only potential coverage for personal property is when agreed upon in advance and in writing to meet mission of the agency. See form to complete and UWSA guidance.

Questions regarding property coverages/claims may be directed to Margaret Hoffman, but in some cases, you may be directed to State RM for clarification of process.


Risk Management's location

Risk Management
21 North Park Street, Suite 5301
Madison, WI 53715

Email Risk Management

Margaret Hoffman

Contact Risk Management By Phone

Phone: 608-262-0379