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 self-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 (PDF) 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-retentions 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 of the DOA Property & Liability Manual (PDF) for more 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
  • See DOA Property & Liability Manual (PDF) for further details

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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

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/marine cargo insurance

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 and reported to ensure insurance coverage is in place.

For shipping values 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 shipments $50,000 and over, all items must be reported to State (of Wisconsin) Risk Management by completing the “Report of Shipment and Request for Marine Cargo Coverage) form on the DOA website: State of Wisconsin-Report of Shipment/Request for Marine Insurance Coverage. (Link to additional DOA instructions) This website will provide instruction as well as an online form for your use in scheduling items in transit. Once the form is completed and submitted, the items will be scheduled for insurance through the State and a copy of the form will be sent to the UW–Madison Risk Management office by the DOA.

Contact with further questions.

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 (at 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.

Borrowed property approved for coverage under the State of WI Self-Funded Property Insurance Program will follow all regular property program requirements. The requesting School/College/Division will be responsible for property claim submissions, deductibles and will be financially responsible for any property claim not covered by the State of WI Self-Funded Property Program.

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 Wisconsin 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

How to file a property claim

UW-Madison owned property, equipment and contents are covered under the State of Wisconsin Self-Funded Property Program. The Self-Funded Property Program provides coverage for sudden and accidental damages, subject to certain limitations and exclusions.

Property claims are administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Bureau of State Risk Management and are facilitated through UW-Madison’s Office of Risk Management.

All property damage claims should be immediately reported to UW-Madison’s Office of Risk Management via email at

Property claim reporting instructions, procedures and requirements are provided below:


Property claims are subject to a minimum $1,000 deductible per claim, with two exceptions:

  • $2,500 deductible applies to all theft losses that occur with no evidence of forced removal of property or forced entry (e.g., visible pry marks, broken glass, etc.)
  • There is a $0 (Zero) deductible on vehicle glass breakage claims. Please see How to Report an Automobile Incident for instructions on reporting vehicle glass breakage and vehicle accidents.

Please note:

  • Higher deductible amounts may be imposed by the Bureau of State Risk Management in instances of late reported claims.
  • Property claims having total damages valued below $10,000 that are not concluded within 120 days may become subject to higher deductibles or may be denied and become ineligible for payment, at the sole discretion and decision of Bureau of State Risk Management.

Property claim reporting requirements

When property damage occurs, it is important the impacted Department(s) react promptly in handling the situation to mitigate further damage from occurring and to preserve damaged property.

FP&M Physical Plant should be notified immediately of all occurrences involving physical damage to or within University buildings. Physical Plant will take action to assist in mitigating further damage from occurring and preserve the building and contents.

The Office of Risk Management should be immediately notified of all Property damage and theft claims. Claim reporting instructions are provided below.

Property claim reporting instructions and claim procedures

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Step 1 - Immediately Report Property Claims to the Office of Risk Management

  1. When property damage or loss has occurred, immediately notify Risk Management by sending an email to  Within the email sent to Risk Management, please provide a description of the claim and loss/damage that has occurred, including:
    • Date of loss
    • Description of the loss event and property damage that has occurred
    • Photographs of the damage, if available
    • Cause of damage and/or person responsible for damage, if known
    • Location where loss occurred and current location of damaged property
    • Estimated value of damages, if known
    • Description of steps that have been taken to mitigate further damage and preserve damaged property.
  2. Within the initial email that is sent to Risk Management, or within 3 days of sending the initial email, please complete a formal Property Loss Report and submit it to Risk Management at
  3. Ensure immediate actions have been taken to mitigate further damage from occurring and preserve damaged property. Where appropriate, contact FP&M Physical Plant for assistance mitigating damages and preserving property.
  4. If the claim involves theft or vandalism, the local law enforcement agency must be notified.

Step 2 - Follow claim process instructions and guidance provided by the Office of Risk Management

  1. Upon receipt of the Property claim, the Office of Risk Management will provide the impacted Department(s) with instructions on next steps in the claim process and claim process requirements.
  2. Departments must respond promptly to all requests for information and documentation that are received during the claim process. Delays in responding to requests may result in increases in the claim deductible or denial of the claim by Bureau of State Risk Management.
  3. Property claims having estimated total damages valuing $10,000 or greater will be administered by Sedgwick, Bureau of State Risk Management’s 3rd party claims adjusting firm.
    • The Office of Risk Management will assist Departments in the claims process and facilitate communications with the Sedgwick claims adjuster.
    • During the claims process, it is particularly important that Departments follow the instructions of Sedgwick’s claims adjuster and respond to promptly to all requests for information and documentation of claimed damages.
    • Departmental delays longer than 30 days in responding to Sedgwick requests for information or claim documentation may potentially result in the Bureau of State Risk Management increasing the claim deductible to amounts as high as $10,000 per claim, depending upon the length of Departmental delays.If the Department finds any difficulty or reason for delay in responding promptly to Sedgwick’s requests for information or claim documentation during the claim process, the Office of Risk Management should be notified immediately, providing specific information documenting the reason(s) for any delays.

Step 3 - Provide Repair, Restoration or Replacement Cost Estimates for Damaged Property to Risk Management

  1. For Property claims having estimated total damages valued $10,000 or greater, it is important Department(s) preserve all damaged property for inspection and examination by Sedgwick and its professional experts. Sedgwick may engage professional experts to assess and determine the extent of damages and repairability of items claimed.Sedgwick will advise Departments on the process for claiming replacement of damaged items that have been assessed and deemed by their professional experts to be non-repairable.
  2. For Property claims having estimated total damages valuing less than $10,000, the Department(s) should submit repair, restoration or replacement cost estimates and invoices to the Office of Risk Management for review and submission to Bureau of State Risk Management for claim evaluation and payment.
  3. If the claim involves lightning damage to property, a Lightning Affidavit Form must be completed by a repair firm/person and submitted to Risk Management.
  4. All documentation to support the claim must be submitted to the Office of Risk Management for review within 90 days of the date of loss. Acceptable forms of documentation include, but are not limited to, repair/restoration cost estimates, replacement quotations, invoices, and time and labor expense documentation.  Late submissions of claim documentation may result in a higher claim deductible being imposed or potential denial of the claim by Bureau of State Risk Management.
  5. Upon receiving repair, restoration or replacement cost estimates for damaged items claimed by the Department(s), Risk Management will:
    • Review the information submitted,
    • Advise the Department if any items claimed may be subject to certain limitations, exclusions or would otherwise not be covered by the Self-Funded Property Program and,
    • Advise the Department on next steps in the claim process.

Step 4 - Complete Restoration, Repairs or Replacement of all Damaged Property Within 120 Days from Date of Loss

Final bills, receipts and invoices, documenting Departmental costs incurred for completed repairs, restoration or replacement of damaged property should be submitted to the Office of Risk Management at Upon receipt, the Office of Risk Management will review and submit the documentation of claim costs incurred to the Bureau of State Risk Management for payment of the claim, less any applicable deductible.


Bureau of State Risk Management requires all Property damage claims, particularly those having estimated total damages valuing less than $10,000, be concluded and finalized within 120 days from the date of loss.

Claims that are not concluded within 120 days may become subject to higher deductibles or may denied and become ineligible for payment, at the sole discretion and decision of Bureau of State Risk Management.

Exceptions to the 120-day deadline may be granted for large Property claims having estimated total damages valuing $10,000 or greater, which are being administered by Sedgwick or in instances where Bureau of State Risk Management has agreed to grant a specific extension of time to the Department for concluding the claim.

Step 5 - Claim Expenditure Accounting and Claim Payment Process

Departmental Property claim expenditures determined to be covered under the Self-Funded Property Program should be charged to the Fund 999 funding string that Risk Management provides to the impacted Department(s), in accordance with UW System Administrative Policy 605 – Loss Fund Operations.

Fund 999 is used to account for covered claim expenditures incurred by Departments. It also facilitates the disbursement of claim proceeds that are received from the State of Wisconsin Self-Funded Property Program to reimburse Departments for covered claim expenses incurred.

Upon receiving claim payment proceeds from Bureau of State Risk Management, through the Self-Funded Property Program, Risk Management will transfer claim payment amounts to the impacted Department(s) by crediting the Fund 999 funding string holding claim expenditure debit charges.

Departmental expenditures charged to the Fund 999 claim funding string that are determined not covered under the Property claim are required to be reversed and charged back to the Department.

Step 6 - 3rd Party Subrogation and Claim Payment Recovery Process

At the conclusion of the claim, if a third-party has been determined to be responsible for causing the damages claimed, Risk Management will make reasonable efforts to pursue the responsible third-party for recovery and reimbursement of all claim damage payments, including deductible costs incurred by the impacted Department.

The first dollar amounts recovered from the responsible third-party will be applied to the claim deductible and reimbursed to the Department having paid the deductible. Claim payment amounts recovered from the responsible party in excess of the deductible will be submitted to Bureau of State Risk Management and credited to the Property claim file.


The subrogation process and successful recovery of claim damage payments from responsible third-parties is highly dependent upon Risk Management receiving assistance from the impacted Department(s), specifically by providing documentation, information and timely assistance to Risk Management during the recovery process. Risk Management will contact the Department to request information and documentation required to pursue recovery from third-party. If Risk Management is unable to receive prompt assistance and necessary information from the Department to support of the subrogation process, or the third-party claim is deemed not viable, the subrogation claim will be closed.

Personal property on campus

The University insures only the property it owns, borrows or leases. UW-Madison insurance does not generally cover personal property (Word doc) 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, but in some cases, you may be directed to State RM for clarification of process.


Risk Management's location

Risk Management
21 N. Park Street
Madison, WI 53715