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Information on Property Insurance Coverage

General Information

The University purchases a property insurance policy through FM Global Insurance Company. This policy includes coverage for University owned property (buildings and contents) in the event of insurable events such as fire, flood, vandalism, and theft. Property insurance provides coverage for sudden and accidental events.

The Insurance Office must be contacted to arrange insurance when:

  1. University property is being transported and the value exceeds $25,000. In-transit coverage can also be arranged for items of lower value.
  2. The item(s) are on loan to the University and the University is under obligation to provide insurance coverage.
  3. University owned equipment is to be kept at an employee's residence. This excludes laptop computers, cellular phones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) and other portable devices designed for convenience and travel.
  4. University owned equipment is being taken outside the United States.

In-Transit Coverage

Although the University department deductible is $5,000, the University is obligated to report to our insurance carrier the value of in-transit activity for fine arts and equipment.

We have determined that $25,000 is a reasonable threshold to notify our office of such activity, however, there will still be a $5,000 deductible charged to your department if item(s) are damaged during transit.

You should consider purchasing in-transit coverage provided by the carrier, but be aware of the limitation of coverage (e.g. $0.60 per pound may not cover the total value of your item.)


Loss Prevention Information

There are many preventative measures a department can take to reduce their risk of property losses (damage/theft). The Public Safety website offers crime prevention tips for Building/Office Security. (Click here for more information) CIS also provides some information on Physical Security for portable technology. (Click here to read more)

The Insurance Office works in conjunction with the University's Crime Prevention Officer to make recommendations regarding equipment security. Our departments are available to assist in making recommendations for unique situations.

Standard recommendations such as the following have already been established.

  • Lock offices when unattended.
  • Departments that have notebook computers, or highly portable peripheral equipment, should use a "sign out" procedure in order to verify the location of these units.
  • One way to minimize the disruption caused by losses is to keep current back ups of critical information. These back ups should not be stored in the same location as the primary source of information. If the disruption were due to a fire of flood type event, a back up stored in the same location would also be lost.
  • Notebook computers must not be left unattended in unlocked areas.
  • For computer security, Public Safety and the Insurance Office suggest at least a 5mm cable lock such as Kensington or Fellows/Kryptonite. These cable lock systems are available through the Brown Computer Store or Office Max Office Products. (Security devices are required unless Public Safety has waived this requirement for your department.)
  • For tracking and recovery services for your Windows PC, Public Safety offers some options. Scroll down on Public Safety's Home page linked below for information on FrontDoor Software and Computrace LoJack for Laptops Software:

or click Brown University Department of Public Safety - Laptop Safety to read more about Public Safety's Laptop Safety tips.

  • Highly portable notebook computers and other peripheral equipment should be stored behind a locked door in addition to being stored in a locked storage cabinet, such as a desk, file cabinet, etc., if feasible.
  • A/V equipment must be properly secured with an anti-theft device such as a Sonic Shock Alarm available through:

  • When traveling, notebook computers must not be checked as baggage or stored in overhead storage compartments.
  • Loss prevention tips for Research Freezers click here

Insurance Reimbursement Programs


The Insurance Reimbursement Program will assist in paying for the replacement cost of stolen University owned property.


The Insurance Reimbursement Program will assist in paying for the repair or replacement (if non-repairable) of University owned property damaged as a result of sudden and accidental insurable events.

In order to be eligible for reimbursement for theft or damage claims, proper procedures for claim processing are described below.

  1. Thefts must be reported to Public Safety and/or local police department, if appropriate (occurrences off campus), immediately.
  2. Claim for reimbursement must be filed with the Insurance Office within 60 days of reported incident to be eligible for reimbursement.
    Click here to submit a Property Claim
  3. The Insurance Reimbursement Program is subject to a $5,000 per incident departmental deductible for the replacement of like kind and quality. The difference for any upgrade will be the sole responsibility of the department. Consideration to reduce the deductible will be given when the incident is caused by a building related problem (e.g. leak from HVAC system.)
  4. If the replacement cost exceeds the original cost; depreciation will be applied to the reimbursement calculation determined by the Insurance Office.
  5. Required Documentation:
    1. Brown University property inventory number and/or copy of original purchasing documentation and receipt (to show ownership). If such documentation is unavailable, other acceptable proof of ownership includes:
      • Ledger sheet with charge for purchase indicated
      • User's manuals
      • Photo of the item
      • Current dated department inventory list including the item
      • Receipts for any repair work or maintenance performed on item
      • Appraisals
    2. Completed appropriate claim form.
      Click here to submit a Property Claim.
    3. Brown University and/or city police report, if applicable.
    4. Quote(s) for repair or replacement
  6. The Insurance Office will then determine the amount of reimbursement and authorize the department to proceed with repair or replacement. The department will do so with a Purchase Order or Internal Purchase Requisition.
  7. Upon receipt of a copy of the department's replacement purchasing documentation for repair or replacement, the Insurance Office will transfer the appropriate reimbursement amount to the department's account via Interdepartmental Invoice. Claims must be resolved within 90 days of filing the claim and within the same fiscal year, when possible.
  8. It is the department's responsibility to notify the Property System Manager in the Office of Sponsored Projects for property inventory control (click to email OSP). This is essential to ensure proper insurance coverage.
  9. Exclusions to the Theft Reimbursement Program
    1. Repeat incidents: second time, the reimbursement is reduced to half of what it would have normally been, third time - no reimbursement.
    2. Inventory shortages.
    3. Unexplained loss or mysterious disappearance - no reimbursement for a loss caused by the inability to locate an item of property or losses without appropriate/timely documentation of reported theft.
    4. Cash.
    5. When appropriate loss control measures were not in place.

University Equipment at an Employee Residence

When the Assistant Director in the Insurance Office has been notified that University owned equipment will be kept at an employee's home, the equipment will be insured as it would be on campus.

Notification should be in the form of a memo to the Insurance Manager from the Department Chairperson/Director acknowledging departmental approval for the equipment to be kept at home. The Property System Manager in the Office of Sponsored Projects should also be notified.

Personal Property

The University does not carry insurance for the personal property of University employees. Personal property insurance is the responsibility of the owner. Coverage for personal items may be available through homeowners or renters insurance policies. Check with your personal insurance agent to verify coverage of personal items.

Occasionally, employees may believe it necessary to use personal equipment in the course of their work. Personal equipment used for University business cannot be covered through the University's insurance unless it has been specifically insured by submission of an application form through The Insurance Office. Personal property that is authorized for coverage can only be covered for the time period specified on the application.

Only personal property that is deemed necessary for performing ones job and is authorized by the senior officer in your area can be eligible for coverage. If authorized, items such as artwork, first editions, sculptures and other valuables require proof of appraised values in order to be covered.

For questions or further assistance regarding insuring personal property, please call x31681 or contact the Insurance Office.