The Office of Insurance & Risk is responsible for the University's self-insured and commercial insurance programs, including health and dental plans, workers' compensation, general liability, auto, and property insurance. The staff responsible for these areas can assist students in evaluating situations relating to insurance and risk assessment.
It is important that Brown University students have access to comprehensive medical care while enrolled at Brown. Therefore, all newly registered students, including those on traveling-scholar status, will be automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Participation in SHIP is mandatory. However, students may waive enrollment in SHIP if they are covered by a comparable health insurance plan. Learn more about SHIP and the health insurance wavier.
Many doctoral students who are financially supported by the University will automatically be granted a health insurance subsidy and do not need to submit an application for one unless the subsidy does not appear on their University bill. All other students can apply for the subsidy through the Graduate School; students supported by outside fellowships or grants to conduct research and attend classes will be given the highest priority. Normally students who are not receiving support from Brown or from outside fellowships or grants will not receive the health insurance subsidy. Subsidy applications will be reviewed on an individual basis.
Insured students may enroll their eligible dependent(s) in the Student Health Insurance Plan at an additional cost. Learn more about dependent eligibility and enrollment.
Graduate students who are covered by another comparable health insurance plan are urged to waive the University plan. Choosing the waiver enables the Graduate School to use its resources to cover those without access to another plan. If students waive the University plan and are eligible for the subsidy, they will receive a buyout distributed through the student account system. Students can find out if they were automatically enrolled in the University plan by checking their student account statement for a "Health Insurance Fee." To learn more about how to waive the University plan, and necessary deadlines, contact the Office of Insurance & Risk at Brown_Insurance_Office@brown.edu or (401) 863-9481.
Students who choose coverage through both the University's health insurance plan and an alternate plan should be aware that the University plan includes a "Coordination of Benefits" provision. A student may want to contact his or her other insurance company to inquire about a similar provision in that plan. "Double coverage" may affect the timely processing of claims between the two plans.
It's important for students to protect their personal property (stereos, cameras, calculators, personal computers, clothes, books, and furniture), and Graduate students are responsible for purchasing their own personal property insurance; the University does not provide insurance coverage for these items, even if these items are used at a Brown facility for research or other academic activities.
Students are advised to be proactive in order to reduce the frustration and inconvenience resulting either from theft or from damage caused by unanticipated accidents. For computers, the best way to minimize the disruption is to maintain regular backups of critical data. These backups should not be kept in the same location as the computer. A loss due to a water leak, for example, could potentially damage both the computer and the backup. Students should keep an inventory of their property, complete with serial numbers, as a way to prove ownership in the event they need to file a claim with an insurance company.
For additional safety tips, including information about how to register your computer and bicycle, visit the Department of Public Safety’s Crime Prevention Unit website.