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Environmental Health and Safety

Property Insurance

Is there Coverage?

From time to time the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and Risk Management Services receives calls from the University community questioning the existence of insurance coverage for property losses. The following is dedicated to addressing some of the more commonly asked questions.

The Policy:

Property OWNED by the State of Florida (UNF) is insured, under the provisions of Florida Statutes Chapters 284 and 287, by the Florida Fire Insurance Trust Fund. The Trust Fund, established by the Department of Insurance, administers the self-insurance program for all State agencies.  It is the policy of UNF to follow instructions for valuation methodology as defined on the following link:

Several commonly asked questions regarding coverage:

  1. Theft coverage
    There is (at present) no coverage by the Trust Fund for theft. The one probable exception to this exclusion applies to conditions where a facility may have been FIRST damaged by fire or windstorm, and as a direct consequence it was impossible to secure the facility and its contents.
  2. Water damage
    Damage to your building must FIRST have been caused by an occurrence such as windstorm or fire. if, as a direct consequence of such damage water enters your building and damages your department's equipment, THEN coverage applies.
    No coverage is available for property losses caused by water that backs up from sewers, drains, broken pipes and other maintenance related occurrences. However, limited coverage Of $500,000.00 is provided for each building damaged by FLOOD.
    Under the terms of the policy, flood is defined as "general or temporary condition of partial of complete inundation of normally dry land areas".
  3. Personal books and collectibles
    Although your personal property may kept in your department and may be used in the fulfillment of your job tasks, there is no coverage provided by the Trust Fund for damage to your personal property.
  4. Computer programs and data
    Coverage is available for computers and commercially purchased software. However the Trust Fund will, generally, reimburse your department ONLY for the value of unexposed media (tape, film, disk etc.)

Filing a Property Loss Claim

University departments are eligible for reimbursement, for the actual cash value at the time of the loss, for property damaged by one or more of the perils covered by the Florida Fire Insurance Trust Fund. Reimbursement from the Trust Fund is contingent on compliance with the specific procedure for filing a claim.

As soon as conditions allow, you must conduct a thorough documentation of damages. Documentation should be carried out using still photos that show as much detail as possible. Videotape is extremely helpful, HOWEVER be sure to use adequate natural or artificial lighting.

If you choose to document losses by videotaping, move (pan) very slowly and be sure to capture as many angles and perspectives that show the extent and examples of the damage.

NOTE: It is a also good idea to maintain photographic documentation of your department's property prior to any loss. A panoramic photograph helps you identify the various pieces and their location, while equipment specific photographs form an important part of your file for specialized and valuable equipment.

In addition to photographic documentation, the following information is mandatory:

  1. An assessment of the condition of the property immediately prior to the loss, and the cost to replace the property with equipment "of like kind and quality".
  2. In the case of partial damage to equipment, where this damage is not immediately evident to someone unfamiliar with the equipment, you must provide an explanation of function of the parts damaged. A highlighted photocopy from the manual will meet this requirement. (Keep your manuals!)
  3. The purchase orders that were issued to vendors, at the time of purchase. In the case of equipment that required installation, labor costs must be separated from the equipment cost on documentation submitted.
  4. The Controller's Payment Register or Voucher Schedule highlighting the amount actually paid to the vendor
  5. The invoices from vendors showing the purchase cost and date of purchase for any item claimed.

NOTE: When the replacement for damaged property arrive, items 3 - 5 must also be provided for these new purchases.

While these requirements may appear somewhat burdensome, EH&S must satisfy each one for each claim filed with the Trust Fund. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding maintenance of records which may be required, should your department sustain a covered loss. Content loss report forms can be printed from this website to facilitate the filing of your claim.