Personal Property Losses
The State's Policy on Personal Property Losses
- The State Insurance Trust Fund covers the State's interest in and will pay for direct physical loss of, or damage to, all real and personal property that is:
- Owned by the State,
- In which the State has an insurable interest, or for
- Improvements and betterments, that:
- were made a part of the building or structure you occupy but do not own; and
- you acquired or made at your expense but cannot legally remove;
- The State Insurance Trust Fund will cover the State's interest in and will pay for direct physical loss of, or damage to property for which the State may be liable by law or under contract. (e.g., property that was under the University's "care, custody, and control" such as collections or artwork on loan to the University).
Under what circumstance is personal property covered by State insurance?
Typically, personal property is not covered by State insurance unless the loss is considered to be caused by negligence on the part of the University or if the University should have had the foresight to prevent the occurrence.
Each case is determined on the merits of the claim. In determining negligence, it is dependent on the "duty owed" to the person making the claim. For personal property such as faculty-owned research, teaching materials, etc., the University only "owes" a place to put a person's belongings. They or their department must take the extra step, at their or their department's expense, to secure the property if they consider it to be highly valuable. If the duty owed has been breached and there is resulting damage, an investigative interpretation would need to be made to determine if the University was negligent or should have had the foresight to prevent the occurrence. If it was determined by the State that the University was negligent or should have had the foresight to prevent the occurrence, the State would pay the claim.
How can one recoup any losses to personal property kept at work?
University employees should insure their personal property under their homeowners' policy. Homeowners insurance typically is "no-fault" and will pay for losses to personal property anywhere in the world.
Are books, papers, maps, etc. that I use to teach with, considered insurable by the State?
No, they would not be covered by State insurance if they are personal property. Only if they are owned by the University, are they an insurable loss.
Is water damage to personal property caused by flooding considered insurable by the State?
No. Water damage caused by flooding, either flowing or seeping through foundations, walls, floors or paved surfaces, basements (paved or not) and doors, windows or other openings, is not insurable by the State.
How do I file a Tort Claim?
A Notice of Claim Form must be completed by the claimant wishing to file a Tort Claim. This form, with instructions, can be found online on the Dept. of Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk website at: https://www.essr.umd.edu or by calling the Insurance Coordinator at (301) 405-3964.