Mobile/Movable Property & Equipment Program

In most instances, University-owned property and equipment are not automatically insured when away from a Harvard owned and controlled campus buildings, due to the unique exposures associated with items that may be mobile or installed at non-controlled locations. When only modest values are at risk, individual departments are encouraged to create an internal funding plan for loss or damage to this class of property. For larger values or groups that desire to use commercial insurance instead of self-insurance, the Risk Financing and Insurance department has created a program that specifically addresses the exposures particular to property that is not permanently affixed to or situated inside a Harvard-controlled building.

Program Summary: The Mobile/Movable Property & Equipment Program is available to cover eligible property that is expected to move about, between, or off of Harvard’s campus(es); property that is normally used, affixed, or stored outdoors; or property which is kept at a location Harvard occupies but does not control (i.e. research lab at another institution). The program is intended to supplement the coverage granted within the University's Master Property Insurance Program, provides coverage on an all-risk basis, and pays the cost of repairing or replacing covered property which experiences direct physical loss or damage from covered events, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.

The program can also cover property and equipment while in transit, including shipments by freight and common carriers, using virtually any transport mode within the United States, over coastal or international waters, while in storage during transit, and for temporary in-the-field use between shipping legs.

Eligibility: Virtually any type of Harvard-owned property or equipment, such as scientific, research, IT, imaging, electronic, mechanical gear, etc. not permanently located inside a Harvard owned and controlled building is eligible for coverage under the program. Property of others that the University has rented, leased, or borrowed is also eligible for coverage under the program if Harvard has a contractual obligation to insure while it is in the University’s custody and control. Semi-permanent items, whether installed outdoors or indoors, such as inflatable/collapsible structures, signs, billboards, towers/antennae, and fences are also eligible. Please note that leased vehicles, art, sculptures, special collection items, animals, biologic materials, food, perishables, and the like are not eligible for coverage. Also, items being shipped to/from or located in an OFAC sanctioned country are not eligible for coverage.

For property to be eligible for coverage while in transit, the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • The items must be packed for transit by qualified personnel in appropriate packaging designed to minimize loss or damage during shipment;
  • For individual items valued in excess of $50,000, documentation of the condition of the items at the time of packing (digital images are preferred) must be kept by the TUB responsible for the property. For sensitive electronic and scientific equipment, this shall include an attestation the equipment was in good working order [such documentation to be made available upon request by the Risk Financing and Insurance department in the event of a loss];
  • Duration of any in-the-field use or extended storage (>30 days between shipping legs) expected must be disclosed at time of coverage enrollment;
  • Over-the-side (in-water) use coverage may be available but will require separate underwriting and additional information. Any planned over-the-side deployment must be disclosed at time of enrollment, even if coverage for such is not being requested;
  • Individual shipments with replacement values >$500,000 require special underwriting information and confirmation before coverage is effective;

When transit coverage is secured through this program, any transit insurance offered by the shipper may be declined.

Coverage Description: The program pays the cost of repairing or replacing insured property that experiences direct physical loss or damage due to a wide range of causes, including but not limited to fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, riot, civil commotion, smoke, explosion, vandalism, theft, flood and earth movement (including earthquake and subsidence), and breakdown of mechanical equipment. The program may also assist with costs to expedite repair of damaged property as well as for necessary costs to protect property from further damage, subject to certain terms and conditions.

Significant Exclusions: The program does not cover loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by or resulting from:

  • mysterious disappearance or shortage found upon taking inventory;
  • wear and tear, gradual deterioration;
  • loss of use;
  • dishonest or criminal acts;
  • defective, weak, inadequate, faulty or unsound materials;
  • inherent failure of mechanical or internal functioning of equipment;
  • governmental action (loss resulting from the seizure, confiscation, quarantine or destruction of the insured’s property by order of a governmental authority);
  • war and military action (loss caused by war whether declared or not, insurrections, and civil wars);
  • loss arising out of acts of terrorism outside the United States

Important Terms and Conditions:

  • the coverage limit applicable to any individual item equals the replacement value filed with the Risk Financing and Insurance department at time of enrollment unless updated (see below);
  • coverage will be automatically renewed (and billed) annually until affirmatively canceled by the property owner (this is not the case for coverage requests that include specified end dates). At each renewal anniversary, the property owner is responsible to verify/update the replacement value of property insured under this program;
  • no coverage for mobile/movable property or equipment when removed from its “home” location unless declared to the Risk Financing and Insurance department in advance;
  • minimum program deductible is $1,000; higher deductibles may apply depending on a property’s insurable value at time of reporting

Enrollment Procedure: Harvard schools, departments, or affiliates wishing to obtain a quotation for or purchase the coverage under this program must submit a Mobile Property & Transit Insurance coverage request through our Online Risk Management System.

Because individual Harvard departments retain ultimate responsibility for loss or damage to property it owns or is under its control, we strongly suggest submitting your request through the above linked system at least two weeks prior to your desired coverage effective date to ensure the necessary insurance is in place. Property with an insurable value >$500,000 or which represents an unusual risk may require extra time to complete additional underwriting analysis and/or perform a loss prevention review.

Claims Procedures: If property or equipment covered under this program is damaged or lost, the School, Administrative Unit or Department that completed the enrollment form must:

  1. Take all reasonable actions necessary to protect the property from further loss or damage and keep a record of the expense incurred in doing so;
  2. Notify local law enforcement if there is evidence that any law may have been broken (e.g. evidence of theft, vandalism, or malicious act);
  3. Take digital photographs of any damaged items, including packaging, prior to beginning any clean-up, restoration or undertaking emergency repairs process and retain them as documentation of the loss;
  4. Notify the Risk Financing and Insurance department as soon as possible after taking the above steps and prior to undertaking any non-emergency repairs. Notification of loss or potential loss may be submitted by completing the claim reporting form on the Risk Financing and Insurance department’s Online Risk Management System.  Extended delay in notice may result in limited or no coverage.