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How to File a Fire or Flood Claim

Learn how to file for insurance reimbursement when department-own property is damaged or destroyed in a fire or flood.

1. Report the fire or flood immediately afterwards.

Notify EH&S Risk Management, (858) 534-2454. Risk Management will:

  • Determine if the incident is covered
  • Send you a claim form.
    The paperwork and evidence you collect in the following steps will eventually be submitted with the claim form.


    Call the university's third-party administrator directly at 1-800-416-4029 to report a claim.
Note: The university's basic property flood insurance pays only for sudden and accidental discharge of water.

2. Record building and property damage.

  • Make a list of damaged or destroyed items.
  • Take pictures of all damage to the building and property.

3. Determine what's covered by insurance.

  • Read Basic Property Insurance to find out which items and costs are covered.
  • Note these exclusions:
    • Personal property is not covered unless officially loaned to the university.
    • Research is not reimbursable.
    • Moving costs are not covered.
    • Repair or replacement of the source of the damage is not reimbursable.
    • The cost of material only — not the time put into it — is covered.
  • Keep track of covered costs that are incurred after the fire or flood, including (but not limited to):
    • Overtime pay (regular time is not covered)
    • Storage fees
    • Demolition costs

4. Prove damaged items are University property.

  • Collect the following paperwork:
    • Original purchase orders
    • Inventory listings
  • Write a statement describing the effort to locate purchase orders or inventory listings that can't be found.

5. Repair or replace damaged items.

  • Repair the item:
    • Obtain a repair quote from a vendor.
      Note: Contact EH&S Risk Management, (858) 534-2454, before authorizing the repair if repairing will cost more than a new item.
    • Have the item repaired.
  • Follow these steps if an item can't be repaired:
    • Request a letter from the vendor verifying that the property is too damaged to be repaired.
      Note: Only items that can't be repaired will be replaced.
    • Replace the item with equivalent property. If the replacement is of better quality, the department must pay the difference.
  • If property is not replaced or repaired, the department will receive the item's actual cash value. Values are determined by Risk Management and adjusted for depreciation.
  • Note the following costs:
    • Departments are responsible for a deductible of $5,000 per fire or flood. Prorated deductibles apply when several departments are involved.
    • For claims worth more than $50,000, the department must pay 10% of costs over $50,000. These expenses can be split with other departments affected by the loss.

6. Submit claim forms by the required deadline.

  • Send your claim form and paperwork to Risk Management within 45 days of claim initiation:
    • Mail Code: 0925
    • Fax: (858) 534-5202
  • Contact EH&S Risk Management to request an extension if you can't meet the 45-day deadline.
  • Expect claim processing to take a few months because of the following factors:
    • Several departments are usually involved; final costs and paperwork from all parties must be submitted to Risk Management before the claim can be processed.
    • After review by Risk Management, the claim is sent to the Office of the President – Risk Management for review within 30 days. If approved, funding occurs within 2 months.
    • If an outside vendor is responsible, funding could be delayed even longer.

7. Get approval before disposing of damaged property.

For more information, contact EH&S Risk Management, (858) 534-2454.