What is property insurance?

Property insurance

Property insurance

This overview of University property insurance is intended to assist University administrators in determining their unit’s insurance needs and describes the procedure to follow. We hope you will circulate this information to members of your unit and keep a hard copy for future reference.

What is insured?

General contents, including equipment, furnishings, permanently installed bookcases in buildings leased or owned by the University, are automatically insured against fire and water damage, if considered the property of McGill. Property is defined as that which has been donated to the University or purchased by the University Purchasing Department through an operating or research account.

The University is self-insured against loss of materials due to theft if theft occurs on University premises. Stolen equipment will be replaced by the Office of Corporate Planning and Analysis according to its guidelines. Please contact the University Planning Office for more information. This concerns only material belonging to the University, excluding any personal property whatsoever.

What needs special attention

  1. Property not belonging to the University but which is either loaned, rented, or borrowed, and which is under the responsibility of the University. This includes personal property of staff used in teaching or research, while on University premises. The use of these personal assets must be approved by the head of the unit.
  2. Property belonging to the University is used outside permanently or occasionally.
  3. Special property requiring special coverage, such as property donated to the University with insurance requirements.

Actions to take

The miscellaneous property insurance application form for all-risk insurance must be sent to Risk Management and Insurance (514-398-6251), and contain the following information.

  1. The brand, model, and serial number of the equipment
  2. Replacement values
  3. The address where the assets are located, if not at the University
  4. The person responsible for the material when it is outside the University
  5. Cover start and end dates
  6.  The account number is to be debited since this insurance coverage is a direct cost charged to the unit.

The risks insured

This is an all-risk insurance policy, including fire, water, willful damage, and theft (excluding normal wear and tear). The settlement of a claim is based on the value indicated at the time of issue of the insurance. It is therefore important to specify the replacement value from the start and to update it every year thereafter.

What is the cost

A minimum premium of $100 applies and the deductible per claim is $1,000.

A temporary cover can be attached. The minimum premium still applies.

What to do in case of disaster

On University property

  1. Call Campus Security.
  2. The Security Service will call the CUM police, if necessary.
  3. If the item is insured, immediately report the incident to Risk and Insurance Management to arrange a replacement.
  4. Stolen University-owned equipment may only be replaced with the approval of the University Planning Office.

Outside the University

  1. If there is insurance, contact the local police and get the police report number.
  2. Provide Risk Management and Insurance with all relevant information, including the police report number.

Personal property

Normally, the University does not insure the personal property of employees. When staff members use their property in the course of their activities at the university, they must ensure that their home insurance policy covers losses outside their residence. It is possible to obtain this coverage easily at a reasonable cost. The insurance brokers below are offering a discount to McGill staff for home and auto insurance.

ESSOR (formerly Lewis Apedaile & Hanson)

1080 Côte du Beaver Hall, suite 500

Montreal, Quebec H2Z 1X9

Tel. : 514-878-9373

Telfer International Inc.

511 Place d’Armes, suite 601

Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2W7

Tel. : 514-284-2002

TD Meloche Mennox

50, Place Crémazie, 12th floor Montreal

, QC H2P 1B6

Tel. : 514-384-1112

In certain circumstances, McGill University insures property that does not belong to it. This protection can be obtained at a direct cost to the unit requesting it and must be approved by the head of the unit. The following conditions apply:

  1. the insurance is not otherwise available;
  2. the article must be used solely for teaching and/or research.

Loss control

Loss control is defined as any conscious action taken to reduce the frequency, severity, or unpredictability of accidental losses.

Since losses cause disruption and cost, here is a shortlist of steps you can take to reduce the impact.


  • Ensure equipment is kept in locked rooms where possible. It is recommended to restrict access or keep an entry log.
  • Cover fragile and high-value equipment with a plastic sleeve to protect it from water damage. Where possible, install a tray ceiling.
  • Never stack books on the floor, store them on shelves instead. Better protection is achieved by removing documents from desk surfaces and storing them in desk drawers or filing cabinets at the end of the day.
  • Keep a backup copy of computer files off the premises.
  • Keep petty cash in a safety deposit box built into a filing cabinet, which tends to discourage attempted theft.
  • Attach pictures securely to the walls as an added precaution.
  • Have equipment and other valuables engraved, which may impede the resale of stolen goods, and help police identify and return stolen goods to their owners.
  • Report suspicious individuals and facts to the Security Service to allow them to investigate.


Although our insurers do not require an inventory when arranging coverage, they encourage us to do so. Not only can the inventory be used to determine the total values ​​to be insured, but it is also very useful when replacing equipment after a disaster.

The University has the burden of proving its losses when an accident occurs, and we must, therefore, submit a detailed list of equipment and furnishings to the insurers after a claim. Keeping up-to-date lists speeds up the resolution of claims.

All inventory lists should be sent to Risk Management and Insurance (514-398-6251) for information. They should include a brief description of each item: make, model, serial number, replacement value, and whereabouts. Let’s work together to adequately protect the assets placed under our responsibility.

By aamritri

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