File an Insurance Claim
The Bureau of Finance and Risk Management (FARM) manages Commonwealth’s self-insurance programs and contracts for any additional third-party insurance as may be required by state agencies and state system universities. FARM also reviews, investigates, adjudicates and, as appropriate, pays tort claims and lawsuits against the Commonwealth and employees in accordance with Act 152 of 1978, which defines instances when the Commonwealth waives its right to sovereign immunity under the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
Claims for damages to Commonwealth-owned property
All Commonwealth-owned property, when damaged or destroyed by fire, flood or other casualty, is the subject to claims from the State Insurance Fund. The term “property” includes all buildings, equipment, furniture, or supplies purchased with Commonwealth funds. Property does not include leased items. Agencies leasing items should consider including insurance as part of the contracted lease cost or purchasing third-party insurance through FARM. Agencies are liable for the repair and replacement costs for damaged or lost leased property not covered by insurance.
For agencies suffering a property loss, the following guidelines govern what will be covered and how it is reimbursed:
- A loss must be $1,000, or greater to be eligible.
- The cause of the loss must be a covered peril, such as fire, flood, vandalism, theft, lightning, wind, earthquake, etc.
- The State Insurance Fund will pay for damages to Commonwealth-owned property and contents from $1 to $1 million.
- There are no deductibles under the State Insurance Fund with the exception of theft, which has a $5,000 deductible.
- Claims over $1 million are covered through the Commonwealth’s excess property insurance policy, which has a $1 million deductible, payable from the State Insurance Fund.
- The excess property insurance policy is limited to losses not to exceed $1 billion.
- Claims paid from the State Insurance Fund or the excess property insurance policy are made under the premise of repair, replace or restore to like-condition at the time of the loss. Improvements or betterments are not covered.
- Losses should be reported to FARM within 24 hours of the incident. Claims not reported within one year of the loss incident date are not eligible for reimbursement.
Losses not covered:
- Leased buildings
- Leased equipment such as copiers, computers, printers, etc. owned by others
- Damage as a result of environmental issues
- Commonwealth-owned vehicles or privately-owned vehicles
- Certain damage as a result of a maintenance issues (Example: If a pipe breaks due to age, and water leaks on office equipment, the State Insurance Fund will not pay for the repairs to the pipe, but will cover the contents that were damaged due to water damage.)
- Regular time pay or salary for Commonwealth employees performing related remediation work is not covered. If overtime is required, the State Insurance Fund will reimburse for overtime expenses.
- If an outside contractor is used for remediation, labor and overtime incurred by that contractor are recoverable.
In the event of a loss, agencies are required to submit to FARM a statement of the event and outlining the extent of the property damage. Copies of all related purchase orders, receipts, quotes, overtime expenses, etc. will be required as documentation. If deemed a covered loss, FARM will work with the Governor's Office of the Budget and the Board of Commissioners of Public Grounds and Buildings to obtain requisite approvals for reimbursement. The process generally takes 45-60 days from the date the claim is received.
For additional information, please contact FARM at (717) 787-2492.
Damages to Commonwealth-owned vehicles Caused by Third-Parties
For any claim involving a Commonwealth-owned vehicle where damage is caused by third-party, FARM partners with the Bureau of Vehicle Management and the Commonwealth agency responsible for the vehicle to obtain repair estimates. The estimates are submitted to the other party’s insurance carrier for reimbursement to the Commonwealth. FARM also negotiates on behalf of the Commonwealth to recover any additional property damage losses.
Note: FARM does not handle subrogation efforts on the behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the State System of Higher Education. These agencies have their own subrogation units which will handle damage to vehicles and property, e.g. guardrails, road signs, bridges, etc.
For additional information regarding Commonwealth-owned vehicles accidents, contact the Bureau of Vehicle Management, Claims Division at RA-GSBVMCLAIMSDIV@pa.gov or (877) 347-9966 option #5.