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Preventive Maintenance Agreements (PMAs) for Insurance Coverage of Temperature Controlled Units

Preventive Maintenance Agreements (PMAs) for Insurance Coverage of Temperature Controlled Units

Malfunctioning cooling units can result in catastrophic losses of high value research material. For information about preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of losses, please refer to the Loss Prevention Protocols for Temperature Controlled Units. These protocols must be in place to qualify for insurance coverage in the event of a malfunction.

As part of these protocols, Preventative Maintenance Agreements (PMAs) are required for all units covered by insurance. Please arrange to have all units inspected, and preventative maintenance done, on an annual basis. Since the University is covering the cost of insurance, we ask that you cover the cost of annual preventative maintenance. In the event of a loss, evidence of a PMA that was in effect at the time of the loss will be required in order to process an insurance claim. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: Can PMAs be informal or verbal agreements to maintain units?
No, PMAs must be in writing to qualify for insurance coverage.

Q2: Can staff from the department that owns or operates the cooling unit conduct preventive maintenance?
No, departmental maintenance is not a substitute for a signed PMA.  

Q3: Which PMA providers are acceptable?
Acceptable providers include:

  • Automated Mechanical (801) 807-8644
  • Any outside (non-U) vendor (per procurement guidelines, the total annual payments to any one vendor by a U department may not exceed $5,000)
  • A cooling unit manufacturer representative under a preventive maintenance plan

Q4: What are the required elements of a qualifying PMA?
Annual Preventive Maintenance consists of, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Comply with all manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Inspect, test and change the batteries in the continuous monitoring alarm system unit
  • Inspect electrical connections
  • Inspect and clean the door gaskets
  • Inspect refrigeration systems
  • Inspect controls for proper operation
  • Temperature check and calibration
  • Place a sticker on the unit with the date the PM service was performed
  • Written report on each unit including the following:

• Assurance that the freezer is operating normally (temperatures within range, no abnormal noises or frost buildup, etc.)
• Assessment of door seal / gaskets and hinge & latching mechanisms.
• Assessment of minimum clearances around exterior of equipment as specified by the manufacturer (to ensure adequate airflow.)
• Certification of the status of any air filters.
• Certification that the coils, ventilation grills are clean and free from damage.
• Certification that fan blades (where present) are clean, free from damage and operate properly.
• Certification that the battery meets functional testing.
• Assessment of the frost situation (interior)
• Assurance that the thermostat is calibrated.
• Assessment of electrical connection (frayed or loose wiring, use of extension cords, etc.)
• For freezers with LN2/CO2 backup systems, assurance that the backup system is functional. 

If you have further questions about this new PMA requirement, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Research at (801) 581-7236.  If your questions relate to insurance specifically, please call University Risk & Insurance Services at (801) 581-5590.

Last Updated: 6/30/22