Protect Yourself Against Litigation
By David Wilhite
As you may know, every self-storage facility operator may be subject to litigation from tenants who have suffered damage to their goods. The good news for facility owners is that courts have generally held that facility operators cannot be held liable for damages as long as they have made customer storage insurance (CSI) available to their tenants. That's why most savvy self-storage operators offer a CSI insurance program, which can reduce or eliminate a major insurance exposure at zero cost to you while providing a valuable service to your tenants.
CSI can protect your tenants' stored goods while ensuring your peace of mind. By simply making CSI available, you can virtually eliminate the threat of litigation for damages to your tenants' stored goods. Remember, if your facility does not offer CSI, you could be held liable for negligence and/or damages to customers' goods.
It Pays to Know the Facts About CSI
Fact: Every self-storage facility operator is subject to litigation from tenants who have suffered damage to their goods.
Fact: The key element in any legal defense against claims of negligence or liability (on the part of the operator) is whether or not CSI was made available to the tenant while renting.
Fact: Tenants don't sue the facility operator for losses or damages when they can sue the operator's insurance company.
Fact: Today's judges are far more likely to uphold limits of liability contained in a self-storage rental agreement when CSI is offered to customers.
Fact: There are precedent-setting court cases in which the self-storage operator was found not liable for damage to a customer's goods, because CSI was made available.
Fact: CSI must be considered a necessity and must be made available at every self-storage facility.
Protect Yourself With Customer Storage Insurance
It is vitally important that customer storage insurance (CSI) be made available to your tenants in order to reduce your exposure to claims of negligence from those persons who have suffered damage to their stored goods. Universal Insurance Facilities Ltd. provides low-cost, A-rated CSI that will protect your tenants' stored goods as well as ensuring your peace of mind. Universal's program is professionally staffed and underwritten by one of the industry's top carriers, and there is no cost, no paperwork and no program maintenance for you.
For more information, contact William Mattern, Universal's Self-Storage program manager, at (800) 844-2101.
What Does Storage Insurance Cover?
The availability of a comprehensive CSI policy is the easy, low-cost way to protect your tenants' stored goods from loss or damage from a wide variety of perils. Tenants' valuables can be protected for amounts usually ranging from $2,500 to $20,000, and polices can typically be written or renewed in three-month, six-month or 12-month periods. Standard covered perils generally include fire, lightning, smoke, burglary, water leaks, hurricane, explosion, tornado, building collapse, wind, hail, earthquake and vandalism.
David Wilhite is the marketing manager of Universal Insurance Facilities Ltd. Universal offers a complete package of coverages specifically designed to meet the needs of the self-storage industry, including loss of income, employee dishonesty, comprehensive business liability, hazardous-contents removal and customer storage. For more information, contact Universal at Box 5400, Scottsdale AZ 85261-9957; phone (800) 844-2101; fax (602) 970-6240; Web site www.vpico.com/universal.