By David Wilhite
Every self-storage facility owner/operator is subject to litigation from tenants who have suffered damage to their goods while in storage. Fortunately, our courts have generally held that one acceptable defense strategy is to offer customer storage insurance (CSI) to your tenants. That's why most savvy self-storage operators offer a CSI program, which can help reduce or eliminate a major insurance exposure while providing a valuable service to tenants. By making CSI available, you can help reduce the likelihood of litigation for damages to your tenants' stored goods.
What exactly is customer storage insurance? It is an insurance policy specifically designed for tenants, the customers of self-storage facilities. It typically provides short-term, low-cost coverage for specified perils, such as fire, hail, wind, lightning and other covered causes of loss. It usually also provides a limited amount of burglary coverage. (Note that while most homeowners' policies will provide a limited amount of off-premises coverage, most self-storage tenants are transient by nature and do not have homeowners' policies). CSI can protect your tenants' stored goods while ensuring your peace of mind. By simply making CSI available, you can help reduce the threat of litigation for damages to your tenants' stored goods.
It Pays to Know the Facts About CSI
Fact: All self-storage facility owners/operators are subject to litigation from tenants who have suffered damage to their goods while in storage.
Fact: One of the key elements in any legal defense against claims of negligence or liability (on the part of the operator) is whether or not customer storage insurance was made available to the tenant while he was renting storage space.
Fact: Today's judges are more likely to uphold the exculpatory provisions contained in your self-storage rental agreement when you make CSI available to your tenants.
Fact: There are precedent-setting court cases in which the self-storage operator was found to be not liable for damage to a customer's goods because CSI was made available.
Fact: Customer storage insurance must be considered a necessity and should be made available to every tenant.
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 that typically range from $2,000 to $20,000, and polices can generally be written or renewed in three- or six-month periods. Standard covered perils generally include fire, lightning, smoke, burglary, water leaks, hurricane, explosion, tornado, building collapse, wind, hail, earthquake and vandalism.
No matter how large or small your self-storage facility may be, securing adequate coverage is essential for protecting your business and your peace of mind.
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 ensure your peace of mind. Universal's program is professionally staffed and underwritten by Ranger Insurance, one of the industry's top carriers. The company's CSI coverage may be purchased at any time by new and existing tenants, and there is no cost, paperwork or program maintenance for you. A sample of the actual CSI policy with exact terms and conditions is available upon request. For more information, call (800) 844-2101. Note: Universal does not offer CSI in Florida or Kentucky.