Successful storage facilities have evolved to provide more than just space; they offer solutions to their customers’ need for storage under multiple circumstances. Twenty years ago, most facilities simply rented out space and maybe sold locks. Today, facilities sell services and products such as truck rental, packing materials, mailboxes, wine storage, tenant insurance and a variety of other specialized offerings.
Operators who have invested the time to understand the unique needs of their clients most often make insurance coverage available for goods in storage. After all, if it’s worth storing, it’s probably worth insuring!
If you’re not a believer, consider this: It’s 8:30 a.m. and you’ve just arrived at your facility to find 36 locks have been cut and all contents in the units burglarized. Those customers with insurance will be easily dealt with, but those without insurance will not and will most likely be very unhappy. Which calls would you prefer to make?
Although an insurance broker cannot likely provide any worthwhile advice on what packaging materials or locks will work best, he can provide guidance on how to make available insurance products to suit your customers’ needs. There are some customized insurance programs for self-storage, but not all insurance brokers have access to them or the expertise to explain or administer them effectively.
Understanding the Issues
It’s unfortunate that so many facility operators are unaware of what insurance products are available and, as a result, storage customers may experience an unexpected financial loss (claim). This is the last scenario in which a storage operator wants to find himself. It’s for this reason among others that content insurance was developed close to three decades ago.
In many cases, facilities have not offered a solution because they do not fully understand the issue. Many operators believe customers can easily obtain insurance protection through their home-insurance policies. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. The reality is only some companies offer insurance for contents in storage, with coverage ranging from very restrictive to very broad. Another common scenario is storage customers who are between residences and no longer have a home-insurance policy in place.