Offering Tenant Insurance
There are several ways self-storage operators can offer tenant insurance. It can be purchased through a mail-in brochure, or managers can direct customers to a provider’s website. However, the most effective method is to offer customers a pay-with-rent program.
Most of the major providers of self-storage management software have a built-in insurance module that works with the various tenant-insurance programs. The software makes presenting tenant insurance easy and automatic. The payment is built into the rental program, making it seamless and convenient for you and your tenants.
The best time to discuss tenant insurance is while completing the lease during the move-in process. Each tenant-insurance vendor provides a tenant-responsibility addendum which, when properly employed with every move-in, helps customers understand their responsibility to provide insurance for their stored property―particularly that your facility’s insurance doesn’t extend coverage to customers’ stored goods.
The completed addendum on file will remind customers they were offered coverage at move-in. This can help protect your company in the event a claim is filed. Established case law better protects storage facilities that offer tenant insurance from damage claims arising from destroyed or stolen tenant property.
Covering Your Bases
Having a tenant-insurance program at your facility offers customers convenient, affordable, short-term coverage for personal property stored in a rented space. Your customers will appreciate you looking after their best interests. In addition, high customer participation complements your company’s risk-management program.
Keep in mind that self-storage personnel are not required to be a licensed insurance agent to offer tenant insurance because it’s incidental to your primary duties of renting self-storage. However, there are some states that require the storage group have a limited license.
With just average customer participation, a tenant-insurance program can equal real dollars added to the net operating income of your facility and, of course, an increase in the facility’s capitalization value.
David Rose is executive vice president and director of operations for Storage Property Protection, which offers tenant insurance programs. He has 20 years of experience in the self-storage industry managing, training and marketing. For more information, call 877.575.7774; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about self-storage tenant insurance, take advantage of the comprehensive education program at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo. Click here for details.