Recovering From Natural Disaster: Self-Storage Operators and Customers Bounce Back Quicker With Tenant Insurance

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A Plan in Place and Claims Filing

Of course, Mother Nature isn’t the only cause of disasters and worries, as the people of Louisiana know from experience. Another storage facility in Baton Rouge lost more than half of its 800 units to a massive fire in 2009. Thankfully, it had a well-supported insurance program in place for its tenants. More than 200 claims were settled over the Labor Day weekend.

Those who have experienced catastrophes say that even though it’s impossible to prevent such unexpected events, if there is a plan in place when the fire alarm gets triggered or the hurricane siren sounds, you are much more likely to recover quickly from disasters, minimize financial loss, and retain tenant good will. The best way to guarantee a smooth claim is to communicate what is expected from all the involved parties.

No one likes to hassle with a claim, but if your tenants follow these simple steps, it will make the process go a lot smoother for everyone. Share these steps with your customers:

1. Notify the manager of the storage facility, particularly if there is damage to the building.

2. Report break-ins to local police. Get the police report.

3. Make a list of what is damaged. Take pictures if you can. Be sure to include as much detail as you can, such as: make, model, year purchased, etc.

4. Secure your property, and protect it from sustaining further damage.

5. Contact the claims department of your tenant-insurance company.

The goal is to make claims processing as effortless as possible for tenants—and as secure, accurate and reliable as possible for owner-operators. When you have experienced insurance agents assessing needs, evaluating claims and cutting checks, it makes all the difference in the world for the self-storage owner and for tenants—especially those like the people of Louisiana, who have been through more than their share of bad times. Again and again, they have shown us how to overcome the worst and somehow turn it into something, well, super.

Jonathon Vogel is a senior account executive at Bader Co., a provider of insurance solutions for self-storage businesses and a fully licensed provider of tenant insurance. Vogel has a background in insurance and account management, having worked with commercial property management companies in building and grounds maintenance. For more information and a free “Now That You’re Insured” booklet, visit www.baderco.com .

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