How to Choose a Self-Storage Tenant-Insurance Program That Pays: A Guide for Facility Operators

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It’s wise to research tenant-insurance providers to identify their financial stability, so be sure to consider the underwriter’s A.M. Best Co. or Moody’s credit rating. You also may want to ask for claims references. Customers who experience a loss and then feel slighted during the claims process often turn to the facility for answers. Choosing an insurance provider with an excellent claims reputation represents a service for your tenants and a benefit for your facility.

Formula for Success

The self-storage operations that experience the highest level of success in offering pay-with-rent tenant insurance generally share a number of characteristics:

  • Customers perceive value in the coverages offered
  • Range of premiums and coverage limits
  • Low or no deductible
  • Benefits for the facility
  • Customized training by insurance provider
  • Commitment by ownership/management to offer insurance to all tenants
  • Require customers to provide evidence of insurance to comply with the lease
  • Ongoing training to reinforce the culture
  • Underwritten by a carrier with a strong financial rating
  • Excellent reputation for handling claims

One of the most important factors influencing customer participation in a tenant-insurance program is already in place: your staff. Facility managers should be appropriately trained to offer the insurance program to customers and explain that their stored belongings are not insured by the facility. There also must be a culture within the facility to reinforce the training among the staff and ensure coverage is offered to every new customer at the time of leasing. Current customers who haven’t purchased insurance should be reminded regularly that coverage is available.

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a tenant-insurance program, but it’s certainly worth your time to find the program that will provide the best value for your customers and the most opportunity for your facility to earn revenue.

Keith McConnell is the vice president of business development for Phoenix-based MiniCo Insurance Agency LLC, which provides  specialty programs for self-storage businesses including property-casualty insurance and tenant-insurance programs. For more information, call 800.447.8383; e-mail customercare@minico.com.

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