This weekend New York Governor David Paterson signed into law Senate Bill 7118, which allows self-storage operators to obtain a specialty license so they can offer point-of-rent tenant insurance to customers.
The law marks a legislative victory for the self-storage industry in the state, as a similar bill was vetoed by Paterson last year. The last version of the bill raised concerns regarding consumer protection, which have since been remedied.
The license gives storage operators the legal authority to offer contents insurance to tenants, collect premiums, and be paid a commission by the insurance company. Unlicensed operators can display mail-order insurance brochures from authorized insurance companies at their facilities; however, they cannot collect sales commissions unless they hold a valid license.
Backed by the national Self Storage Association and supported by the New York Self Storage Association, the bill has been in progress for three years. The law will go into effect once the Department of Insurance develops regulations to govern the issuance of the limited licenses. The SSA expects this to happen in February, and then self-storage operators may begin to apply for the license.
Eleven other states have a law or policies that provide for similar specialty-insurance licensing.