Self-Storage Tenant-Insurance Law Now in Effect in Minnesota

A new law that grants self-storage operators the ability to sell tenant insurance to their customers went into effect in Minnesota on Aug. 1. The measure has been called a “landmark” piece of legislation by the national Self Storage Association (SSA) because it’s the first state law to grant the sale of tenant-insurance policies without the administration of a limited-lines licensing program, SSA officials said in an e-mail newsletter.

A new law that grants self-storage operators the ability to sell tenant insurance to their customers went into effect in Minnesota on Aug. 1. The measure has been called a “landmark” piece of legislation by the national Self Storage Association (SSA) because it’s the first state law to grant the sale of tenant-insurance policies without the administration of a limited-lines licensing program, SSA officials said in an e-mail newsletter.

The Minnesota Self Storage Association and SSA lobbied for House Bill 177, which specifically exempts self-storage operators from sections 60K.30 to 60K.56 of the state’s general insurance requirements with respect to the sale of insurance. While self-storage businesses can now offer insurance, they must “submit a written form notifying officials of the their intent to offer tenant insurance and the locations where they will be offering it,” wrote Tim Dietz, chief operating officer of the SSA, in a column that appeared in the June edition of SSA’s “The Globe” magazine.

The law also specifies the business owner is responsible for the actions of employees selling the insurance, and marketing must comply with state regulations regarding insurance. Coverage is limited to “personal property insurance that provides coverage to occupants at the self-service storage facility at which the insurance is transacted, for the loss of or damage to stored personal property that occurs at that facility,” according to the bill.

The bill passed the house 127-0 on May 7 and the senate 63-1 on May 12. Gov. Mark Dayton signed it into law on May 15.

Minnesota updated its self-storage lien law last year by removing the enforcement of liens from under the state’s warehouse lien laws. The law also allows for tenant-delinquency notices to be sent 10 days after default by Certified Mail or e-mail, as long as the tenant has provided written consent. In addition, the measure made changes to the lien-sale timeline and publication requirements.

The SSA is actively working with state associations on insurance bills in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to Dietz, who said that more than 65 percent of self-storage facilities across the nation now have “a clear, regulated path” to offer tenant insurance.

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