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Customer Storage InsuranceProtecting Yourself Against Litigation

January 1, 1999

3 Min Read
Customer Storage InsuranceProtecting Yourself Against Litigation

Customer Storage Insurance

Protecting Yourself Against Litigation

By David Wilhite

As you mayknow, every self-storage facility operator may be subject to litigation from tenants whohave suffered damage to their goods. The good news for facility owners is that our courtshave generally held that facility operators cannot be held liable for damages as long asthey have made customer storage insurance (CSI) available to their tenants. That's whymost savvy self-storage operators offer a CSI insurance program, which can help reduce oreliminate a major insurance exposure at zero cost to you while providing a valuableservice to your tenants.

What exactly is CSI insurance? It is an insurance policy specifically designed fortenants of self-storage facilities. It provides short-term, low-cost coverage forspecified perils such as fire, hail, wind, lightning and other covered causes of loss.Normally, it also provides a limited amount of burglary coverage. Note that while mosthomeowner policies will provide a limited amount of off-premises coverage, mostself-storage tenants are transient by nature and do not have homeowners policies.

CSI insurance can protect your tenants' stored goods while ensuring your peace of mind.By simply making CSI insurance available, you can help eliminate the threat of litigationfor damages to your tenants' stored goods. Remember, if your facility does not offer CSI,you could be held liable for negligence and/or damages to customers' goods.

It Pays to Know the Facts About Customer Storage Insurance

Fact: Every self-storage facility operator is subject to litigation from tenantswho have suffered damage to their goods.

Fact: The key element in any legal defense against claims of negligence orliability (on the part of the operator) is whether or not CSI insurance was made availableto the tenant while renting.

Fact: Tenants don't sue the facility operator for losses or damages when theycan sue the operator's insurance company.

Fact: Today's judges are far more likely to uphold limits of liability containedin a self-storage rental agreement when CSI insurance is offered to customers.

Fact: There are precedent-setting court cases in which the self-storage operatorwas found to be not liable for damage to a customer's goods because CSI insurance was madeavailable.

Fact: Customer storage insurance should be considered a necessity and must bemade available at every self-storage facility.

Tip: Low-cost CSI insurance provides peace of mind for you and yourtenants. Why risk the hassle and expense of litigation when you can protect yourself andyour facility so simply?

What Does Storage Insurance Cover?

The availability of a comprehensive CSI insurance policy is the easy, low-cost way toprotect your tenant's stored goods from loss or damage from a wide variety of perils.Tenants valuables can be protected for amounts usually ranging from $2,500 to $20,000, andpolices can typically be written or renewed in three-month or six-month periods. Standardcovered perils generally include: fire, lightning, smoke, burglary, water leaks,hurricanes, explosions, tornadoes, building collapses, wind, hail, earthquakes andvandalism.

David Wilhite is the marketing manager of Universal Insurance Facilities Inc.Universal offers a complete package of coverages specifically designed to meet the needsof the self-storage industry, including loss of income, employee dishonesty, comprehensivebusiness liability, hazardous-contents removal and customer storage. For more information,contact Universal at Box 40079, Phoenix, AZ 85067-0079; phone (800) 844-2101; fax (602)970-6240; Web: www.vpico.com/universal.

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