Similar to real estate agents in apartment rentals, self storage operators are not on the hook for their tenant's belongings. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't offer tenant insurance. By including a clause in the rental agreement which requires the tenant to have insurance on their belongings; you not only further mitigate your liability you can set yourself apart from competitors by providing your tenants with a superior experience and peace of mind. Not to mention it is a great source of ancillary income!
Check out why your tenants will be thanking you:
If you are considering offering third-party tenant insurance you will want to make sure your policy has your tenant covered. Some types of losses that typically occur at a self storage facility include rodents, vermin (birds, insects, moths), mold, floods, earthquakes, burglaries and water damage due to leaks in the roof. Your policy should be designed to cover these types of losses that are related to the rental of the storage unit. Homeowners insurance can vary widely with some policies being more limited than others regarding what perils they cover. By offering a policy specifically intended for the perils of self storage you can provide your tenant with peace of mind.
If structured correctly your third-party policy can be significantly less expensive than a homeowner/renter policy. Premiums are typically the primary concern but it is also prudent to consider deductibles which can be much higher on homeowner/renter policies. By considering the cost passed on to the tenant you can provide more affordable coverage.
"Filing a homeowners' claim for a two thousand dollar loss on your self storage unit, may not be worth the inevitable increase in premiums."
Homeowners’ policies are intended primarily to protect the structure of your home and its contents. However, these policies typically provide limited coverage for damages to belongings “off premises”. In other words, if a tenant’s belongings are damaged outside their home, for example, in their self storage unit, they would only receive a percentage of the total loss. Third-party insurance can ensure that 100% of their belongings are covered.
While homeowners insurance might be the preferred route for the tenant, it isn’t always convenient. In many cases, the tenant is going through a life transition and may not have an insurance policy to provide the facility. They may be moving and have left the policy’s declaration page in another state, or perhaps they have spent all day lugging their things and prefer not to go back for their policy. Whatever the reason, it is possible to provide a superior experience by offering third-party tenant insurance.
Peace of Mind
So, while a real estate agent doesn’t have any control over the protection of a client’s home after the sale, self storage operators can provide their tenants with more than just storage space. By offering a well thought out comprehensive third-party policy your tenants will be thanking you for the peace of mind that their belongings are protected.