Got a Loss? Maintain a Positive Tenant Relationship Through It All

Posted: 3/12/2018
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When a tenant experiences a loss at your self-storage facility, you should always hope for the best but plan for the worst. Being prepared to handle any incident that may arise might not only save the tenant-owner relationship – it could make it stronger.

Following a loss, the tenant comes through your door first. Even though the lease releases you of liability for their items, tenants are upset.

Try to remember the good news: if any loss occurs, your tenant insurance provider is the quarterback of the claims process:

  • Your tenant insurance provider is licensed and familiar with the statutes applicable to your state, as well as requirements for timely notices.
  • They are trained to gather all documentation, evaluate the evidence and determine the claim’s payout amount.
  • Claims resolution is handled by licensed insurance adjusters through a regulated process that provides consumer rights to the insureds.

The following are suggested measures you can take to protect your reputation and your tenants:

Be Proactive in Preventing Loss

You can help avert loss by investing in your property with these preventative measures:

  • Water damage/mildew – Maintain unit flashing, roof and pipes.
  • Rodents – Hire an exterminator and make sure all storage units are properly sealed.
  • Burglary – Invest in perimeter fencing and video surveillance (make sure cameras are unobstructed and in working condition). Implement access control, automated gates, fire detection systems and proper lighting in and around your property.

Take Action When Loss Happens

Both the tenant and facility have responsibilities when loss occurs.

Tenants should:

  • Notify the facility ASAP.
  • Take pictures, create an incident file and make a copy for the manager.
  • File a police report if burglary has occurred.
  • Notify the tenant insurance carrier of the loss.

The facility should:

  • Be compassionate but objective.
  • Be timely in supplying the insurance provider with specific information requested.
  • Document the incident thoroughly. (Ex: Provide pictures, incident report, gate access history and camera footage, in case of burglary)
  • Secure the tenant’s items from further damage.
  • Avoid speculating whether the loss will be covered. Claims are adjusted per the policy terms.
  • Instruct the tenant to file the claim with the insurance provider.

These steps ensure the carrier has enough documentation to efficiently process the claim. Through teamwork and open communication, you can maintain a positive relationship with your tenant and contribute to a seamless claims process.

About the Author

Mario J. Macaluso is senior vice president for SBOA Tenant Insurance (SBOATI). For five consecutive years, SBOATI has been rated the Best Tenant Insurance by Inside Self Storage. SBOATI is administered by Cornerstone Insurance Producers who is licensed where the product is sold and is dedicated to providing quality insurance products that are compliant with state law. For more information, call 1-800-792-0345 or visit

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