When Scary Stuff Happens to Your Stuff
Scary things happen. Earthquakes and rodents and fire (oh my!) and much more! So when we protect your tenants’ property from these damaging situations, we do everything in our power to make the experience in filing a claim less frightening. But, there are a few things you can encourage your tenants to do to make the process go even smoother!
Understand Risk Managment
Your managers and your tenants should understand that risk management doesn’t mean fearing for the worst or that something bad is more likely to happen. It’s a matter of deciding that the risk of losing your possessions is enough that it’s worth protecting those possessions. This is something anyone who owns valuable things (furniture, tv’s, computers etc.) should consider.
Whether you rent or own an apartment, home or storage unit, you’re likely to have some kind of insurance or protection for your property. (Homeowners, rental, or a tenant property protection plan) understanding that this coverage can only properly be redeemed if it’s possible to prove what items you possessed before the damage occurred is the risk management applicable in this situation. Before the thought of a claim occurs there are a few things you (or in this case, your tenants) will want to do to ensure they can get exactly what they need.
1. Taking inventory
Today’s cell phone and camera technology really simplifies this process for self-storage tenants. If you are moving an entire home or just a few items into storage, the process is rather straightforward.
- Snap photos of the large items while in the home.
- Photos of the smaller items should be taken as the boxes are being filled.
- Take a video or snap photos of the items as they are moved into the storage unit.
- Take a final photo as the unit is filled.
This process validates the possession of items and shows them moved into the storage unit. When you make this process a part of your workflow while moving it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Store your photos in a safe folder on your phone or other electronic devices. They even make apps like this one where you can upload the photos and include descriptions, receipts and more to further validate the possession. In the event of a claim, you will have all the evidence necessary right at your fingertips!
2. Know what it’s all worth
Pictures say a lot, but having a purchase price and product description can help with the replacement valuation. Not to mention, for your tenants’ sake, they can pick the right protection plan that will give them full coverage for all the items they are planning to store. It also helps them to put in perspective the cost to rent the unit compared to the value of the items (at least monetarily). not to mention the obvious benefit of knowing how much will be paid out should a claim need to be taken.
3. Know what will be covered
Speaking of monetary value, while Grandma’s hand-knit sweater collection may be priceless to you and your family, sentimental value, unfortunately, is not something that can be measured for the purpose of a protection plan. Tenants and managers should be aware of what kind of damage is covered as well as what kind of property. Types of damage or loss which can be protected under a TPP plan are:
- Fire, explosion, smoke, hail or riot.
- Burglary, vandalism or malicious mischief. (Burglary is covered provided there is a visible sign of forced entry.)
- Roof-leak or water damage.PLEASE NOTE: Loss or damage caused by flood, surface water, underground water or water that backs up through or overflows from sewer, drain or sump is not covered.
- Wind-storm that first causes damage to the building.
- The collapse of the building where your property is stored.
- Impact of aircraft, missile or vehicles.
- Earthquake, volcanic eruption
- Rodent damage is covered up to $500
There are certain kinds of property that are not covered under protection plans so tenants and managers should be aware ahead of time:
- Motor vehicles, boats or other property if stored outdoors.
- Money, travelers checks, money orders, stamps, accounts, deeds, papers, bills, or securities.
- Jewelry, watches, precious or semi-precious stones, furs, or clothing trimmed in fur, precious metals.
- Antiques or articles by their nature that cannot be replaced, musical instruments, artwork, personal photos, personal items, memorabilia. e. Animals, food, alcohol, tobacco products, firearms, ammunition, explosives, flammables & combustibles.
- Stolen goods or contraband.
- Any goods you are not permitted to store under the terms of the Rental Agreement.
4. Know when to call (and whom to call!)
The best thing you can do for your tenants is to start their claim as soon as the dust has settled (literally or figuratively depending on the situation!) The first thing you want to do is contact the proper authorities and take care of the immediate danger. You will then want to document the incident and follow your emergency procedures that are established for your facility. Contacting tenants and determining which units were affected. That’s when you call TPP or start the claims process online at tppclaims.com and follow the instructions there which are pictured below
Then it’s a simple form to fill out or a phone call to make. Our claims services are available 24/7 so no matter your time zone your tenants are taken care of.
Heaven forbid you, or your tenants should ever have to suffer through a loss or damaged unit, but should it occur you can rest assured you are in good hands and are well prepared!
Wanna know even more? We would be happy to provide a free copy of our risk management guide and checklist! Just fill out this form and write ‘Risk’ in the comments!