Moving is a complicated and stressful time. The more worries you can eliminate, the smoother the process can go. The best way to eliminate worries about storing your property is to find a safe place to store them that offers protection against the many risks of storing property. That means finding a facility that isn’t just aware of the risks but is also able to protect against it through a protection plan for your property. But how do you know you’ve got the right place? Here’s what tenants need to know about self-storage risk management:
UNDERSTANDING RISK MANAGEMENT
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). This coverage can only be redeemed if it’s possible to prove what items you possessed before the damage. Before the thought of a claim occurs there are a few things you will want to do to ensure you can get exactly what you 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 the ability to pick the right protection plan that will give full coverage for ALL the items you plan to store. It also helps 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. 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:
- Vandalism or malicious mischief.
- Roof-leak or water damage. (Not including: flood, surface water, underground water or water that backs up through or overflows from sewer, drain or sump.
- Wind-storm that first causes damage to the building.
- Building collapse
- Impact of lightening.
- Rodent damage is covered up to $500
There are certain kinds of property that are not covered under protection plans so be aware ahead of time the following items are unable to be protected by your TPP plan:
- 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 is start your claim as soon as the dust has settled (literally or figuratively depending on the situation!) The first thing you want to do is wait for the facility manager to contact the proper authorities and take care of the immediate danger. You will then want documentation of the incident. Be sure to work with management to ensure you’re following their 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 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!
The Best in the Business
No matter which state you’re in or where you’re looking to rent, make sure the facility offers Tenant Property Protection plans. Our plans are the best in the business and have been two years back to back according to the ISS readers! We boast some of the fastest claims in the business through one of the most friendly and efficient teams you’ve ever worked with. Our bottom line is ensuring YOU as the tenant are well cared for.
And this year we’re working on new programs and features that everyone will love.