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  1. #1
    tnsd's Avatar
    tnsd is offline Senior Member
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    Red face Limitation of Value

    I've got a question about Jeffrey Greenberger's article on 12/24/09...

    http://www.insideselfstorage.com/art...ubey-case.html

    I'm sure most of us have the usual language in our contracts regarding limitation of value...
    but, how do you respond to a tenant who you know will be storing a considerable amount of goods with you, i.e. the contents of their home while they rebuild or move?

    If you give them written permission to store these items, aren't you just opening the floodgates for the liability placed on your facility?

    Maybe I've thought about this too much... Does anyone else have any thoughts?
    Melissa M Roberts, CSSM
    TNSSA President 2014
    STORAGE DEPOT, Facilities Director
    Dunlap, TN

  2. #2
    Amy_ISS is offline Community Manager
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    Great questions, TNSD! We've posted many news items on the ISS website lately about break-ins where thousands of dollars of property was reported missing, or a fire that wiped out a unit brimming with furniture and other stuff.

    The woman in the article was storing a washer and dryer, fridge, TVs, jewelry and more.
    Amy Campbell
    Editor
    Inside Self-Storage
    amy.campbell@informa.com

    @AmyCampbell_ISS

  3. #3
    MisterJim444 is offline Senior Member
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    tnsd

    I’m not an attorney and I don’t play one on TV, but I have a few thoughts on the issue of Limit of Liability. The clause is in our rental agreements as an “If Everything Else Fails” backstop to the amount of any potential loss. As you can see it doesn't always work in Court.

    Customers should always have insurance on their stored belongings and many rental agreements actually require that as a condition of rental. The Limit of Liabiltiy clause should always be highlighted when you review the rental agreement with your new customers.

    Many times if you explain to people that what you are talking about is the “garage sale” value of their things not the replacement costs, most people realize that they would pay at a garage sale what they originally thought their things were really worth.

    If you have someone that really is storing property well in excess of your Limit of Liability figure, explain that you need an insurance certificate showing your facility as a “Named Insured”. You are really forcing people to do a good thing by having to talk to their insurance agent to get you the certificate. They will know if they are covered and if not they can usually get a off site insurance rider to their policy. Everyone wins.

    MisterJim444
    Learning Never Ends, But Will Time?

  4. #4
    MRV
    MRV is offline Member
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    Interesting thoughts...
    We don't have a liability limit or limits on valuation of stored items, but we do have very specific language regarding the tenant's need to have insurance, and their agreement to be "self-insured" should they not have a third-party policy. But ultimately should WE do something (hopefully we never do such as happened in the article) that causes injury to a tenant's property, we do have insurance that covers that. But it's limited and I suppose someone could claim they had millions in jewelry in it when it burned down due to our BBQ'ing outside the unit - but does jewelry burn? Seriously, something to think about...
    I did get flood insurance this year for that very reason - my general liability excluded damage caused by flooding that we didn't mitigate. And that is the real clue when protecting your interests either as an owner or the agent of one - mitigate the potential damages as much as could be found to be reasonable by a jury of your peers.

  5. #5
    tnsd's Avatar
    tnsd is offline Senior Member
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    MRV... I would worry that not having a limitation of value clause opens you up to a greater degree of liability, in the event that God forbid, we do something to cause damage to a tenant's unit.
    At least with a limitation of value, if exectued properly, you are limited to that value should damages occur. I also now have an insurance addendum for those customers that will be storing in excess of my limiations. It gives them written permission to store the goods on the understanding that they are solely responsible for the items and for carrying proper insurance coverage on those items for the life of the rental and that they understand the risk and hold us harmless in the event of damage or loss.
    I realize that it is impossible to cover every possible scenario, but I choose to try. At least that way, in the end, I know that I have done everything that I knew to do to protect our business and tenants.
    Melissa M Roberts, CSSM
    TNSSA President 2014
    STORAGE DEPOT, Facilities Director
    Dunlap, TN

 

 

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