By Polly Irion, Certified Self Storage Manager
Mother Nature can be beautiful, and generous. Steady spring rains can yield bountiful crops, warmth from the sun can thaw the last icicles from winter, and flowers can bloom to continue the rebirth of spring. Mother Nature can be great, but she can also be terrible. Lightning and high winds can bring down even the sturdiest of trees, too much snow can collapse roofs, too much water brings a flood, tornados can rip apart everything in their path, and earthquakes can crumble more than just our homes. And there is not much that anyone can do to stop any of those undesirable events that we call disasters.
What you can do is control how you respond to the situation both before and after a catastrophic event. And that goes for your self storage unit as well, not just your home or business.
As much as a person would want or like to, we cannot control everything. But we can plan for many situations “just in case”. Part of that preparation from our end is that we require all of our customers to have insurance coverage on their storage unit contents as part of our rental agreement. This protects you, the customer, if an unfortunate act of nature should occur. By filing a claim with your renter’s or homeowner’s policy, you should be able to recoup your financial loss so that your belongings are replaced. But, using those insurance policies can also mean your rates go up, your deductible goes up and it can become a straight up hassle. Don’t have any insurance for your storage unit from your homeowner’s or renter’s policy? Not a problem! We have partnered with a reputable third-party insurance agency named Xercor Insurance Services LLC so that you may acquire an affordable self storage insurance policy at our rental office. And, filing a claim will not raise your rate or increase your deductible. Simply ask your property manager for more information.
If disaster has struck in the form of aggressive weather occurrences, the odds are that there was some warning from the local or national news. The team at Moove In Self Storage will make necessary preparations in advance as much as we are able, but even the best intentions cannot always win against something like a tornado or substantial ice storm. Regardless of what has taken place, the safety of every person should come first. If it is not safe to be traveling on the roads, then it is not a safe time to visit the property or your storage unit. We ask that you comply with any local or state issued safety warnings and declarations, and time your visits accordingly to avoid unnecessary risks. If the weather is bad enough, the power could go out and the gate may not work; meaning you won’t be able to enter the property or may get stuck inside the property, for example.
If there is structural damage to the building for any reason, Do Not enter the building until the property manager has been given the all-clear by the experts and gave you permission. We will make every attempt to hang signage and warnings, but use your best judgement if no signs are present. If the building looks unsafe, simply do not approach. We appreciate your patience, as it’s critical that the safety of the building is ensured first before re-entry would be granted to anyone. We want to keep you and our team safe at all times.
During these stressful times, it’s important to maintain a sense of calm so that sound decisions can be made. Once access to your storage unit is reinstated, we advise that you inspect your unit and its contents thoroughly, and photo document any damage or loss. If you would like the property manager to do a visual inspection of your unit and take photos for the company’s records as well, we would be more than happy to accommodate that request. The property manager will be available to answer as many questions as possible, and to provide contact information for Xercor Insurance or to a reputable restoration company who we recommend. At that point, each tenant would need to start an insurance claim to process the damage, whether it’s through your private insurer or through Xercor Insurance.
Xercor has a dedicated team of insurance adjusters with years of experience processing claims from natural disasters. When a property-wide loss occurs, their standard procedure is to set up a specific team of adjusters dedicated solely to our customers to help expedite the claims process and recoup your loss as efficiently as possible. You can read more about filing a claim through Xercor on their website.
No one ever wants to deal with a natural disaster or the damage that can come from it; but the chance is always there and it’s best for you to be prepared. Knowing what to do before a disaster strikes will better prepare you if that unfortunate event occurs. You will have more chances of staying calm and getting through the process easily if you already know what to do. If you have more questions about what to do if a disaster strikes, please contact us or talk with your property manager.