FAQ

Definitions

Customers' Goods Legal Liability
Customers' goods legal liability coverage provides protection for an insured when they are legally liable (or alleged to have been liable) for damage to storage customers' goods including property stored in the open.  For mobile self-storage operations, coverage extends to legal liability for customers' goods off premises or in transit.  Defense costs are outside of the limit. No deductible applies to traditional self-storage accounts.  A $1,000 deductible applies to mobile self-storage and records/document storage operations.


Sale and Disposal Liability
Sale and disposal liability protects an insured for claims arising from negligent acts in connection with the lock-out, sale, removal or disposal of customers' property. Typically, these claims occur when an insured sells the goods of a customer who is delinquent with regard to payment. The cost of defense is included. A $1,000 deductible per customer applies.


Umbrella
Umbrella coverage provides higher additional limits (minimum $1 million) over general liability, auto liability, and employer's liability. Limits of up to $10 million may be available. We can often write coverage over other carriers' owned auto and employer's liability policies.  The underlying auto carrier must have an A.M. Best rating of A and the auto liability limits must be at least $1 million CSL.  Employer's liability limits must be at least $500/$500/$500.

Resident Managers' Personal Liability
This coverage provides personal liability protection for on-site resident managers. A resident manager is covered for liability under the business commercial general liability policy while working for the insured in the self-storage business. This coverage will protect the resident manager for liability arising from his non-business activities.

Underwriting Criteria

The StorageFirst program is is available in all states and is designed for better than average risks with self-storage and/or mobile self-storage storage as the primary operation.  Records/document storage risks are only considered if these are part of a traditional self-storage operation.

Liability Only

We are a market for liability only coverage in all states. Liability only may include: general liability, customers' goods legal liability, sale and disposal liability, hired and non-owned auto and umbrella.

Property Geographic Underwriting Criteria

Our appetite for property coverage in areas with significant wind and hail exposure is low. This generally includes many states in the South and Midwestern sections of the country. If an exception is made, we will require that a percentage wind and hail deductible apply and often a cosmetic hail damage endorsement as well. We are not writing any new property with wind in the following states: OK, KS, MO, AR, NE, IA, LA, SD and most of TX. We can write x-wind package business or liability only in all states. Liability only can include: GL, CGLL, S&DL, HNOA and umbrella.

Property Excluding Wind and Hail -Appetite and Requirements

We have a strong appetite for x-wind package business in all states. The State of Texas requires that as an admitted carrier, we can only offer x-wind for locations within TWIA designated areas. We are not a market for mono-line property coverage.

Requirements: For X-wind package business in all states except Texas, we require a letter from both the insured and lender stating the following: We understand and agree that the policy, and all renewals and extensions thereof, will not cover wind, hail, storm surge or flood.

Texas: For x-wind policies in Texas, we will require the ISO CP 1057 windstorm exclusion form be signed by the insured.

Florida

We are an aggressive market in the State of Florida for liability only (GL, CGLL, S&DL, HNOA & Umbrella) and x-wind package opportunities. We offer a quick proposal turnaround for these accounts. For X-wind package business, we require a letter from both the insured and lender stating the following: I/We understand and agree that the policy, and all renewals and extensions thereof, will not cover wind, hail, storm surge or flood.


The following are some characteristics we like to see:

  • Metal-on-metal (non-combustible, Class 3) or better construction
  • Experienced management. At least one year in business.
  • Good loss history.
  • Legally strong storage agreements signed by storage customers.
  • Well-maintained premises and equipment.
  • Owners/management knowledgeable about the state laws and procedures required to perform a legal sale of a delinquent customer's goods.

The following characteristics may make a risk ineligible for this program:
(We do make exceptions, so please call or e-mail us to discuss a specific risk)

  • Fire protection class 9 or 10.
  • Wood-frame construction (Class 1), including wood frame structures with steel/metal walls and roof. Joisted masonry or better construction is acceptable. We often make exceptions if the fire protection class is good and most of the buildings are not climate controlled.
  • Risks with poor loss history
  • Converted Facilities. Older properties that have been converted to a storage operation from another use that have not received significant updates to the roofs, wiring, and plumbing may not be eligible. Converted facilities are typically fine if these updates have occurred.
  • Non-storage operations on the premises. The following are generally not acceptable and will either make the entire risk ineligible or can be excluded from coverage under this program: 
    • public warehousing
    • car washes
    • moving and storage operations
    • propane filling operations
  • Operations without an acceptable storage agreement/lease form. The storage agreement must contain clauses that protect the insured, such as "hold harmless," "no bailment," "rights of insured with regard to sale and disposal of customers' goods," and "customer is responsible for goods and should obtain his own insurance on the goods." There are many state and national storage associations that offer their members the use of quality storage agreements/leases.
  • Fire-sprinkled properties without a fire sprinkler inspection/maintenance contract in force may not be eligible.
  • Coastal wind-exposed facilities. Facilities within 50 miles of the Gulf or Atlantic coasts from Texas to Virginia may be ineligible for wind coverage. We often can write the property coverage excluding wind in those states that allow it. In all states, we can write the casualty coverages (general liability, customers' goods legal liability, sale and disposal liability, hired and non-owned auto, and umbrella) on a mono-line basis without property coverage. Wind coverage may be available for coastal properties that are a part of a large multi-location account that is made up predominately of non-coastal wind exposed locations.
  • Facilities located in areas with significant wind and/or hail exposure: We are not a market for any new property business that includes the perils of wind and hail in the following states: OK, KS, MO, AR, NE, IA, LA, SD, and much of Texas. We may be a market for facilities in other states in the South and Midwest, but will likely require a percentage wind and hail deductible and sometimes a cosmetic hail damage endorsement. Liability only (GL, CGLL, S&DL, HNOA and umbrella) is available in all states.

Acceptable non-storage operations:

  • Manager/owner living quarters and office on the same premise as the self-storage business.
  • Truck rental operations not excluded. However, we will exclude products/completed operations coverage when Penske/Budget rental operations are present.
  • Retail sale of keys, boxes and packing supplies
  • Lessor's Risk Only exposures; Office, retail or office/warehouse space for rent owned by the insured and located on the same premise. If this space makes up more than 15% of the total square footage and/or one or more tenants are conducting unacceptable operations, the account may be ineligible. The risk may be eligible if these exposures can be specifically excluded.

Builder’s Risk

Builder's risk coverage is typically reserved for accounts we currently write that are adding additional square footage to an existing facility. We will require that the insured have a fully insured third party general contractor performing the work. The insured will need to be named as an additional insured on the general contractor's general liability policy with a waiver of subrogation on the contractor's GL, auto and employer's liability policies. We will require confirmation of these items.

Tenant Insurance

StorageFirst does not offer insurance for the benefit of storage tenants. There are several insurance programs specializing in self-storage tenant insurance. Here is one example of a company offering self-storage tenant coverage:
Storage Property Protection
Phone: 1-877-575-7774

Payment Terms

StorageFirst is primarily an agency-bill program. Your agency is responsible for payment of premium net of commission, to StorageFirst, regardless of whether or not you have collected premium from the insured or finance company. Payment of invoice(s) is due and payable to StorageFirst upon receipt. Policies are subject to cancellation if payment is not received within 30 days. Reinstatement is offered on an exception-only basis. Please refer to the StorageFirst invoice.


A direct bill option may be available for policies with premiums of $7,500 or greater. Payment options are either full pay or 25% down and 9 installments. The carrier/finance company will invoice for the down payment and all subsequent installments. The finance charge/fee for all accounts, regardless of the premium, is $10 per installment.

Commission

12% Package and mono-line liability business
10% Umbrella
8% Workers' compensation

Insurance agents/brokers

This is a wholesale/MGA program that is available to all agents who are registered and approved in the CoverageFirst agency registration system. Registration is not required to submit an application for a quote/proposal, but will need to be completed before binding. Agent registration can be completed online at: www.coveragefirst.com.

Request Binding

Agents and brokers have no binding authority under this program. No coverage is bound until written confirmation from StorageFirst is received.  Renewals are not automatic.

The following is required for binding:

  • You have reviewed and accept the terms and conditions as outlined on this Web site and within the quote/proposal provided to you.
  • Our approval of the completed StorageFirst application signed by both the insured and agent.  You can email or fax it to us. (Email is preferred)  If the risk is a mobile self-storage or records storage operation, we will require a completed Acord application along with a completed and signed StorageFirst Mobile Self-Storage or Records Storage supplemental application.
  • Our approval of a copy of the rental contract/storage agreement used by the insured.
  • We require specific written instructions from you requesting the coverage to be bound and the effective date. (Email is preferred.)
  • Your agency must be registered and approved with CoverageFirst. Registration must be completed on-line at: www.coveragefirst.com.
  • X-wind accounts will require written confirmation from the insured and lender stating; "I/We understand and agree that the policy, and all renewals and extensions thereof, will not cover wind, hail, storm surge or flood." The lender letter may not be required before binding but will be required within 45 days. For Texas x-wind policies, the ISO CP 1057 windstorm exclusion form must be signed by the insured. 
  • TRIA: If this coverage is rejected, we will need the TRIA rejection form signed by the insured.

Quality Control

Please check the application(s) carefully to insure that it is accurate and complete, since the policy(s) will be issued based on this information. We would like to eliminate or at least minimize the number of endorsements to the policy(s).

The top three endorsement requests we receive are:

  • Named insured correction
  • Mailing address or facility location address change/correction
  • Mortgagee information correction


Please check to see that the information submitted is correct.

Billing / Policy Insurance

Billing

Upon receipt of your request to bind coverage: For renewals; a binder and invoice will be emailed to you within about 24 hours. For new business; we will email a binder to you within about 24 hours with an invoice to follow in about 5 business days. If you do not receive a binder within 24 hours of your request to bind, please notify us immediately. Coverage is not bound or renewed until you receive written confirmation from StorageFirst.

For agency billed policies, your agency is responsible for payment of the premiums net of commission, regardless of whether or not you have collected premiums from the insured or finance company. Payment of agency invoices is due and payable to StorageFirst upon receipt. Policies may be cancelled if payment is not received within 30 days. Reinstatement is offered on an exception only basis.  A direct bill payment option is available for accounts with premiums in excess of $7,500. You may premium finance through your agency as well.

Policy Issuance

After coverage has been bound, we will issue the policy(s), which will be transmitted as follows:

The policy(s) will be e-mailed to you as an Adobe pdf. A cover letter will be included, stating that StorageFirst has reviewed the policy(s). If we notice corrections are necessary, we will advise that the correcting endorsement(s) has been ordered. Endorsements will also be e-mailed to you as a PDF. Your agency is responsible for checking the policy(s) immediately and advising StorageFirst of any necessary changes.

Please Note: The policy will not be provided to the insured by StorageFirst. The pdf version of the policy emailed to you is the only policy provided. Delivery of the policy to the insured, whether by email or otherwise, is up to you.

Renewals

StorageFirst renewal quotes/proposals will be prepared and e-mailed to you between 30 and 60 days prior to the policy expiration date. It is important that you provide a current and accurate contact name and e-mail address so we are able to communicate with your office. Completion of a renewal application is required every 3 years. Mobile Self-storage and Document Storage supplemental applications are required each year. For larger multi-location accounts, we require an annual updated StorageFirst COPE statement of values in lieu of a StorageFirst application for each location.

Please note: We cannot bind your renewal unless your agency status with CoverageFirst is approved. Please make sure your insurance license and errors and omissions information on file with CoverageFirst is up to date. If not, you will need to provide CoverageFirst (not StorageFirst) with the updated information. The CoverageFirst phone number is: 888-650-2685. Web site: www.coveragefirst.com

Please review your account carefully before the renewal to determine if any changes are necessary. It is important that you communicate any changes to us before the renewal so that these can be included in the renewal proposal and policy. We would like to eliminate or at least minimize the number of endorsements to the policies. All change requests must be in writing (Email is preferred).

The top three endorsement requests we receive are:

  • Named insured correction
  • Mailing address or facility location address change/correction
  • Mortgagee information correction

Policies are issued based on the information contained in the most recent application and any subsequent endorsements. Please make sure you have provided complete and accurate information so the policy can be issued correctly.

Agency Registration

The StorageFirst program is available to all insurance agencies who are registered and approved in the CoverageFirst on-line agency registration system at: www.coveragefirst.com.

To register, click on the "Register" tab and the site will prompt you for some general information and request that you approve an on-line contract. You will then be prompted to provide to CoverageFirst (not to StorageFirst) a copy of your agency license and evidence of errors and omissions coverage with a minimum limit of $1 million. When this is completed, CoverageFirst will send an email to you stating that your agency is registered and approved.

Registration at CoverageFirst is not required to submit an application to StorageFirst for a proposal. However, coverage cannot be bound until your agency is registered and approved.

Claims Reporting

 

Toll-free claims reporting number open 24/7:
1-855-578-1453
eFax: 1-800-748-6159
Email: tnwclaims@tnwinc.com

Please have or include the following information:

GB Client Number #005716

POLICY INFORMATION
~ Insured Name and DBA
~ Policy Number & Client Number

CLAIMANT INFORMATION
~ Claimant Information
~ Claimant Name
~ Claimant address and phone number

LOSS INFORMATION
~ Exact date and time of injury or damage
~ Exact location where injury or damage occurred
~ Specific description of injury or damage
~ Witnesses - name, address and phone numbers

page divider bar