Issue 75 – Hurricane Harvey Rescuers
Introduction...Last week my son called and said some of his things in an Austin, Texas self-storage property were ruined by Hurricane Harvey. He asked whose responsibility was it to replace his damaged items.
Great question that has several possible answers. But, the first thing we know is that it is not the property owner’s responsibility to replaced storm damaged items. That’s why its called self-storage. The user takes responsibility for things he or she stores there. That is why we recommend storage insurance to new tenants.
Will insurance repair or replace damaged property in self-storage from the hurricane? Maybe. It depends on the type of property insured and the cause of the damage.
First, let’s look at household items. This is the largest category of items being stored. Some users have homeowners insurance that covers property stored off site. Flood insurance is not covered unless specifically purchased. Let’s assume we don’t have flood insurance. Then the cause of the damage will tell us if our things are covered. If the water comes in under the door, we are out of luck. But, if the water comes in from the side or if the roof is damaged, we may have coverage. The insurance poiicy governs.
Boats and RVs…Insurance on boats and RVs is not specific to a location. So, here if it is stored off site, we may have coverage. Check to see if your policy covers water damage.
In summary...Harvey could be the costliest disaster in U.S. history. Harvey destroyed as many as 40,000 homes and one million cars. I called one of my friends in a Houston suburb Thursday. He said he had a foot of water in the living room and the rescue boats just pulled you to save his family. He was devastated.
A special prayer goes out to the families and friends of the 60 people who lost lives at the winds and rain of Hurricane Harvey.