Most businesses rely on their facilities to manufacture products or provide services. In the self storage industry, the facilities typically are the product. If property loss or damage is not fixed quickly, the business may fail. Though most believe their self storage facilities are adequately insured against property loss or damage, many overlook Ordinance and Law coverage. This oversight can be the downfall of any self storage facility.

Ordinance and Law insurance is designed to pay the extra expense of rebuilding to comply with ordinances or laws, such as building codes, which did not exist when the building was originally constructed. Since the costs of improving a structure to bring it up to code are specifically excluded under most property policies, this coverage can be quite valuable.

An insured’s obligation to rebuild according to current and stricter codes is often triggered when an insured building experiences a covered loss, such as a fire or hurricane. Unfortunately, many insureds first learn of this additional obligation and expense after they experience a property loss. To avoid the burden of these additional rebuilding costs, self storage facilities can add Ordinance and Law coverage to their current property insurance policies. Doing so will generally cover:

  • Loss to the undamaged portion of the building;
  • Increased demolition costs; and
  • Increased costs of construction.

Since rebuilding according to current building codes may suspend operations for an extended period of time, self storage facilities can purchase Business Interruption insurance to cover reductions in net income caused by an inability to continue business operations. Since payroll, mortgage/rent payments, money owed to suppliers, taxes, and other continuing expenses must be met, Business Interruption insurance may provide badly needed capital when operations are suspended.

Combining Ordinance and Law coverage with Business Interruption coverage, self storage facilities increase the likelihood of surviving not only the initial property loss, but a protracted suspension of operations resulting from the obligation to rebuild in accordance with current building codes.

While the decision to obtain Ordinance and Law and Business Interruption coverage should be easy, understanding specific policy provisions and terms can be difficult. Since there may be variations among different policy forms, it is important that you consult with an experienced insurance agent to discuss your options.

If you would like more information about protecting your self storage facility or obtaining Ordinance and Law and Business Interruption insurance coverage, please contact us.

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