Benefits to Upgrading Older Self-Storage Buildings

Upgrading Older Self-Storage Buildings

As the self-storage industry ages, upgrades are becoming a key topic among facility operators and vendor companies specializing in the market. The primary purpose of the upgrades is definitely to enhance rental revenue and property valuations. A secondary consideration, however, is how the upgrades impact insurance costs and improve the location from a risk management perspective. From an insurance underwriter’s view, building and security upgrades for structures and premises of older locations is considered a positive action and will be reflected in the premium analysis.

As an insurance underwriter for several insurance carriers, MiniCo Insurance Agency recognizes the value of these upgrades and how these improvements can help mitigate the frequency and severity of claims. Innovative technology and more durable construction material are definitely changing the self-storage landscape not only for new facilities being constructed but also the operations that are electing to upgrade. As a result, MiniCo has implemented an underwriting initiative that will focus on older building risks and apply premium credits when documentation is provided by the agent outlining certain upgrades.

For the purpose of this program, an older building will be considered 20 years or older. Upgrades to buildings and security equipment, such as those listed below, will be considered for some level of premium credit. The improvements must be made within a specified time frame (generally 12 to 36 months) and will be verified by inspection

Property and Security Upgrades

  • Security cameras and lighting
  • Electronic premise inspection system
  • New doors on all units
  • Electronic gate and entry access systems
  • Electrical
  • New roof
  • Electronic unit locking system
  • Unit heat sensors integrated with central alarm

Keep in mind that upgrades are not the only consideration when it comes to rating a risk. The primary rating elements are geographic location, building value, construction type, and the operation’s three-to-five-year loss ratio. Operational policies such as requiring tenants to provide evidence of insurance and including a value limitation in the lease agreement are also risk management elements considered by the underwriter.

If you are an insurance agent writing older self-storage risks, contact your MiniCo underwriter for information about property and security upgrades.


Mike Schofield

President and CEO

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