Focus on Risk Management Basics to Minimize Holiday Stress

Risk Management The holiday season is a joyful time, but it can also be stressful. The combination of holiday expenses and obligations, foul weather, cold and flu season, financial pressures, and end-of-year work deadlines can get the best of anyone at one time or other.

With that in mind, this is an excellent time to create increased awareness among your self-storage operator clients. Stressed-out customers may react harshly to anything that adds further problems to their lives at this time of year. For example, if a self-storage facility customer should slip and fall on the premises causing a painful injury, their reaction may be more severe due to some of the factors outlined above.

To avoid the risk of potentially serious claims or other negative occurrences, self-storage operators and managers should make the effort to minimize and prevent these situations by revisiting the basics of providing a safe and hazard-free facility. Here are some factors worth considering. And remember, since no list can be all-inclusive, consult with your self-storage clients individually to address the specific exposures found at their facilities.

Winter Risk Management Tips for Self-Storage Operators

    • Snow & Ice Removal – Slip-and-fall incidents on ice or in snow can cause severe injury. Additionally, heavy snow can cause roof collapses that can damage customers’ stored goods, seriously injure customers, damage your buildings, and cause disruption to your facility. Consider contracting with a properly insured and licensed snow/ice removal company that can remove snow and ice from walkways, driveways, and rooftops. Many of these companies will agree to come to your facility automatically when certain weather conditions occur, such as an agreed-upon amount of snowfall or an ice storm. Check with your insurance agent and attorney for proper contract wording between your facility and the snow/ice removal company.
    • Lighting – Be sure your facility has the proper lighting as may be required by local or other laws or ordinances. Consulting with a reputable lighting expert is always a worthwhile idea. Remember that daylight hours during the holiday season are shorter.
    • Walkways – Make sure all public areas are hazard free and clear of ice, snow, or accumulations of water or moisture. Make sure all walkway surfaces, including stairs, are in excellent repair.
    • Facility Security – Consider working with a security expert to evaluate your overall facility security system. Ask him for recommendations that you can discuss with your attorney and insurance agent. Your customers and the general public expect an environment that is safe and secure.
    • Security Gates – Security gates are often a source of bodily injury or damage to property and are often considered an attractive nuisance to children. Now is an excellent time to have them checked by a licensed expert to ensure they are serviced and operating properly. Also, make sure your moving security gates have the proper signage and operating instructions. Children should not be allowed to play with or on these devices, so proper signs, and even fencing, may be ideas worth considering.
    • Fencing – Check all facility fencing to be sure it is in good repair and suitable for its intended purpose.
    • Leak Prevention – Check structures to be sure no leak potential exists and that all doors and working parts are in good order. Nothing can be more stressful to a customer than discovering that their stored holiday items have been damaged due to leaks.
    • Fire Prevention – Be sure all fire prevention devices are serviced including documented checks on all fire extinguishers.
    • Tenant Lease Agreements – Review your lease agreement to ensure that it includes clearly worded language stating that your facility does not provide any insurance for stored goods. Also review language concerning the prohibition against storing hazardous, toxic or flammable materials inside storage spaces. It is wise to consult your attorney and insurance agent to ensure that your contract is in order.
    • Documentation – Talk with your insurance agent and attorney about what kind of records you should be keeping to document key activities such as inspecting fire safety equipment, maintenance and/or repairs to your powered security gate, and routine inspections of existing lighting to include repairs and bulb replacements.
    • Claims Reporting When a customer advises you of an incident that could be the basis for a claim, report it immediately to your insurance agent.
    • Patience and Understanding – People tend to expect patience and understanding from others during the holidays even when they sometimes do not demonstrate it themselves. When the stress mounts, take a deep breath and stay focused on providing excellent customer service.

These suggestions are important to businesses and customers year‑round. At this time of year, in particular, they can help you and your customers have a wonderful holiday season.

Don’t Miss Out on MiniCo’s Annual Agent Contest and Commission Incentives

Time is running out for insurance agents to participate in two MiniCo promotions. Don’t miss out!

Las Vegas Contest – Deadline is December 31, 2014

MiniCo Insurance Agency is giving away a free trip to Las Vegas, and one lucky insurance agent could be the winner! For every full quote request for self-storage commercial insurance you submit through MiniCo’s agent portal between October 1 and December 31, 2014, you will be entered to win our fantastic free trip to Las Vegas.

MiniCo Agent Portal

The winner will receive:

  •  A trip for two to the largest self-storage industry expo in Las Vegas, April 7-8, 2015
  •  Two round-trip airline tickets
  • Two nights in a hotel
  • $300

Each full quote request you submit via the online agent portal equals one entry into the prize drawing (latest eligible account effective date is March 31st). MiniCo will draw the winning entry on January 7, 2015. (Please see the Official Rules and Regulations for details.)

Don’t miss your opportunity to learn more about the growing self-storage market while enjoying the excitement and hospitality of Las Vegas!

Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the United States who, at of the time of entry, are licensed independent insurance agents. Participant must be at least 21 years of age or older. Please see the Official Rules and Regulations for details.

Commission Incentives – Deadline is December 31, 2014

Starting July 1, 2014, MiniCo is offering additional commission incentives to agents writing new business in the MiniCo Collectibles Insurance program. The tiered commission program outlined below will be in effect from July 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014, for all new business written through MiniCo’s online agent portal.

Production Tiers

Once an agent reaches a new commission tier, the increased commission percentage will be applied retroactively to all business written during the promotion period. Renewal business is not eligible for the tiered incentive program.

MiniCo Collectibles Insurance provides all-risk coverage for private collections of any size in a home, office or art storage facility. Collections are insured for their full collectible value, and no appraisal is required at the time of application. Coverage is offered nationwide in partnership with AXA Insurance Company.

For more information, contact MiniCo’s Collectibles Insurance Department at 888-873-6931 or collectibles@minico.com.

   Get a Quote

Communication as a Risk Management Tool

dv1492011Customer service is always a key concern for self-storage operators, and experienced professionals know that on-site managers can be an integral factor in the success of a facility. The interpersonal communication skills that managers bring to each face-to-face interaction and telephone conversation are critical to the success and reputation of a self-storage operation. A self-storage manager’s communication skills also may provide a risk management benefit by helping to reduce the risk of lawsuits.

Tenants who discover that their units have been burglarized or damaged by water or other events are naturally going to be upset and predisposed to look for someone to blame and make them whole. Facility managers have an opportunity to give these customers an experience that is as positive as possible under the circumstances. Succeeding at providing a “wow” experience for a tenant following a loss can go a long way toward reducing the chance that the tenant will file a lawsuit against the facility.

When a tenant experiences a loss, the most important first step is to show empathy.

While a manager should avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as an admission of culpability on the part of the facility, for example, “I should have checked the lights at that end of the building” or “We always have trouble with the roof leaking this time of year,” it is always a good idea to empathize with the customer’s frustration, anger, and sadness at having experienced a loss. Statements such as, “I can see that you’re upset” and “This must be very frustrating,” are appropriate and can be helpful.

The manager will need to establish initially whether the customer has purchased the tenant insurance (contents insurance) offered by the facility. If so, the manager should provide the customer with the phone number to report the claim. If not, avoid being dismissive as in, “Sorry, I can’t help you if you didn’t purchase our insurance.” Instead, use good communication skills to assist the customer to understand how to file the claim. If they are relying on their homeowner’s insurance coverage, advise them to contact their insurance agent or carrier. If the customer has no insurance at all, it is even more important to take great care in your communications with them to avoid the appearance of making promises on behalf of the facility.

During the initial conversation with the customer, managers should complete a detailed incident report documenting the loss, the conversation with the tenant, and the tenant’s contact information and insurance status. Within 24 hours of the loss report, it is an excellent idea to follow up with the tenant and maintain an open line of communication until the claim is resolved. E-mails are effective, but a personal phone call is perceived as quality customer service.

When communicating with a customer who has experienced a loss, the primary objective is to resolve the incident quickly and satisfactorily for both the self-storage business and the tenant. Maintaining clear communication throughout the claims process helps the manager to provide excellent service to the customer while protecting the interests of the operation.

For more detailed examples of effective communication in these types of situations – including what NOT to say – consult your insurance agent directly. Taking the time to prepare managers and practice effective communications may help to reduce the risk of costly and time-consuming lawsuits in the future.

Mike Schofield
President and CEO

Attention Insurance Agents: Earn Commission Incentives with MiniCo’s Fine Art and Collectibles Insurance Program

Whether it is fine art, baseball cards, stamps, a wine collection, or movie memorabilia, serious collectors take great pride in their collections.

Collectors devote large amounts of time, effort and care to their valuables – not to mention sometimes large monetary investments. These collections need insurance coverage that addresses the appreciating value of the collections.

Many of your personal lines clients may have valuable collections that require insurance. Now, for a limited time, MiniCo Insurance Agency has an incentive program that rewards agents.

Starting July 1, 2014, MiniCo is offering additional commission incentives to agents writing new business in the MiniCo Collectibles Insurance program. The tiered commission program outlined below will be in effect from July 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014, for all new business written through MiniCo’s online agent portal.
Production Tiers
Once an agent reaches a new commission tier, the increased commission percentage will be applied retroactively to all business written during the promotion period. Renewal business is not eligible for the tiered incentive program.

MiniCo Collectibles Insurance provides all-risk coverage for private collections of any size in a home, office or art storage facility. Collections are insured for their full collectible value, and no appraisal is required at the time of application. Coverage is offered nationwide in partnership with AXA Insurance Company.

For more information, contact MiniCo’s Collectibles Insurance Department at 888-873-6931 or collectibles@minico.com.

Learn More
Get a Quote

Special Event Insurance: Affordable Coverage to Protect Your Business

Special Event InsuranceTelevision programs like Storage Wars often show large groups of people gathered at a self-storage facility for lien sales, events that were generally sparsely attended in the days before the self-storage industry found itself in the reality TV spotlight.

Lien sales are not the only reason your facility may draw a crowd. Hosting events at a self-storage facility is an excellent way to market your business to the public, network with prospective customers and spread some goodwill within the local community. Whether you’re planning an open house, charitable event, carnival, picnic, holiday party or other type of event, the goal is to encourage people to visit your property.

Beyond the necessities of lien sales and positive marketing benefits of neighborhood events, these situations could expose your business to risk that may not be covered by your existing businessowner’s insurance policy (BOP). The good news is that there are some simple and affordable steps you can take in advance of the event to protect your organization.

  • Special Event Insurance – Many companies offer property and liability coverage for special events. These policies may address third-party property claims, host liquor liability, personal injury claims and many other event-day disasters that might occur related to the special event. Special event insurance policies typically are relatively inexpensive and many can be purchased the same day. This coverage benefits you by addressing the exposures of the event without putting your BOP coverage at risk. Your insurance agent will help you identify a policy that will address potential exposures for your specific event.
  • Vendors and Concessionaires – If your event includes the use of vendors, food and beverage concessionaires, ride operators or other service providers, take precautions when contracting for their services. Each vendor should hold the appropriate licenses and insurance to operate at your event.
  • Facility Preparation – The whole point of hosting an event is to draw a crowd, so take the time to prepare your facility for a large number of guests who are not visiting your property for normal business reasons. Be aware of occupancy restrictions and plan ahead to control attendees’ access to the facility where appropriate. Use signage and cones to direct members of the public to the area where the event will take place, make sure the parking area for attendees is clearly marked, and remove attractive nuisances such as golf carts.

The main purpose of a special event is to have fun, raise money if it is a charitable event, and introduce your self-storage facility to the local community. In order to be sure that everything goes smoothly, it is highly recommended that you take these precautions and consult your insurance agent and attorney to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance coverage and properly written agreements in place to protect your business, your customers and your guests.

The Importance of Business Income Coverage

Business Income CoverageSevere weather events can happen at any time of year, and the odds seem to be stacked against business owners in a storm’s path. According the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40 percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year. The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that 90 percent of businesses fail within two years following a disaster.

Large natural disasters – fire, flood, earthquake and wind – frequently come to mind when considering the type of occurrence that could shut down a business for good, but the truth is that smaller-scale events also can be devastating.

Disaster planning and preparation are critical concerns for business owners, and one key element is insurance. Business income insurance (or business interruption insurance) pays the policyholder for loss of income and expenses following damage to the property resulting in the partial or total suspension of operations.

As a program administrator with 40 years of experience writing self-storage risks, MiniCo understands both the importance and challenges of this coverage. Business income insurance is one of the most complex, least understood and most undersold coverages available to property owners. At the same time, it is absolutely critical to the survival of a business following a catastrophic loss.

If you are writing self-storage risks, MiniCo invites you to learn more about the benefits of business income insurance. Our self-storage BOP includes business income insurance up to 15 months of actual loss sustained with options of up to 18 months and up to 24 months. Contact a MiniCo representative at 800-447-8383 or customercare@minico.com.

Creating a Risk Management Plan to Address Wildfire

Risk Management Plan Fire is one of the costliest causes of loss for property owners and insurance carriers. In the western United States, wildfire is a serious annual concern. In addition to the potential for injury and loss of life, a single wildfire event can result in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. The National Park Service reports that only 10 percent of wildfires result from natural causes such as lightning, volcanic eruption, and sparks from rockfalls. The remaining 90 percent are caused by humans. The leading causes of wildfires are unsafe fires, arson, sparks from equipment, power arc lines, and accidents.

It is important for self-storage business owners to address the risk of wildfire by planning ahead and taking steps to mitigate the risk of damage and loss from a fire event. Detailed checklists are available from several online sources to include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (www.ready.gov), the U.S. Fire Administration (www.usfa.fema.gov), and the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org).

In addition to checklists, consider some basic risk management principles to assist in preparing your facility.

  • Develop a Written Plan – Your facility’s written fire preparedness plan should be easy to understand, accessible, and updated on a regular basis. The plan may include property maps and diagrams, tenant information, building construction data, insurance policy numbers, and contact information for key personnel, tenants, insurance agents, local police and fire departments, utilities, and contractors. 
  • Practice Your Evacuation Plan – Implementing a facility evacuation plan can help avoid confusion and prevent injuries. Even with a small staff, provide documented training. Schedule periodic practice drills to ensure that your managers are ready in the event of a fire emergency to execute the plan including limiting tenants’ access to the property and mitigating the spread of fire. 
  • Mitigate by Communicating – Address fire prevention with your tenants on a regular basis. Flyers stuffed into monthly bills, e-mail, and signage placed throughout the facility are effective methods to remind tenants that the storage of flammable materials and use of items such as candles and heat lamps is prohibited at the facility. Signage also may be used to alert tenants to areas where smoking is prohibited. This step is critical if your facility is located in an area surrounded by brush and trees. You don’t want your tenant to be the cause of a wildfire. 
  • Get to Know Your Fire Department – During a fire, the fire department’s knowledge of your facility’s layout and buildings may help save lives and minimize damage. Invite your local fire department to visit your property for an inspection and consultation to discuss any issues they may identify during the walk-through that require remediation.

As with any risk that may affect your self-storage property, the key to preventing and managing the risk of fire is awareness. Educating yourself and your employees about fire preparedness, creating a written plan, and taking the appropriate steps to maintain the property to reduce the risk of fire are effective strategies to help minimize the risk of costly property damage in the event of fire. In addition, your insurance agent can advise you regarding insurance coverages and limits for your property.

Mike Schofield
President and CEO

Get Commission Incentives for New Business in MiniCo’s Fine Art and Collectibles Insurance Program

Serious collectors are everywhere. Some of your personal lines clients may collect items such as fine art, wine, sports memorabilia or stamps. If so, these clients need insurance coverage to protect their valuable collections.

Starting July 1, 2014, MiniCo is offering additional commission incentives to agents writing new business in the MiniCo Collectibles Insurance program. The tiered commission program outlined below will be in effect from July 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014, for all new business written through MiniCo’s online agent portal.

The tiered commission program outlined below will be in effect from July 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014

Once an agent reaches a new commission tier, the increased commission percentage will be applied retroactively to all business written during the promotion period. Renewal business is not eligible for the tiered incentive program.

MiniCo Collectibles Insurance provides all-risk coverage for private collections of any size in a home, office or art storage facility. Collections are insured for their full collectible value, and no appraisal is required at the time of application. Coverage is offered nationwide in partnership with AXA Insurance Company.

For more information, contact MiniCo’s Collectibles Insurance Department at 888-873-6931 or collectibles@minico.com.


Learn More

Get a Quote

Risk Management Checklist: Hazardous Materials

Risk Management ChecklistCreating a risk management checklist for your self-storage business can be a challenge, and this series of articles offers suggestions for various categories and items that you may want to include in your checklist. The focus for this checklist is hazardous materials.

The following questions may be useful as part of your company-wide risk management checklist.

Hazardous Materials Checklist

  • Does the rental agreement have a clause addressing storage of hazardous materials?
  • Are employees trained to identify exposures associated with hazardous materials?
  • Are employees trained on procedures to address a hazardous materials exposure?
  • Are employees trained to investigate the storage of barrels, cans and drums that are entering the facility to be stored?
  • Are emergency telephone numbers posted in the event hazardous materials are identified?

This brief article is not intended to provide specific legal analysis or advice, and should not be construed to apply to every potential situation involving insurance coverages and losses. For specific information and questions concerning this article and the information contained therein, please consult your insurance agent and/or your attorney.

MiniCo’s Annual Agent Contest: Viva Las Vegas!

Las Vegas ContestMiniCo Insurance Agency is giving away a free trip to Las Vegas, and one lucky insurance agent could be the winner!

For every full quote request for self-storage commercial insurance you submit through MiniCo’s agent portal between October 1 and December 31, 2014, you will be entered to win our fantastic free trip to Las Vegas.

MiniCo Agent Portal

The winner will receive:

  • A trip for two to the largest self-storage industry expo in Las Vegas, April 7-8, 2015
  • Two round-trip airline tickets
  • Two nights in a hotel
  • $300

Each full quote request you submit via the online agent portal equals one entry into the prize drawing (latest eligible account effective date is March 31st). MiniCo will draw the winning entry on January 7, 2015. (Please see the Official Rules and Regulations for details.)

Don’t miss your opportunity to learn more about the growing self-storage market while enjoying the excitement and hospitality of Las Vegas!

Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the United States who, at of the time of entry, are licensed independent insurance agents. Participant must be at least 21 years of age or older. Please see the Official Rules and Regulations for details.

Burglary, Social Media and Your Reputation

BurglaryAlthough there is no nationwide data on the specific number of burglaries that take place in self-storage facilities each year, the magnifying power of the Internet may promote the misconception that this type of crime is a common occurrence. This can be harmful for a self-storage business if potential customers get the wrong impression about the industry as a whole or your facility specifically.

If a tenant were to make a comment about a burglary or other illegal activity at a self-storage facility on a social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter or Yelp, that one complaint could be seen by existing customers and hundreds of potential customers in a matter of minutes. Implementing a social media policy that identifies the person in the organization who is responsible for monitoring and responding to such posts and specifies the appropriate response is critical to help prevent long-term reputational damage to your business.

Risk avoidance is an important risk management strategy to combat the risk of burglaries as well as the risk of reputational damage. The fact that self-storage facilities maintain no care, custody or control over tenants’ stored items may lead a facility owner to believe that a self-storage business would have no exposure in the event of a burglary. However, an exposure may exist if a claim of owner negligence is determined. With that in mind, it is critical that owners and managers take steps to avoid potential claims of negligence related to burglary.

Elements that need special attention include the following:

    • Lighting – Darkness is an asset to criminals. Inspect light fixtures, bulbs and automatic switches or timers daily to ensure proper operation.
    • Gates – A malfunctioning gate may allow unauthorized people to access the property. Inspect gates and keypads regularly to ensure proper operation and make repairs as quickly as possible.
    • Fences – Criminals may cut holes in fencing or take advantage of damaged sections to access your property. Inspect fences regularly and make repairs as quickly as possible.
    • Premises Inspections – Daily inspections should be conducted and documented to include locks, lighting, gates and fences.

In addition to these aspects of physical security, conducting criminal background checks of employees and tenants remains a good deterrent of illegal activity on the premises. However, this is a topic self-storage business owners should discuss with an attorney prior to implementation in order to understand applicable state laws related to this matter.

Risk transfer, in the form of insurance coverage, is another key strategy to protect a business in the event of a claim resulting from burglary. It’s a good idea for facility owners to schedule a coverage review with their insurance agent to discuss their policy including customer goods legal liability and limits for general liability and umbrella coverage. Implementing proper risk management strategies can help self-storage business owners avoid damage to their reputation within the community as well as potentially costly claims and lawsuits.

Mike Schofield
President and CEO

MiniCo Insurance Agency Celebrates 40 Years with a Photo Contest

Happy 40th Anniversary
Join MiniCo Insurance Agency as we celebrate our 40th anniversary. Our valued customers, insurance agents and friends are the key to our success, and we want to reward you for your loyalty.


You are invited to join MiniCo’s 40th anniversary celebration by participating in our photo contest. Submit your creative photo wishing MiniCo a Happy 40th Anniversary, and you might win one of three prizes.

  •  One (1) Grand Prize: $500 Visa gift card
  • One (1) Second Prize: $250 Visa gift card
  • One (1) Third Prize: $100 Visa gift card

The contest starts October 1, 2014. Remember, creativity counts!

Click the link below for contest details, official rules and the entry form.

Get Contest Information

Follow MiniCo on Facebook for contest updates

 

Take Advantage of Commission Incentives for MiniCo’s Fine Art and Collectibles Insurance Program

MiniCo Insurance Agency is offering additional commission incentives to agents writing new business in the MiniCo Collectibles Insurance program. This specialty fine art and collectibles insurance program is an effective solution for your clients who own valuable collections of art, wine, memorabilia, stamps, toys, and hundreds of other types of collectible items.

The tiered commission program outlined below will be in effect from July 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014, for all new business written through MiniCo’s online agent portal.

The tiered commission program

Once an agent reaches a new commission tier, the increased commission percentage will be applied retroactively to all business written during the promotion period. Renewal business is not eligible for the tiered incentive program.

MiniCo Collectibles Insurance provides all-risk coverage for private collections of any size in a home, office or art storage facility. Collections are insured for their full collectible value, and no appraisal is required at the time of application. Coverage is offered nationwide in partnership with AXA Insurance Company.

For more information, contact MiniCo’s Collectibles Insurance Department at 888-873-6931 or collectibles@minico.com.

Learn More Get a Quote

MiniCo Offers Multi-Location Discounts for Self-Storage Risks

If you are an agent writing multi-location self-storage risks, are you receiving discounts? MiniCo Insurance Agency specializes in writing large self-storage operators. In addition to multi-location discounts, MiniCo’s self-storage insurance program is underwritten by two A.M. Best “A” rated carriers, Liberty Agency Underwriters and Aspen American Insurance Company, giving us enhanced capability to respond to the coverage needs of larger operations.

Contact MiniCo’s new business team to learn more about the level of discount available for the self-storage risks you would like to quote. To register for MiniCo’s online agent portal or submit an application, click on the links at right.

Chris Nelson
Underwriting Team Supervisor
cnelson@minico.com
800-528-1056

Laura Roy
Senior Underwriter
lroy@minico.com
800-528-1056

Get a Quote
Agent Portal Registration

Avoiding E&O Exposures for Insureds and Your Agency

Errors and omissions insurance, commonly referred to as “E&O” coverage, protects businesses and individuals from claims and lawsuits arising from failure to perform contracted work as well as mistakes made in the course of doing business.

There are a few simple steps that can help reduce the risk of creating an E&O exposure for yourself and your agency.

    • Have your clients sign off on unwanted coverages
    • Use the most updated version of a carrier’s application (if applicable)
    • Discuss any coverage restrictions or limitations that are included in the quote or policy
    • Educate insureds by providing examples of coverages or explaining the intention of certain coverages (see download link below)
    • Inform clients if you are using a non-admitted carrier or a carrier with a lower A.M. Best rating
    • Offer professional E&O coverage specific to the client’s industry just as you would for your own agency

MiniCo has created a “Coverages in Action” flyer to help agents explain some of the optional coverages available in our specialty self-storage insurance program. Click the link to download a brochure, and contact your MiniCo underwriter at 800-528-1056 for more information.
Download Brochure

MiniCo is Celebrating 40 Years Serving the Self-Storage Industry

MiniCo is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month, and we have something to say.

Thank you.

MiniCo to Celebrate 40th AnniversaryMiniCo has grown to become one of the strongest brands in the self-storage industry because of you: our customers, independent insurance agents, advertisers, supporters and friends.

The entrepreneurial spirit that launched the company’s first sales of retail products and customer storage insurance is still going strong. In our 40 years of informing, educating and being the national provider of insurance for self-storage owners, we have been dedicated to supporting and growing the industry through our products and publications.

Forty years is an important milestone for any company. MiniCo’s sustainability is largely attributable to our core value of customer-focused service. Our company culture places a significant value on serving our customers to include policyholders, insurance agents, subscribers, and advertisers.

In addition to day-to-day interactions with our customers, MiniCo continually strives to refine and enhance our insurance products and educational resources so that they may provide the greatest value and benefit. These efforts, in turn, have helped us learn more about the industry and the needs of owners, operators, developers and managers.

MiniCo also has been a strong supporter of the Self Storage Association, of which we have been a Patron sponsor for five years, as well as state associations. We persist in our strong belief that working with associations to educate and support their members creates positive momentum within the industry and fosters a climate of growth and innovation. Recently, during a time of great confusion throughout the country over the future of health insurance, MiniCo partnered with the Self Storage Association to offer a health insurance exchange offering multiple products to its membership.

At the center of all of our efforts throughout the years has been our relationship with the diverse individuals who make up the self-storage industry. We sincerely thank you for your business and support over the past 40 years and look forward to the future.

If you plan to attend the Self Storage Association’s Fall Conference and Trade Show, please visit MiniCo at Booth 516 and join us for our 40th anniversary cocktail party on Thursday, September 11th. All conference attendees and vendors are welcome.

We hope to see you there!

Mike Schofield
President and CEO

MiniCo Collectibles Insurance Offers Commission Incentives

Starting July 1, 2014, MiniCo is offering additional commission incentives to agents writing new business in the MiniCo Collectibles Insurance program. The tiered commission program outlined below will be in effect from July 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014, for all new business written through MiniCo’s online agent portal.

Production TiersOnce an agent reaches a new commission tier, the increased commission percentage will be applied retroactively to all business written during the promotion period. Renewal business is not eligible for the tiered incentive program.

MiniCo Collectibles Insurance provides all-risk coverage for private collections of any size in a home, office or art storage facility. Collections are insured for their full collectible value, and no appraisal is required at the time of application. Coverage is offered nationwide in partnership with AXA Insurance Company.

For more information, contact MiniCo’s Collectibles Insurance Department at 888-873-6931 or collectibles@minico.com.

Learn More
Get a Quote

MiniCo to Celebrate 40th Anniversary in Las Vegas

MiniCo to Celebrate 40th AnniversarySince its founding in 1974, MiniCo Insurance Agency has been committed to providing specialty insurance to self-storage business owners. Forty years later, MiniCo is widely acknowledged as an icon of excellence in the self-storage industry.

MiniCo will be celebrating with customers and friends in the industry at the Self Storage Association’s Fall Conference and Trade Show to be held September 9-12, 2014, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. We also will host an anniversary cocktail party on September 11th, which is open to all conference attendees and vendors. The festivities will include free drink tickets, a special anniversary gift from MiniCo, and drawings for two prize packages including airfare and accommodations at The Breakers Palm Beach Resort and the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.

MiniCo is making available to interested agents a limited number of complimentary passes to attend the trade show on September 11th. This event is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the self-storage industry and meet with small, mid-sized, and large operators. Those who attend are also invited to MiniCo’s 40th anniversary cocktail party.

Detailed information about the trade show is available at the Self Storage Association’s website. To learn more about writing business for the self-storage industry, contact customercare@minico.com.

The Risks of Technology: Understanding Cyber Liability

, Cyber Liability InsuranceToday, doing business online is standard operating practice for many self-storage businesses. Facility websites, online marketing, social media, property management software, electronic databases and cloud-based computing streamline many necessary tasks, improve efficiency, and enhance both marketing and customer service. However, this reliance on technology also may create exposures that could result in costly lawsuits and claims.

You have been hearing the term “cyber liability” more often in recent months as a result of high-profile cyber incidents. With the widespread adaptation of technology across hundreds of industries, cyber liability is now an issue that affects every business with exposures including computer viruses, data theft, identity theft and other cyber crimes.

Insurance companies are responding to the growing need for cyber liability coverages by developing new policies to address a wider range of exposures including both first-party and third-party liability.

First-Party Coverage

Business Interruption: Interruptions in business due to breaches of a company’s network
Crisis Management: Costs of retaining a public relations firm to help mitigate damage to the policyholder’s reputation and brand
Extortion/Threat: Costs to investigate, negotiate and settle threats made against the policyholder related to international computer attacks
Privacy: Expenses for breach response services such as notification, credit monitoring and identity/credit repair

Third-Party Liability Coverage

Security: Failure of network security to prevent the transmission of computer viruses or hacking
Privacy: Failure to protect private or confidential information
Media/Content: Libel, slander and other forms of disparagement as well as copyright infringement by website content
Regulatory Actions: Regulatory actions brought by state or federal agencies to enforce privacy regulations

First-party coverage is commonly available for privacy breach response, which covers expenses incurred by the self-storage facility such as customer notification, credit monitoring, credit and identity repair, and computer and legal forensic services. Policies to address additional cyber liability exposures are becoming more broadly available in the insurance marketplace.

Schedule a meeting with your insurance agent to review your potential exposures and identify possible cyber liability coverage solutions. MiniCo Insurance Agency continues to monitor this area of coverage with the intent to enhance our coverage options in the future.

Mike Schofield
President and CEO

MiniCo Named Best of Business in Self-Storage Commercial Insurance

MiniCoMiniCo Insurance Agency has been selected by readers of Inside Self-Storage magazine as a 2014 Best of Business winner in the category of best commercial insurance for the third consecutive year. Inside Self-Storage is a national trade publication for the self-storage industry.

The magazine launched its Best of Business reader survey in 2011. Self-storage industry professionals are invited to elect their choice of best businesses in 35 categories including customer service, manager training, call-center services, construction project management, and payment services.

MiniCo will be profiled in the November issue of Inside Self Storage magazine along with other 2014 Best of Business winners, and the company will be honored at a special ceremony as part of the Inside Self Storage World Expo in April 2015. The complete list of 2014 Best of Business winners may be found on the magazine’s website.

MiniCo President and CEO Mike Schofield commented, “It is an honor to receive this recognition for a third year in a row from our peers, customers and friends in the self-storage industry. MiniCo’s experienced team works each day to deliver on the promise of the company’s core value of client-focused service. We are dedicated to taking care of every customer, every time.”

For more information, contact MiniCo’s Customer Care Department at 800-447-8383 or customercare@minico.com.