If my storage unit has smoke damage from a fire at the site where I rent space, would the storage place have insurance so that I can file a claim for my damage?

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If my storage unit has smoke damage from a fire at the site where I rent space, would the storage place have insurance so that I can file a claim for my damage?

The contract reads, “The owner who rent the units is not responsible for anyone’s property”. I did not have insurance on the unit I rented.

Asked on October 8, 2015 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can't "file a claim" with someone else's insurer--or rather, you can, but unless the insured person or business would be liable, the insurer does not have to pay. If the contract states that the storage facility is not responsible for your property, they are not responsible you agreed in a contract that they are not resonsible for what you put in the unit. 
That said, IF the facility was itself at fault in the fire--e.g. the fire started due to the facility's carelessness in some way--then you could probably hold them liable liability disclaimers or waivers like the one you quote from the contract generally do not protect from the other party's own wrongful behavior. In this case, if there were at fault, you could sue the facilty for your loss and their insurer might pay. 
But if the facility were not at fault in the fire, then the contract would seem to protect them from liability neither they nor their insurer would have to pay, based on what you have written.


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