Action 9

‘This is just crazy’: Personal belongings damaged in storage units cost consumers thousands

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A Lake County woman claims she’s facing a bleak Christmas after her personal belongings were severely damaged in a storage unit.

“And this is the Christmas season, and my kids will end up with nothing,” Catiana Israel said.

She told Action 9 her losses included electronics, appliances, clothes and all her belongings she stored after moving. She had rented the storage unit inside CubesSmart Storage on Pine Hills Road for the past year and a half. She said there was a bad roof leak that ruined almost all her property stacked inside.

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“All the mildew and water and all those boxes, destroyed,” Israel said.

Israel thinks tropical rains this fall caused the extensive damage she discovered just 3 weeks ago.

“They should check those units before they rent to somebody,” Israel said.

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Then she discovered storage unit basic insurance would not begin to cover the losses she claims total at least $8,000. The insurance settlement is just $2,000.

“I told her, ‘No.’ $2,000 is not enough for me,” Israel said.

Many consumers who contacted Action 9 with storage damage complaints discovered the same thing. Basic coverage in standard contracts could leave consumers suffering real losses.

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A Port Orange couple claimed mold severely damaged their property in a climate-controlled storage unit.

And an Oviedo family said a portable storage company accident crushed their belongings. Storage insurance covered just $2,700 of their 8-thousand-dollar loss.

Consumer experts say the industry’s insurance offers minimal coverage and limits liability.

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CubeSmart’s corporate office is rated D minus at the BBB, in part because many complaints involve property damaged by water, mold and rodents not covered by insurance.

The company did not return Todd Ulrich’s calls about Israel’s claim.

“This is just crazy,” Israel said.

One option consumers have is to pay for an insurance upgrade when they sign a storage unit contract. Also, homeowner’s insurance covers some personal property stored off-site but that is limited coverage. Check with your insurance agent.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich,

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.