You buy insurance to protect yourself in case something goes wrong. So when a Miami man says an insurance company didn’t pay after his belongings were stolen, he turned to NBC 6 Responds for help.
Alex Guerrero says it all started when he walked into his Public Storage unit in Sweetwater in June and found his boxes open and items on the floor.
"You feel violated," said Guerrero.
He says the tools and other items that were taken represented years of hard work.
"Close to $7,000. The stuff that has sentimental value is priceless. There is no money value for that," said Guerrero.
He took video and photos of the location and filed a police report. Guerrero says he was discouraged when an officer told him it was unlikely he’d get his belongings back but says he tried to remain positive filing a claim with Perfect Solutions, insurance he purchased through Public Storage.
"I was very hopeful," said Guerrero. "At that point I thought, 'I’m just going to let the insurance get involved in this. They are going to take care of it.'"
But a week later, Guerrero says he was surprised by a call from the insurance company, saying his claim was denied.
Guerrero says an insurance representative said he was denied because there was no proof of a forced entry.
"I felt pretty bad," said Guerrero. "I don’t think that that is fair for anybody."
He says he appealed, but got nowhere, so he called NBC 6 Responds.
"I was feeling like I was running out of options," he said.
After NBC 6 Responds contacted Public Storage, the company took a second look at his claim. They later approved it and gave him $4,350.
"I think it’s fair – a fair resolution," said Guerrero
He hopes you will learn from what happened to him and make sure you know the fine print in the insurance you’re buying.
A spokesperson for Public Storage declined to give us a statement about Guerrero’s situation.
Another thing about the insurance Guerrero purchased--Public Storage admits on its website that it may benefit from the sale of policies through Perfect Solutions.
A recent class action lawsuit alleged Perfect Solutions Storage insurance is marketed as being independent, but the suit calls it a “hidden profit center for itself that kicks back unconscionable profits at the expense of consumers.” Public Storage denied any wrongdoing but settled for $5 million.
If you are going to use a storage facility and have insurance, check with your provider to see if it can be added to your policy.