Report: #584563

Complaint Review: PUBLIC STORAGE

  • Submitted: Tue, March 23, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, April 05, 2010
  • Reported By: Jen — Alexandria Virginia United States of America
    7208 Fordson Road
    Alexandria, Virginia
    United States of America

PUBLIC STORAGE Sedgwick CMS Won't pay for mold damage Alexandria, Virginia

*Author of original report: rebuttal

*General Comment: Possible explanation

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I have had my things in storage for the past year and a half because my daughter and I had to move in with my parents due to my breaking up with her father. I paid extra for a climate controlled unit and covered my mattress in a plastic bag. This past weekend I hired some movers to move our things from storage to our new apartment. I found my $1100 mattress covered in mold and bugs! I was told by management to file a claim with the insurance, Willis Insurance (I was REQUIRED to purchase). They denied my claim in less than 48 hrs saying since it wasn't due to water damage. My stuff was in a climate controlled unit, I took the proper precautions to cover all of my things. What can I do to get some sort of reimbursement from Public Storage? The insurance is pointing the finger back at them. I am a struggling single mom and cannot afford to buy a new mattress ( I just had to buy one for my daughter). Someone needs to take responsibility for this and be held accountable. There were bad snowstorms in the past few months that took the power out and I'm thinking that may have had something to do with it. How can I get their maintenance logs or proof that they are actually calibrating and regulating the climate control? Thank you to anyone that can be of assistance!!
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#1 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Jen - (United States of America)

In response, my mattress was in a climate controlled unit and when I pulled the mattress and boxspring apart there were clear water lines a few inches off the bottom of them.Also, the bottom half of my mattress was bulging out and the mold was concentrated on the bottom half of the mattress. If it was atmospheric wouldn't it have been more spread out? The pictures show clear water damage.

The insurance said it would pay for water damage. I showed them all the pictures clearly documenting this. Then they said I had to show a water source. When I asked them to show me where in their policy it states that the insured has to show evidence of a water source they said they could not. When I asked them how they could enforce something that is not even stated in the policy they reverted back to denying the claim because it was due to mold. I said, yes there is mold damage DUE TO WATER DAMAGE. I'm filing complaints with the state their office is in and the state their headquarters is in. I just do not understand why they are making it so difficult. The policy states they cover water damage, which I documented and sent them, it does not state the insured has to show where the water source came from. What they are doing is unethical and bordering on illegal activity.

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#2 General Comment

Possible explanation

AUTHOR: Tom-storage expert - (U.S.A.)

I am a expert witness for the self storage industry and often testify about property losses such as yours.  The industry has had similar problems when consumers purchase mattress bags and place them over their mattresses and tape them closed.  Most mattresses hold moisture for a period of time due to body perspiration, spills, etc.  When mattresses are placed in bags and sealed, any moisture is sealed inside as well.  A good practice is to spray the mattress with a spray disinfectant such as Lysol and place the mattress loosely inside the mattress bag cover.  Bugs by the way are also attracted to moisture, hence the presence in the mattress bag.  Absent direct evidence that the damage was the result of a leaking roof or seepage from the floor, they were correct in denying coverage.  Snowstorms would have no effect on the mattress as cold air is dryer than warm air.  Also, you stated that your items were in storage for a year and a half.  This represents a complete seasonal cycle.  In all likelihood, the damage was sustained shortly after you moved into the space, sometime during the summer months where mold is more likely to form.

I do regret your loss as I understand the rigors of single parenting.   

P.S.  Climate controlled space is still the better choice.

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