Heckart v. A-1 Self StorageAnnotate this Case
Samuel Heckart brought this action against A-1 Self Storage, Inc., Caster Properties, Inc., Caster Family Enterprises, Inc., Caster Group LP, and Deans & Homer (together, Defendants) for violations of the Unfair Competition Law, violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, negligent misrepresentation, and civil conspiracy. Heckart alleged A-1's sale of a Customer Goods Protection Plan (the Protection Plan) in connection with its rental of storage space constituted unlicensed sale of insurance. The form Protection Plan required the tenant to either initial to accept or decline participation in the plan. Heckart declined participation by initialing that option, which provided: "No, I decline participation in the . . . Protection Plan. I am currently covered by an insurance plan that covers my belongings in the storage facility. I understand that I need to provide the policy information in writing to the facility Owner within 30 days or I will automatically be enrolled in the . . . Protection Plan until I do provide such information to the Owner." Heckart "inadvertently" purchased the Protection Plan and was enrolled in it, presumably because he failed to provide proof of insurance within 30 days. In April 2013, Heckart, on behalf of himself and other similarly situated California residents, sued A-1 and Caster Group. The trial court sustained Defendants' demurrer to Heckart's first amended complaint without leave to amend, concluding the Protection Plan was not insurance. Heckart appealed, contending his allegations were sufficient to state the asserted causes of action because the Protection Plan was insurance that must comply with the Insurance Code. The Court of Appeal found his arguments unavailing and affirmed.