Insuring Your Belongings In A Storage-Unit Facility

By on December 25, 2012

If you are considering storing your valued belongings in a storage-unit facility, make sure you don’t overlook an important consideration–insurance!  Never assume you are, automatically, covered by the facility’s insurance plan since most of these businesses do not offer automatic coverage, and understandably so.  In most cases, any insurance policy the facility owns will cover damage that might occur, only, to the storage building, itself.   Additionally, your very own homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy may be of little value towards protecting the contents you place in a public storage site; although you should contact them to make sure.  If your regular insurance does provide off-premises coverage, those homeowner’s or renter’s policies might have a cap of $1,000 on jewelry, for example,  or a cap of $200 on rare books, etc. .  Would that cap cover the entire value of those irreplaceable items?

In otherwords, assume nothing, do your homework, ask alot of questions; and once you feel you are adequately insured, get peace of mind knowing your prized possessions are protected with a policy that, affordably, covers them all.

Assuming you choose the facility’s insurance, you will pay a nominal fee.  This kind of low-cost add-on becomes part of your monthly rental expense, resulting in one, easy payment.

Benefits Of Storage Facility Insurance:

1.  Real Savings:

Most homeowner’s insurance policies have high or very high deductibles.  Depending on the storage facility, deductibles should be a fraction of what your homeowner’s policy would demand.  A hypothetical example would be your paying $500 for a homeowner’s insurance deductible while paying $100 for a storage facility’s insurance deductible.

As a side note, it would be prudent to know what types of hazards are included in the policy, such as accidental fire, smoke, water damage and theft.  Would hurricane, tornado, or earthquake damage be included?  How about damage due to moths, rodents or mildew?   Make sure you ask specific questions so you are left with no surprises.

2.  Bypassing Your Regular Insurance:

Any claims that might be filed through a storage facility’s policy would, in no way, negatively affect your existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies.   Therefore, your premiums, with your homeowner’s or renter’s policy, would never be impacted and increase.

3.  Travel Coverage:

Most storage facility insurance policies cover items that could be damaged in-transit.  Speak with your facility representative to find out how many in-transit miles would be part of this coverage; but up to a 50 mile radius is not uncommon.  Very few, if any, homeowner’s or rentor’s policies would include this kind of coverage.

What About My Vehicle?

Upon signing your storage rental lease, be aware that vehicles are, rarely, covered by a storage facility policy.  If you have a vehicle that will be stored in this type of facility, you will be asked to provide proof of your auto insurance; and that’s assuming the facility is willing to store your vehicle.

Items Possibly Not Covered With Storage Insurance:

Not all items are covered with storage insurance.  These items could include:

**  Jewelry (Best to use a bank’s safety-deposit box)

**  Money

**  Furs or clothing with real fur trim

**  Expensive artwork

**  Cars and boats (though some will insure upon proof of other insurance)

**  Car titles, legal contracts, etc.

**  Personal financial records

Each storage company can have different policies with different provisions.  It will be up to you, the customer, to be fully aware of how your possessions are covered, given any, unforeseen, circumstances.

According to the Self-Storage Association, nearly 10% of American households rent a storage unit at any given time.

The Insurance Information Institute highly recommends taking photos or videos of items you will be storing.  The documentation will save time and eliminate frustration if a damage claim should arise.

B. Jones posts many articles on a variety of topics.  One topic he covers is the topic of self storage units.

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