If you are like most of the people who choose to store your personal belongings in a storage unit, you do so because they are items that you want to hold onto. Unfortunately, sometimes things can happen that will cause your belongings to be lost, damaged, or stolen. While you may not be able to replace some of the items that have sentimental value, if you have proper coverage, you will be able to replace the majority of the items you lose.
The Facility's Storage Insurance Policy
Things happen at storage facilities, just like they do anywhere else in the community. Storage units are subject to damage from
- vandalism, and more.
Although most units take security precautions to help to ensure that anything you store on the property will be safe, there are no guarantees.
Many renters are under the impression that the storage facility is responsible for anything that may happen to items that are stored on the property. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most storage facilities have this clearly outlined in their rental agreements.
A storage facility may be required to have property insurance, but this insurance will only provide protection for the units themselves and not the contents of the units. For example, if there is a fire, the property insurance would assist the owner in rebuilding the facility, but it would not reimburse you for anything you have stored in your unit.
Many facilities offer storage insurance policies that can be purchased directly from them. These polices are generally very inexpensive and may range from approximately $0.50 to $2 for every $100 worth of storage items. This cost will vary based on the company, the amount of your deductible, and the amount of coverage you are looking for.
While some people may advise you not to purchase your storage insurance directly from the storage company, this can be a good investment if you are looking for quick coverage for a short period of time or you have no other coverage. Just beware of any deductibles or coverage limitations that may apply to your policy.
Your Homeowner's or Renter's Policy
Many homeowner's or renter's policies will cover your property when it is located off premises. This coverage is often based on a small percentage of the total overall amount of your homeowner's or renter's coverage. Many policies cap this coverage at approximately 10%. This means if you have $300,000 worth of coverage, your storage unit would be covered up to $30,000.
In addition to knowing the amount of coverage you have, you will also need to know how you will be reimbursed in the case of a loss. This reimbursement may be done one of two ways:
- Replacement value—This will fully replace your item's at what it will cost you at current market rates.
- Cash value—This will only give you the depreciated value of your items.
Check with your insurance agent to see which type of policy you have and whether you have enough coverage to be adequately reimbursed in the case that you have to file a claim.
A Separate Insurance Policy
Even if you have homeowner's or rental insurance, you may not have adequate coverage for the items that you have stored in your unit. If you are storing expensive property, collectibles, or other things that may have limited coverage under your other policies, ask your insurance agent about purchasing a separate policy to cover the items you have in storage. Most agents will either write you another policy or add on a rider to your existing policy to bring your coverage up to par.
If you are storing boats, RVs, automobiles, or other vehicles that would normally be covered under your automobile insurance, these can still be covered while these items are in storage. Make sure that you continue to list them on your policies even though you are currently not using them.
No matter what type of insurance you have, there may be gaps or limitations to the amount of coverage you have. If you are going to store your items for an extended period of time, make sure you have adequate coverage. Look for storage facilities in Stamford, CT, or your local area to find an ideal location for your belongings and be sure to ask the manager about insurance.