Bigfoot. The Lochness Monster. Aliens. Myths have likely been around for as long as humans learned how to communicate with each other. While most myths are harmless, some can actually cause you to lose time, money, and other valuable assets if you choose to believe them. Here's the truth about two self-storage myths that can help you make sound decisions about renting a unit.
The Facility's Insurance Covers Damage and Losses
Perhaps one of the most prevalent and harmful self-storage myths floating around is that the storage facility's insurance will cover damages and losses when uncommon events such as tornados or flooding occur. The truth is that the company's insurance policy only covers damages to the company's property. In some cases, the policy may cover damage and losses to your property caused by owner or employee negligence.
Outside of this, if you want to collect the monetary value of items that may be damaged while in a storage facility, you'll need to obtain a separate policy. Most storage facilities offer coverage through third-party providers, which can cost anywhere from $7 per $1,000 of coverage to $41 for $10,000 worth of coverage.
However, if you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, you may not need to purchase storage insurance at all, since most policies typically cover your belongings no matter where they happen to be stored. You may want to check your policy to see how much coverage you have to ensure that it is adequate enough to cover the value of the items you have at the facility and purchase additional coverage if it's not enough.
You may also still want to consider getting a policy through the storage facility if your homeowner's or renter's insurance requires you to pay a deductible. Even if the insurance offered by the storage facility is $10 per month, it's still cheaper than a $500 or $1,000 deductible you may have to pay before your homeowner's policy kicks in.
Storage Facilities are Super Secure
Most reputable storage facilities do everything they can to secure the property. Alarm systems, surveillance cameras, and locking gates that can only be opened with a code are just a few of the ways storage facilities keep riff-raff from trying to steal their customers' belongings. These efforts appear to be working too. According to information compiled by an insurance company, break-ins and thefts at storage facilities dropped from 18.2 percent in 2010 to 7 percent in 2012.
That doesn't mean you don't have to take precautions when storing your belongings, however. First, not all storage facilities are the same, and some are more secure than others. You want to take some time to tour the storage facility and make sure that the company has security protocols and products in place to help protect your belongings.
Second, even storage facilities that have tighter security than a bank can still fall victim to clever and determined thieves. To maximize security, place a bolt-cutter-proof lock on your storage unit. These locks generally cannot be broken with regular bolt cutters, making it extremely difficult for thieves to get into your unit. You'll also want to arrange your unit so that the most expensive stuff is at the back and bottom of your unit. Thieves want to get in and out fast to avoid getting caught. The more difficult that you can make it to get to your valuables, the better.
In general, self-storage facilities provide a safe, clean place for you to store your belongings for as long as you need. Just be certain to learn everything you can about the self-storage facility and process to ensure that you have all the information that you need to make the right decisions for your situation. For more myth-busting or to get a unit, contact a storage facility near you. Companies like North Star Mini Storage may be able to meet your needs in this area.