According to the Self Storage Association, self-storage is a fast growing industry with thousands of storages having been opened with every passing year. Renting a storage unit is a smart and tactical way to protect your precious belongings, either on a long term basis or a temporary basis. When you are deciding to leave your belongings anywhere you do not have a close eye on them, safety is always a primary concern. As the number of warehouses grows, so does the chance of something bad eventually happening to your items inside a rented unit.
If you have ever thought of placing your stuff for safe keeping in a storage unit, the chances are that you have asked about that area’s safety, their surveillance cameras, locked gates, etc. But what could happen in case of natural disasters such as fire, flooding or even earthquakes? Are your items safe and protected? Do you need to purchase self-storage coverage for your in-storage belongings? The answer is maybe.
Many people renting out units are under the false assumption that the storage facility’s property coverage will protect their items in case of a disaster. What you need to know is that service property coverage only protects the buildings housing these units and not the individual content inside said units. Some homeowner’s insurance does provide coverage for your belongings when they are in self-storage. A standard home insurance policy tends to protect any personal property anywhere in the world. But, never assume you are covered just because you expect your homeowner protection plan to be inclusive of all your house items, wherever they might be. Comb through your projects details and if you are unsure about what is covered and what is not, always ask for assistance from your insurance company representative. Best Insurance will be more than happy to assist with this.
What is Storage Insurance?
Storage-insurance, as mentioned before, protects your personal property against many types of losses. This means that your insurance policy will compensate you for anything you lose if your belongings are burned or destroyed. Many storage policies will reimburse the owner the cash correlating to the market value of that particular item at the time of loss – this is almost always less than what it would cost to replace. Storage-insurance usually covers wind, tornado, fire, smoke, hail, explosion, vandalism, lightning, burglary and plumbing leaks.
What is Not Covered?
Never assume that your homeowner insurance and self-storage will cover all natural disasters that might occur. Some exceptions include:
Floods – Some companies do offer this on their coverage plan. However, read through your print before assuming that it is inclusive of limited flood damage coverage.
Damage from Rodents or Insects – This is excluded on not only homeowner’s but on renter’s policies as well.
Missing Items – A storage policy states that coverage only applies to burglary (when there is evidence of forced entry, and you file a police report). If you had some items stored and they went missing, this is considered as a mysterious disappearance, hence not included on the fine print.
Cars – Some companies do carry motor vehicle coverage. However, most insist that a car owner acquire a conventional auto insurance policy for any stored vehicles.
Expensive Property – Items such as expensive art or jewelry are excluded. It would be wise to safe keep valuable belongings such as your deeds, art, fur, etc. somewhere they can be protected.
Do I need it?
Well, most people are tricked into purchasing this type of cover. What many of us are unaware of is that if you already have homeowners, renters, or business insurance, then your stuff is most likely already protected. Your private property is often already covered but ensure that you have a detailed list of all your possessions (expensive or not) listed on your insurance policy. This makes it possible for you to move your possessions out of your home and into a unit without having to cough up any more money.
So why are facility managers always trying to sell it to you? Simply put; they are trying to manipulate you into buying something that you do not need. It is up to you to know what your plan covers and to not get drawn into coughing up more money that is not necessary. For an easier transition from your house to a unit, always carry proof of your current insurance and hand it to the facility manager. If you are still unsure about what your plan covers, give us a ring at Best Insurance. We will be happy to assist. Best Insurance will verify your policy and see that all your possessions are listed and whether your belongings are still covered when they are moved into a self-storage, and so much more.