So, you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy. That’s great, and something everyone should have. These types of insurance are relatively inexpensive, and if they’re bundled in with your car insurance, you can save money on your policy.
While you may think that your belongings will be covered no matter where they are, and no matter how they might get damaged, that isn’t quite the case. Does your policy cover things you put in self storage? Does it cover especially valuable items? Let’s look into this in detail.
Homeowners and renters insurance are types of personal property coverage. For the most part, they cover property loss when it takes place at your home. You purchase a certain amount of coverage, say, $150,000 worth, and you expect everything to be covered.
Here’s the rub. When you put items in storage, your policy will cover 10% of the total amount. So, with that $150,000 policy, you’ll have $15,000 worth of coverage for items in your storage unit, with some caveats. Don’t forget the deductible, either. That’s always subtracted from what you get back.
Especially valuable items, such as art and jewelry, often will not be covered at all or will be covered at a fraction of their true value. Often, the only items completely covered are those considered completely essential in the policy.
One way to protect those valuables is to get an endorsement added to your insurance policy. This is a way of increasing coverage for certain items. Of course, your monthly payment will go up, but it can be worth it to know you’ll be able to get compensated for expensive belongings.
Most homeowners and renters policies will cover theft only in your storage unit. They won’t cover pests, flooding, water damage, smoke, fire, hail, vandalism, or other disasters. Make sure that any facility you rent from has a robust pest extermination system in place. They should work with professional exterminators who come every few months to set traps and protect the property.
When you sign up for a unit, you’ll be offered storage insurance. Most facilities require you have a minimum amount of coverage. It doesn’t always have to be through them, though. This can fill many gaps left by your homeowners or renters policy.
However, many of the policies offered at storage facilities are lacking as well.
If you’re not satisfied with the coverage offered by facilities in your area, look into getting a storage insurance policy elsewhere. Ideally, it will cover all the issues we mentioned previously. Once you’ve secured better storage insurance, you may be able to show this to the facility manager and cancel the insurance they provide, thus saving you money.
The good thing is that self storage, homeowners, and renters insurance policies aren’t especially expensive. You can also get all of them through many car insurance companies in a bundle. Getting the coverage you need will take some research, but if your belongings ever get damaged in your storage unit, it will be worth it.