Self-storage units are growing in popularity according to a recent report from Bloomberg. New units and warehouses are being built every month to accommodate the growing demand for paid storage. From simple small garage-like units to large temperature-controlled luxury spaces, there are a wide variety of options. In 2015, about 10 percent of U.S. residents rented a storage unit. However, very few people think about what happens to their belongings if there is a burglary, fire, flood or other catastrophe.
If a home insurance policy covers belongings that are stored away from the property, the coverage is limited to a specific dollar amount. Also, physical damages are covered but theft is not. This is important to know before filling a storage unit full of costly belongings, antiques or luxury items.
Homeowners who have valuable art, jewelry, firearms, furniture, rugs or other rare items should not store them outside of the home unless they are individually appraised and insured separately. In the event of major damages, the dollar limit for stored items would not cover the replacement cost for the majority of such valuables. To store these items away from home, discuss preferences and needs with an agent.
Some storage companies offer insurance to customers. For those who already are covered with an individual home insurance policy, this coverage may be redundant. However, it may be a good option for those whose home insurance policies do not cover belongings stored away from the property or for those who do not have home insurance.
A renter’s insurance policy may also cover some stored belongings. Always read the company’s policy before buying it. What does it cover and exclude? Does the coverage come with a time limit? Is there a policy deductible? These are important things to know before making a decision. If storage businesses sell insurance, they must be licensed insurance producers.
If possible, talk to an agent before signing a contract to rent a storage unit and placing items in it. Be aware of how long any stored items are covered for and the maximum dollar amount for compensation. Also, be sure to understand what types of damages are covered and those that are not. For example, fire damage to a large rug may be covered but mold growth because of normal moisture in a humid climate may not be covered. Always keep an inventory of items in the storage unit, and take pictures of the stored belongings. There are even apps for such purposes. To learn more about these apps or the next steps to take, give us a call at 214-275-8372