Educate yourself about the storage facility’s policies regarding losses on the premises. How will they respond in the event of a fire, theft or other loss? Most state that they are not responsible for any damage to your stored contents. Read the fine print and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
It is wise to give your insurance agent a call to find out what your own homeowners or renters insurance policy might cover. Some home/renters insurance policies cover personal property off-premise, away from the insured home. Other policies cover personal property only up to 10 percent of the total insured value when it’s off the insured premises.
Keep in mind that your personal insurance only extends for “covered perils” – that means losses that would be covered for the same risks as if they happened at your home. Covered perils usually include theft, fire, windstorms and other disasters listed in your contract.
Damage or losses caused by flooding, earthquake, mold or mildew, vermin or lack of maintenance are not covered on a standard home or renters policy in your home or off-premise. You may need to purchase additional coverage for adequate protection.
Educate yourself whether your insurance policy offers protection for “actual cash value” or “replacement cost.” An actual cash value policy will only provide coverage for the depreciated value of your property. A replacement cost policy will pay to replace the item at the time of loss. Replacement cost policies tend to be slightly more expensive but provide a better value in the long run.
What if you don’t have homeowners or renters insurance? Many self-storage facilities offer insurance protection for your stored contents. These policies, however, tend to be far less broad than a homeowners or renters insurance policy and offer less value for your insurance dollar. Again, read the fine print, coverage limits, and policy exclusions.
Confused? An independent insurance agent can assist you with adequate coverage for your personal possessions at home and in a storage unit.
RELATED: Is Moving Insurance Worth the Cost?