Do I need insurance for my belongings in a storage unit?
The short answer to this question is yes! If your items are important enough to put in self storage aren’t they important enough to make sure they are insured in the occurrence of theft or a natural disaster? Now don’t go rush out and purchase storage insurance without doing your research first. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies will cover personal belongings in storage, but keep in mind that the average home owners policy only covers up to $20,000 or 10% of your policy coverage. If the value of your items exceed this amount or your policy doesn’t cover storing your belongings in storage then you will need to look into purchasing a supplemental rider policy.
How do I know the value of what I have stored?
Make sure you keep a log of items in your storage unit by writing them in a journal with a brief description and value and then follow-up with pictures or video of the what you have in storage. This may sound tedious and silly but you will be glad that you have it in the event you need to prove what you have stored in your unit. If you are storing valuable items that are sensitive to heat or the extreme cold then getting a climate controlled storage unit can help eliminate the potential risk of damage leading to an insurance claim.
Do storage facilities require that I insure my personal belongings?
With the increase in popularity of storage units some facilities require that your belongings in storage be insured. This may be in an effort to make and extra buck off of you or to make sure they are covered in the event of unforeseeable damage to your property. Either way you should ask this question upfront so that you aren’t caught off guard on move-in day and forced to purchase a policy from the storage facility. Again, do your research so you aren’t taken advantage of. If you aren’t sure, be on the safe side and bring proof of insurance with you when you move in.
Should I purchase an insurance policy through the storage facility?
While you may not want to purchase a separate insurance policy from your renters or home owners policy there are some advantages to doing this. The two biggest advantages are that they may be cheaper and have lower deductibles. On average an insurance policy through your storage facility will cost between $9 and $40 per month and carry a $100 deductible, which won’t drive up your home owners premiums if used.
The bottom line is that you need to determine what you are storing and based on your current insurance policy whether that is sufficient coverage or if you need to purchase a separate policy and if so what is the most cost effective way to insure your prized positions.
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