How to Protect Your Possessions While They’re in Storage

Have stuff you need to store? You’re not alone. According to the Self Storage Association, 10% of American households currently rent some type of storage unit. And many of them overlook a very important factor in storing their possessions. Insurance. Here are some important questions to ask:

Does the storage facility offer coverage?

Most do offer some type of coverage, but ask what damages will be covered (such as floods or fire). Also be sure to check limits and the type of reimbursement offered. (Is it actual cash value or replacement cost?)

Does my homeowners policy cover my items in storage? Check with your insurance professional on the terms of your policy. Some will cover items stored off your premises, but ensure you check the limits. Damage from mold, mildew, and animals often isn’t covered.

Will I be storing particularly valuable items? If so, you may need to add a floater to your policy to cover items beyond the limits of your coverage. You may also want to consider specialized storage for them, such as a safety deposit box.

Does the facility include the following?

  •   Proper security: Fencing, 24-hour video surveillance, fire and flood procedures.
  •   Climate control: Protection against extreme temperatures, dampness, and precipitation.
  •   Thorough maintenance: Well-kept facility and grounds and a pest extermination contract.
  •   Insurance: Your current policy may provide the protection you need, or you can purchase additional coverage from the storage facility.