What is it and what does it cover? – Forbes Advisor

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If “your house is a place to store your things while you go out and buy more things,” as the late comedian George Carlin said, a storage unit is the natural extension of that. “Imagine that, there’s an entire industry based on watching your stuff,” he said in one of his most famous stand-up routines. That’s the whole point of life, isn’t it? Trying to find a place for your things.

While storage units may not be literally that momentous, they can provide a safe place for items you don’t have the heart to part with or extra space while you move.

However, just like your home or office, storage units are exposed to hazards that can damage or destroy your belongings. Having storage unit insurance can be a financial safety net in case things go wrong.

What is storage unit insurance?

Storage unit insurance financially protects your personal belongings in a storage unit against issues like theft, vandalism, and weather.

While your business, renters, or homeowner’s insurance policy probably provides some coverage, it’s likely to be limited when it comes to off-premises insurance for belongings located outside of your home. For example, homeowners insurance may limit coverage for off-premises items to 10% of the amount of your homeowners coverage.

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What does storage unit insurance cover?

Your business, home, or renters insurance policy usually describes what types of “perils” or problems your insurance covers. Generally, the damage or loss must be the result of an issue listed on your policy in order for you to receive reimbursement for the incident.

Standard issues covered by an existing policy, such as home insurance, include:

  • Fire
  • spotlights
  • Wind
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Stole
  • falling objects
  • Weight of snow or ice

What does storage unit insurance not cover?

When the items in a storage unit are covered by a policy you already have, such as home insurance, common exclusions may include:

  • Water damage, such as accumulation of water
  • Earthquakes, tremors, sinkholes and landslides
  • mold and fungus
  • power failure
  • Negligence
  • intentional loss
  • insects and rodents
  • Terrible maintenance and upkeep
  • use and throw away

Please note that some of the issues listed above may be covered under a separate storage unit policy. Also, certain exclusions may apply to a separate policy, such as the exclusion of jewelry or fur coverage. Therefore, check your insurance certificate to see what problems are not covered in your policy.

Where can you buy storage unit insurance?

If you’re looking for storage unit insurance, start by checking what your current insurance policy covers. You may want additional coverage, which you can purchase through your insurer or as a separate policy.

Insurance company for homeowners, renters or businesses

As part of your home, renters, or small business insurance, you may already have coverage for items in a storage unit. However, your policy likely has a coverage limit that only insures your off-premises belongings up to a certain amount. For example, if you have $50,000 in personal property coverage under your homeowners insurance, coverage for items in a storage unit may be capped at 10% or $5,000.

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Also keep in mind that home and renters insurance policies have sublimits on some personal possessions. For example, you may have a $1,500 reimbursement limit for stolen jewelry. That means if your storage unit is overflowing with antiques, jewelry, or other valuables, you may want to purchase a timed personal property endorsement. This additional coverage ensures that your most prized possessions are insured for their full value.

Taking an inventory of your belongings will help you determine if you have enough storage unit insurance.

Independent Storage Unit Insurance

In some cases, separate storage unit policies may provide extended coverage not found in your homeowners or commercial insurance policy. For example, Orange Door Storage Insurance policies cover vermin and fungus damage up to $250. It also covers water damage such as flooding.

If you have homeowners (or renters) insurance and a storage unit, which is activated first for a claim? Self contained storage unit insurance is usually primary, meaning you make a claim first. But check your policy language to confirm.

Another advantage of a self-contained storage unit insurance policy that has primary coverage: Claims are not included in the record of homeowners or business insurance claims. This prevents a homeowners or business insurance rate increase due to a claim.

Most storage companies require storage unit insurance, but some don’t tell unit renters that they need proof of insurance coverage until the day they start renting. New renters may feel pressured to purchase rental storage facility coverage and are unable to compare other options.

With this in mind, it’s best to compare your options before purchasing storage unit insurance. Talk to your current homeowners or renters insurance company to see what is covered, and then determine if you need supplemental coverage.

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Who Needs Storage Unit Insurance?

Incidents such as thefts, arsons, and accidental fires can cause thousands of dollars in damage to a self-storage rental facility. If your unit gets caught in the crossfire, you could lose everything you’ve packed. To safeguard your valuables in a storage unit, you need adequate coverage to protect your belongings from damage or destruction.

Even if your storage unit has 24/7 surveillance and you catch a thief in the act, your stolen goods are unlikely to be recovered. Having storage unit insurance ensures that you can recover some of your losses.

If you decide to purchase rental storage facility insurance, be sure to review the policy carefully. Some storage facility policies have limitations. You’ll want to make sure you’re offered enough coverage to protect the items you’re storing at the value you think they’re worth. It is also important to understand what disasters are covered by the policy.

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