There will most likely be a time in your life where you need to put some or all of your personal contents into a storage facility. Everyone will have their own unique reasons as to why they need to temporarily put their belongings into storage, but the need to keep insurance coverage on your belongings will always be an important decision to make.
Depending on how long you are planning on keeping your property in a storage facility, you will have options to keep insurance coverage on your property. With this article we are going to try to help people navigate their options and hopefully help you keep your property insured while it’s out of your home.
Types of Coverage Available
As with all insurance, you will have a lot of options. As mentioned above, some of the options will depend on how long you are planning on keeping your property in storage and also on where you will be storing your property.
Endorsement on Your Home Insurance Policy
Some people might not be aware, but most insurance companies will have an endorsement that can be added to your home, tenant, or condo insurance policy that will cover your property while it’s in storage.
The premium for these endorsements are usually based on the value of the property you want to store. For example, your insurance company might charge $1.50 per $100 of contents stored. Using that example figure, if your contents have a value of $1000, this fictional insurer will charge $1.50 for every $100 of those contents ($15).
Every company will have its own rule set and length of time they will be willing to cover contents in storage. Some insurance companies may even be willing to cover the contents for FREE for the first 90 days and after 90 days they will start charging for the endorsement.
Your insurance company will most likely have rules for the type of facility you’re going to store your contents in. These rules can be as basic as the facility needing to be fenced in with cameras, but it could also require the storage facility to be protected by a sprinkler system or be monitored 24/7.
For these reasons, it’s very important to discuss your unique situation with your insurance broker so they can make sure you are going to be properly covered.
Standalone Contents in Storage Insurance Policy
You also have the option of buying a standalone insurance policy for your contents in storage. You would lean towards using a standalone contents in storage policy if your current provider did not have an endorsement, you have higher valued contents, better coverage forms, wanted different deductible options, or optional tenants’ legal liability.
These policies will have their own unique set of rules and rates. You will most likely run into rules about the facility needing to be fenced and have 24-hour controlled access, but there is a good chance that your home insurance endorsement will have similar rules.
As mentioned above, some of the standalone contents in storage policies will have better coverage forms. They might offer you a replacement cost settlement on your property rather than an actual cash value settlement basis. These can be complicated subjects, so it would be best to talk to your broker to find out which option is best for you.
Insurance Coverage from the Facility
Your storage facility might offer its own insurance for your contents in their possession. The benefit of this coverage is that it’s very easy to sign up for and the facility does most of the hard work for you. There could be gaps in coverage or just general misunderstandings when it comes to these types of coverage as an insurance professional is most likely not going over the details of the policy with you.
You must be aware of what the coverage is going to respond to and what it is going to exclude. Arranging your own insurance outside of the storage facility is most likely going to be your best option.
Choosing the Right Option for You
Choosing the right insurance package for your contents in storage can be a daunting experience. You will have the storage facility trying to sell their own insurance, and you will your insurer trying to sell you their endorsement.
The right option is to talk to your insurance broker. Let them know what you are storing, for how long you are storing it, and where you’re going to be storing it. Using that information, the insurance professional will be able to direct you to the best options for you. A good broker will give you more than one option and let you choose the best option for you.
If you currently don’t have an insurance broker, please contact us today for a free quote on your insurance needs. Having a skilled professional on your side is always a great plan.