Did you know that your Renters Insurance or Homeowners Insurance policy may cover your possessions that are in a storage facility? Do you know what determines whether they will be covered, in case they become damaged or stolen?
Since the 1960s, when the first self-storage facilities opened their doors, the market for storage units has continually expanded. While needing a solution for short-term logistical issues (between moves, for instance) once provided the primary market for these units, today more than 50% of renters store anything they have that won’t fit in their homes.
Perhaps like an increasing number of Americans, you’ve realized that what you once were paying to store wasn’t worth the monthly fee; however, if it is, then it’s worth making sure it’s covered under your Renters Insurance Policy.
What Renters Insurance Covers
Typical Renters or Homeowners policies cover the personal property of the renter or homeowner, regardless of where your possessions are when they’re damaged. So it would seem that the items you own and store in a storage facility would be covered, right? Yes and no. Yes, they’re covered, but no, they’re not covered in exactly the same way that items remaining in your residence are covered. Depending on the details of your policy, only those possessions that add up to 10% of your coverage limit; for instance, if you have a $200,000 limit, only items totaling $20,000 in a storage unit would be covered.
This issue brings us back to something we mentioned in Part 1 of this series: the fact that it’s your responsibility as the renter to estimate the value of the contents of your apartment or rental home. That requires taking a comprehensive inventory of your possessions, something we’ll look at in greater detail in another post.
What Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover
People store all kinds of things in storage facilities, and vehicles are definitely high on the list. If you have a motor vehicle in storage, it is not covered under any Homeowners or Renters Insurance policies you may have. Whether it’s a car or truck, an ATV or motorcycle, it requires its own insurance policy. There are a few exceptions to that rule: a car in dead storage, for instance, or equipment used to maintain your property, like a riding lawn mower. Even when such items do fall under your Renters Insurance policy, they will still only be covered up to 10% of your property limit. When in doubt, always double-check with your insurance agent about whether you need an added insurance policy for specific contents of your storage unit.
In addition to whether your Renters Insurance policy covers the contents of your storage unit, you’ll also want to make sure the types of things you’re storing are allowed, according to your rental facility. Combustible chemicals are usually not allowed, and they could provide a significant liability risk to you, in case of fire. You’ll also want to talk with your insurance agent about adding your storage facility as an additional insured location, to eliminate any confusion about your coverage.
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or Northeast Shopping Center or call us at (717) 764-2024.
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