Most standard renters insurance policies provide limited coverage for your non-residence or off-premise personal property. It means you do not need to pay extra if you have to keep your personal property in storage. However, depending on the coverage limit and cost of your renters insurance, the protection may be limited to only theft leaving your property vulnerable to other perils such as vandalism, fire, and weather-related loss.
You must consult your insurance provider for more information about how to ensure comprehensive protection for your assets in storage against an increased number of perils.
How Does Renters Insurance Cover My Property Kept in Storage Units?
Renters insurance covers damage or loss to your personal property, in storage, by a covered peril. The coverage limit is 10% of your personal property insurance coverage limit. An added benefit of the insurance is that it applies to your in-storage belongings regardless of the place. They can be kept anywhere in the world but you are assured security by your renters insurance coverage. It offers financial protection for all assets kept away from your residence and this includes your belongings kept in storage facilities.
However, for expensive items like jewelry, insurance companies may limit or exclude their coverage by including sub-limits within the policy on these items and you may be required to add a rider to your policy. Buying added coverage increases their coverage to their replacement value. This is also referred to as “scheduling an item”.
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Why is Documenting Your Items in Storage Essential?
It is important to create a detailed inventory of all the personal items that you keep in storage for future reference. Taking photographs and videos of each item can be used as proof if you need to file a claim due to damage or loss of property.
Maintaining a list that mentions all the in-storage items along with their replacement value can help the insurance adjuster to expedite the process if you file a claim. Also, having the model number, serial number, and date of purchase of a costly appliance and copies of receipts for expensive items can prove to be very helpful in getting the right compensation for the lost or damaged item.
Many insurance providers only theft as a covered peril in renters insurance. For more extensive coverage for your in-storage property, you must ensure that the perils covered by your insurance include:
- Theft and vandalism
- Fire and smoke
- Water damage
- Natural elements such as flood, lightning, and hail
- Pest and mold infestation
You must check the policy details of your renters insurance off-premises protection coverage to know about the inclusions and exclusions. If you feel the coverage is inadequate leaving your assets exposed to perils, you may consider buying an extra storage policy.
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The Coverage Limit Needed for Adequate Protection
Typically, insurance policies limit the coverage extent of your belongings in storage to 10% of your total personal property coverage. If the cost of the property in storage is covered within the 10% after deducting the deductible, you may not need extra coverage. However, if it is more than the coverage limit offered by your insurance, the gap in your coverage can be filled by buying added insurance from the storage service provider.
For example, 10% of the total amount of your personal property coverage fixed at $ 50,000 comes to $ 5,000. If the total value of the in-storage items is less than the coverage amount, after paying the deductible, you can be assured of having adequate protection. In a scenario, where the value of the in-storage items is $ 12,000, you must cover the gap by buying added coverage to ensure the protection of your assets and peace of mind for you.
Exclusions in Storage Insurance
Your insurance provider may exclude certain items of value such as deeds, money, jewelry, furs, and watches among others. However, for some items, you can buy riders to ensure their inclusion in your insurance coverage.
Do Storage Companies Offer Insurance?
Several storage companies make it mandatory for you to have a rental insurance policy as part of the agreement contract. Besides buying renters insurance from your insurance provider for the protection of your stored property, you can also buy insurance coverage from your storage company. When the value of the stored property is more than the coverage limit of your renters insurance, buying balance coverage from the storage provider ensures comprehensive protection of your property.