If you have any possessions locked away in a storage unit, they’re probably important to you. Otherwise, why would you be storing them? Assuming you place some value on these items, the next question you should ask yourself is: are they properly insured?
Off-Premises Insurance Coverage: What You Need to Know
Storage facilities make it their business to secure their premises. Which is why it’s a fair assumption that stored items are insured against things like theft and vandalism or fire, smoke and water damage. Sadly, this is not the case. The good news is that any standard home insurance policy covers personal belongings outside the home, though some limits apply.
A typical home insurance policy covers your belongings from anywhere in the world—that includes storage facilities. However, there’s a crucial difference—when you store belongings away from your home, these items are only covered up to 90 days. If you’re planning to store them beyond that, you’ll need to consider additional coverage.
As with possessions inside the home, your stored items are subject to limits on things such as cash, collectibles, bicycles, furs and other valued possessions. You can always get additional protection on high value items by adding supplemental insurance. Learn more about protecting these high value items here.
How to Protect Your Stored Items
The first thing to consider if you’re planning on storing belongings is choosing a reputable facility with security measures in place. Check to make sure locks are working properly and ask about the alarm system and 24-hour video surveillance. Make sure the premises are safe, well maintained and free of mildew and moisture that could damage your belongings.
If you’re planning on storing possessions for more than 90 days, it’s wise to buy a stand-alone storage insurance policy. Specialty insurance providers in Ontario offer unique coverage for contents in storage. This type of coverage is ideal for temporary storage of your belongings during transitional times and for longer term storage of excess household items.
Some storage companies may require you to have your stored possessions insured and might even offer to sell you insurance directly. Though you may be tempted, you definitely want to talk to one of our independent brokers to learn more about extensions on your home policy and get access to better rates.