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03/02/15 - When Your Offsite Property May Need Additional Insurance



Approximately 10 percent of American households use off-site self-storage, either as a way of managing the storage space in their current home or as a temporary measure while relocating to a new one.

If you are storing your belongings at a reputable storage facility, the likelihood of losses due to theft or vandalism is low, but that is not the only type of loss you may suffer. There is also the risk of damage due to fire, flood, rodents or mildew.

The good news is that your current homeowners or renters policy likely covers items kept in storage, but it's important to understand exactly what your policy does and doesn't cover before deciding whether or not you need to upgrade your policy.

Limitations - Find out if there are any coverage limitations on your existing policy. Often, insurance policies will cover only a percentage of the total coverage amount for items stored off-site. So if the value of what you are storing exceeds that amount, you should consider increasing your coverage.

Exclusions - Check that what you are storing isn't excluded from coverage when kept at an offsite storage facility. Common exclusions include jewelry and precious stones, currency and securities, art and antiques, business inventory or records, and collectibles.

Risks - Confirm which perils are covered under your existing policy. Your existing insurance policy may cover losses due to fire or flood, but exclude damage done by rodents or mildew or even negligence on the part of the facility operator. Confirm your coverage and check out these tips on how to protect your belongings.

Deductible - Confirm what your deductible would be in the event of a claim. Most often, it's the same as the deductible on your current policy; paying the deductible may not make sense for a smaller claim.