No matter where you may be keeping your belongings – whether it’s in your parents basement or garage, or in a public storage unit – making sure that you have the proper insurance coverage for those items should be considered a necessity if they are of any financial value or if it would cost money to replace them.
The Insurance Information Institute recommends that if an item is worth paying for its storage, then it is worth the cost of its coverage.
The first thing that you should do is to check your renters’ or homeowners’ insurance policy to determine whether or not the items you have in storage may already be covered. Next, you need to find out how much coverage those policies provide. These coverages do often exist through standard policies, but they are typically quite limited.
The limit for most homeowners’ and renters’ policies for property stored off-premises is usually between 10 and 15 percent of the policy’s overall coverage. If the items you are storing will be very inexpensive to replace, this may be enough. However, if they have any value at all, then you may want to consider supplemental coverage.
Remember that homeowners’ and renters’ policies may also have internal caps, such as $200 for trading cards or comic books, or $1,000 for jewelry. If you’re storing an item that has a cap, you may want to think about additional protection.
If you are not covered by homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, then it is still possible to buy a special insurance policy that specifically covers the items within the storage unit. Just make sure that it provides enough coverage for potential events such as severe weather.