When you rent a storage unit, the goal is to protect the items inside it until you need them. You may put in furniture that you love but have no room for in your home or family keepsakes that you don’t want damaged in a basement or attic.
Storage units are supposed to be safe and secure, but sometimes disaster strikes and either the unit is damaged or your belongs are damaged. What can you do if your property is damaged while being stored? Is it your responsibility or the company’s?
We’ll examine the most common causes of storage unit damage and what you can do about it.
Critters in the Storage Units
It’s estimated that 1 in 10 households have items in a storage unit or portable storage unit. It’s such a common phenomenon that there are television shows around people buying the contents of unpaid units.
The units are secured with a lock, but they’re not impenetrable. One of the most common problems is an animal infestation. People often store furniture with cushions or appliances with lots of little nooks and crannies.
They’re the perfect home for rats, raccoons, opossums, and other rodents. They’ll chew on furniture, live in furniture and leave their droppings everywhere. The last thing you want is to open the door and hear the scurrying sound of rodents scattering.
Animals can do serious damage to the items in the units.
Theft and Vandalism in Your Storage Unit
Storage units aren’t always in well-lit areas. Many times, they’re on the outskirts of town with little or no security except for a few cameras and the locks on the units.
They’re the perfect targets for thieves and vandals. Many renters have been surprised to find their storage unit broken into and their items damaged or stolen.
If you catch it early enough, then the police may be able to recover the property and bring the thieves to justice, but unless you frequent the unit, it could be days, weeks or months before you discover the issues.
Weather and Disaster-Related Issues
Mother Nature can be cruel. Floods, fires and other natural disasters can wipe out entire units, leaving everything in them destroyed.
People who live in areas prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires are likely familiar with the devastation they leave behind. It could also be man-made such as a malfunctioning sprinkler system or electrical fire.
They can knock out whole units or be sporadic where one unit is devastated while another is unscathed. Storage units have difficulty protecting the units from natural disasters.
Keep Your Items Insured
When you rent a storage unit, you’re often offered additional insurance to cover any possible damage to the contents. Many people don’t get the insurance because they believe their renter’s insurance covers it or don’t believe they’ll need it.
It not until disaster strikes that they discover the truth. While renter’s insurance does cover numerous problems, it doesn’t cover all of them. Water damage caused by septic issues or broken water pipes is one of the most common methods of destruction.
While renter’s insurance cover fire, they don’t often cover water damage. You could be left on the hook.
The storage unit insurance usually caps the total value of the items in the unit. Usually, the bigger the storage unit, the higher the value threshold.
This can be a problem if the value of the items exceeds the insurance or if the insurance covered is subpar.
For example, if you have a $1,500 couch in the unit and it gets infested with mold, you may find the insurance only covers a fraction of the total cost.
Read Your Rental and Insurance Contracts
Renters have been shocked to find how little their rental insurance covers. When you rent the unit, you’re in a hurry. You might have the items on the truck and you’re looking forward to packing it up and calling it a night.
You blindly sign the rental and insurance agreements without reading them fully and it’s not until weeks or months later that you discover your items are destroyed and you’re never going to get full value for them.
Read the agreements as soon as you get them and go over any issues with the rental company. If you discover the insurance doesn’t cover the value of the items, then consider getting supplemental insurance.
Get Rental Insurance Coverage
Rental insurance covered is specifically designed for storage units and covering the total value of the items. You purchase a policy that covers a maximum value and pay a monthly premium.
The cost is small, but the peace of mind is invaluable. If something happens, then you file a claim just like you would with a car accident. The insurance company investigates and pays you the value of the items.
If you plan on storing anything of value, storage unit insurance protects you when other insurance policies don’t.
Don’t Store Anything Priceless
You can cover the value of the items in the storage units, but the sentimental value of items is irreplaceable. If there are family heirlooms or other items that mean more to you than simply their physical value, then don’t put them in a storage unit.
An insurance policy can replace the physical items, but not the memories or sense of familial pride that goes along with them. Any time you rent a storage unity, you run the risk of damage.
Don’t let mold destroy your mother’s wedding dress or fire burn your grandfather’s stamp collection. Keep them close at hand, so you know the responsibility for their safety relies on you.
Protect Your Items
Don’t expect renter’s insurance or the insurance offered by the storage unit to provide you the full value of your items. Storage unit damage is more common than you think, and it can happen to you.
For more information about the benefits of storage unit insurance, please explore our site.