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Do I Need Self Storage Insurance in Bangor, Maine?

Why do I need self storage insurance in Bangor, ME?

What is Self Storage Insurance?

 Self storage insurance provides financial protection for your stored property especially in Bangor, Maine. It also gives you peace of mind knowing these items will be protected while being stored. Some homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies will cover possessions stored off-premises and others do not. You can purchase extra insurance to cover property in self storage.

Why Do I Need Self Storage Insurance?

Your property is stored at your sole risk while it is in self storage. It is a common misconception that your self storage unit is covered by the storage facility. Most storage facilities do not insure your personal belongings and have no responsibility to provide insurance. Some locations may require you to have self storage insurance to store your property with them. That is why it’s important to check on insurance coverage for your property before you decide to store your items. Also, look for other security measures at the facility that will help protect your property such as security cameras, gated entry, outside lights and someone who is on premise during part of the day. 

What to do if the storage facility requires insurance coverage to store your property with them. First, inquire about the type of proof they will accept that you have insurance coverage for self storage purposes. Ask; If you aren’t covered through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, do they offer their own insurance plan or do they have a recommendation for a good insurance company. Most places will require a copy of the “Declaration” page of your policy. A declaration page is an outline of the coverage your policy has including if that coverage extends to off-premise locations like self storage. This page can easily be obtained from your agent if you can’t find your copy to provide the proof of coverage needed. 

The next step in seeking protection for your stored items is to contact your insurance company. Ask your agent if your policy protects items in self storage and if not is there an option to add this coverage to your policy. It may require an insurance rider to your current policy to provide you with the financial protection you will need for your property in storage. This rider can be dropped once you have removed your property from self storage. 

If your policy covers off-premise storage ask your agent to direct you to the part of your policy that covers self storage insurance. Read every detail of that section to see what is covered and what isn’t. Many policies have exclusions of events like mold and mildew, flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes plus varying limits of coverage on qualified events. Every policy has different types of exclusions and varying limits depending on the company and policy type. If you have questions, ask your agent to clarify any words you don’t understand and how it will affect your property while in self storage. Being familiar with this coverage could save you a costly mistake while your property is being stored off-premise.

What if your policy doesn’t offer self storage insurance?

 Ask the storage facility manager if they offer insurance coverage and what the different levels of protection are. Most reputable self storage facilities offer coverage for an additional cost above the monthly rent for your unit. These levels start at, or right around two thousand dollars coverage for roughly a ten dollar monthly premium. The plans go up by thousand dollar increments from there, some cap at ten thousand dollars coverage and other plans offer a higher limit. The manager can inform you of the different limits of coverage offered and the monthly premium for each level. As with most insurance policies there are exclusions of covered events and limits on coverage. Be sure to ask about these before making a decision. If they don’t offer an insurance plan ask for a recommendation for an agency that does offer self storage insurance. 

Once you have all your options for self storage insurance, choose the one or ones that give you the best coverage for your property. Be aware that many policies will not cover items like, money, expensive jewelry or furs.  If you have those items you may need to obtain “specialty insurance” to cover such items. Specialty insurance is used for items or events that are considered unique or have special circumstances around them. The property that would be covered with this type of policy is rarely covered by standard insurance. A safe deposit box may offer the best protection for these types of valuable items but be aware that most insurance companies do not cover items in safe deposit boxes. Sometimes a combination of policies will offer you the best protection for your property. 

Added Protection Steps For The Security Of Your Property.

Once you’ve made a decision on a self storage facility there are other things you can do to help protect your property. Following are a few examples of the simple things you can do for added security and protection.

  • Choose a disc or cylinder lock 
    • These provide a higher level of security compared to other locks
  • Keep moisture sensitive items off the floor
    • Pallets or selves should be used to elevate your items
  • Cover your items with plastic sheets
    • This will better protect your property from dust or moisture
  • Do NOT store “Valuables”
    • Jewelry, currency or other valuable items should not be stored in self storage
  • Do NOT store flammable or hazardous materials
    • Storing these items are dangerous to you and the facility
  • Rodent or Pest control: check if Professional Pest Control is offered
    • Add dryer sheets to clothing and in bureau drawers. Mice dislike the strong scent
    • DO NOT put food items in your unit
  • Make an inventory of your stored items and pictures of your more valuable items
    • Keep a copy of your inventory in a safe place; it will help expedite any claim.

It’s up to you to decide the value of your property and to protect them while in self storage. Be a smart consumer and be prepared with self storage insurance!