Do I Need Self Storage Insurance in Bangor, Maine?
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!
Ten Easy House Staging Tips!
Everyone’s heard of curb appeal but does it stop there? The outside is manicured to catch a potential buyer’s attention but is it enough? The answer is simple; No. It’s like buying a cake because the frosting is so appealing but when you cut into the cake and it is not that great inside. The inside needs to be special as well, to entice an offer. This is called staging and depending on your market can put your house far ahead of the competition especially in Bangor Maine and the surrounding areas.
If you have a limited budget to work with, there are still many simple things you can do that will improve the appearance of your home. Staging your home can make the difference between a sale and your home sitting on the market for a long time. Following are the ten basic areas that can make a difference when selling your home. Plus utilizing self storage will help you towards your goal of selling your home.
#1 House Staging Tip: Brighten your Exterior
This will be the first thing a potential homeowner sees. It may be the one thing that determines their interest on the inside. Spend some extra time making sure your lawn, trees, hedges and other plants are well-maintained. Trim, prune and eliminate any weeds in your yard. Add color with some flower boxes and brighten your windows with a good cleaning.
Inexpensive Touch: Purchase new door mats for the doors to add a fresh clean look to the entrance way.
Pro Tip: Pressure wash the exterior of your home to give it a freshly painted look.
#2 House Staging Tip: Clean your Home
Make sure your rooms sparkle, take extra care in the kitchen and bathrooms! If you can’t replace your kitchen appliances, make sure the ones you have are immaculate. No one wants to see crumbs, spaghetti splatter or grease in their potential home. Pay extra attention when cleaning your shower, tub and those hidden places behind the toilet. Your goal is to make it all look new.
Inexpensive Touch: Replace the shower curtain to freshen up the bathroom, keep it to a neutral color, no prints.
Pro Tip: Replace the kitchen appliances, buyers are looking for new appliances that come with a home.
#3 House Staging Tip: Declutter your Space
Clutter distracts buyers from seeing your home’s great features. The other aspect is it gives the illusion your home doesn’t have enough space or storage. Remove all knick knacks and non essential items. Remember that buyers will be checking out your closets so finding a self storage unit to store these treasures in will benefit you two ways. It will declutter your home and give you a head start on your packing after your home sells.
Inexpensive Touch: Put all non essential items in self storage, throw away things you won’t be taking to a new home because it’s beyond its prime. Hold a yard sale or donate the other things that still have value to them.
Pro Tip: Hire a moving company to come pack up your home except for the basics.
#4 House Staging Tip: Depersonalize your Home
This may sound harsh but buyers need to visualize their possessions in your space. Remove all family photos, refrigerator art and items of a personal nature. Put away the children’s toys and anything else that is highly personal.
Inexpensive Touch: Add these to the boxes in your self storage unit to keep the house more impersonal.
Pro Tip: Use a moving company to pack up your belongings.
#5 House Staging Tip: Remove Odors from your Home
Any potential buyer will be put off by odors in your home. Identify odors and remove their source. As we are immune to our home’s smell, ask a friend to help you. Deep cleaning will eliminate a lot of the smells.
Inexpensive Touch: Just before showing your home bake apples with cinnamon or cookies to fill your home with their inviting aroma. Burn scented candles with a homey feel and grind a lemon in your garbage disposal. Remove any garbage and open the windows for some fresh air.
Pro Tip: Hire a cleaning company to shampoo your carpets and deodorize your home. This is recommended if you smoke inside your home. Start going outside to smoke to keep your home fresh smelling.
#6 House Staging Tip: Wallpaper and Paint Tips
Fresh warm neutral tones on the walls helps a buyer envision their own decor in the rooms. Remove all wallpaper or custom paints, each person has their own taste in decorating and custom paints and wallpaper may put off a buyer because their taste is totally different.
Inexpensive Touch: Remove wallpaper and freshen walls with warm neutral colors. DO NOT paint over wallpaper.
Pro Tip: Hire a painter to freshen the paint in your home.
#7 House Staging Tips: Lighting is Everything
Show off your home’s beauty, open the curtains and let the natural light in. Supplement this with additional lighting where necessary. Your freshly cleaned windows will add sparkle as well.
Inexpensive Touch: Wash all fixtures and replace any broken or damaged ones.
Pro Tip: Upgrade any outdated fixtures with fresh warm lighting to add to the ambience.
#8 House Staging Tips: Flooring
Dirty rugs and linoleum will deter a potential buyer from your home. Consider which rooms would benefit the most from a flooring upgrade and consider hardwood floors for added value. If a carpet can be easily cleaned rent a carpet cleaner and freshen the rugs.
Inexpensive Touch: Upgrade the bathroom floors, they have relatively small areas therefore are the least expensive to do. Use high-quality vinyl flooring that mimic ceramic or stone tiles.
Pro Tip: Replace bad flooring with hardwood floors, ceramic or stone tiles to add long term value to your home.
#9 House Staging Tip: The Furniture
Use the right size furniture to give your space the homey feel. Too much furniture will create a small, cluttered looking space. Using furniture that is too small will make a space feel cold and impersonal. The goal is a warm and inviting living space.
Inexpensive Touch: Rent nice furniture to stage your home. This will give it a new bright look without breaking your wallet with new furniture.
Pro Tip: Hire someone to stage your home to give it a homey feel.
#10 House Staging Tip: Define your Rooms
Make sure each room has it’s single defined purpose. This helps buyers see how to maximize the home to it’s best potential. If you have finished rooms you are using for storage, clean them out and turn them into an office or another simple bedroom. Utilize every space to it’s potential giving the buyer an overall experience that will have them submitting an offer so they can put their decorating twist on the house.
Just before an open house or showing, make sure your staging efforts have the maximum impact. Use some last minute touches to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Fresh air and cut flowers are the top two last minute touches that can put your efforts over the top. Open your windows at least 15 minutes prior to a showing! Another tip is the fresh baked smell of cookies, it conveys the warm home feel that often leads to an offer. Purchase some “slice and bake” cookie dough, bake and let the aroma fill your home. Overall you want your potential buyer to visualize themselves in this space. Specifically, to get the most out of your staging efforts your home should appeal to a broad range of buyers. The more people it appeals to the more offers you will receive for your home.
During this time of Covid-19 when families are drastically affected by the shutdown or closure of many businesses in Ellsworth, Maine. Many local services are following the state guidelines, slowing down the process for help to these families in need. When it takes 6 months to finally receive the unemployment money you applied for at the beginning of the pandemic things can be very stressful. What can you do to help others?
Tip #1: FOOD HELP
Search out your local food pantry or food bank and donate non perishable items. Every item helps a family provide nourishment and prevents hunger. Want to help in a big way? Volunteer your time if they are doing delivery to homes to keep the possibility of contamination down. How rewarding to drop off a much needed box of food to a family in need!
Pro Tip: Go to your local dollar store and purchase 20 items that are essential to a home that are often overlooked at food pantries. Items like toothpaste, body wash, diaper wipes all things that never go bad and will help a family keep healthy too! (check to make sure the place you are donating the items to will accept these types of donations)
Tip #2: HOMELESS SHELTERS/HALFWAY HOUSES
Imagine being in a shelter during this time of uncertainty. Like food pantries the shelters provide meals, as well as showers, laundry and other necessities. Check with your local shelter and see if they can use laundry detergent, dish soap, paper towels, toilet paper, bleach, and food. Use your local family dollar again for the biggest bang for your donation dollars.
Pro Tip: Check with your shelter and see if they are accepting clothing and other household items to assist with setting up a rental for their clients. If so go through your house and donate items you no longer need from clothing to towels, dishes and linens.
Tip #3: HOLIDAY HELP
With the approaching holiday season this year will be especially hard on many families. Donate coats, hats, gloves to the Coats for Kids campaign. Donate at a Toys for Tots, Angel Tree location or at your local Catholic Charities organization. When you see the Salvation Army ringing their bell outside a store stop and drop some change or bills into the red kettle. Every little bit helps these organizations provide a gift to a child or family affected by this pandemic.
Pro Tip: Volunteering at one of these organizations can be a rewarding experience. A little time goes a long way! Volunteer to shop for the gifts, drop off Thanksgiving or Christmas meals, be a secret Santa!
There are many other little things you can do to help others. Check with your neighbors to see if you can save them a trip to the store for milk and bread. Assist an elderly person by picking up their prescriptions and other items to save them a trip out and possible exposure. It takes a community to survive, become part of your community!