How Insurance Works When it Comes to Storage

Have you thought about putting some of your belongings away in storage? As someone moves from a bigger house into a smaller apartment or townhouse, they may not be willing to part with belongings that will not fit into the new place. For a brief time, some people need a place to keep their stuff while they do not have a permanent home, and are in the search for one. Some belongings are only good for part of the year such as skis or golf clubs, and these take up a lot of space in a smaller living area. Whatever the reason, you’re entrusting your valuable goods with a storage company.

What if something happens?

Will your home insurance cover your belongings in a storage facility? There is a limited amount of coverage for stored belongings, and about a month is the typical maximum time allotted. For a higher fee, one can usually get partial coverage under what is called a “storage rider”.

If you are considering placing some of your goods in a rented storage locker, be sure to check with your insurance provider first. Check the duration of coverage that is available, and what specifically is included for loss or damages.

General Guidelines When Storing Items

Those with extensive experience offer some great pointers on how to handle this situation:

Location, location, location! Put things you might need in the front. Put things you’re rarely, or never going to need access to, in the back. It’s a good idea to leave a clear space in the center, to make it easier to get to things. It makes sense to keep important property in the back, so that it is better protected from theft.

Get pallets or skids to place boxes on, allowing airflow around and under items. If the air has space to flow, it will be more dry. Walls can develop condensation so try to leave some room between your items and the walls.

Make an efficient use of the area allotted. Sofas can be stored on one end, legs can be removed from furniture like tables. There are lots of spaces in between the large items to store smaller things.

Pack heavy books in small boxes to make them more manageable. And pack them flat, to protect their spines. It is a good idea to wrap some of your more important papers and books in plastic, and then to put into a box. Moisture damage will be reduced this way.

To reduce the amount of scratches or dings, use pads or wraps to put over important furniture. Dust can collect in boxes, so to stop this, use packing tape to seal them up. Pack boxes correctly – don’t overfill causing the box to bulge and tip, and don’t underfill causing the box to collapse. Photographs and artwork can curl, so to make sure this doesn’t happen, you could put them between pieces of cardboard and tape them tightly.

Use a pallet underneath your mattress, which should be stored on end, as this will increase the flow of air around it. There are bags to cover your mattress, and it is wise to do so. To ensure air flow, leave any plastic coverings open at the top.

For items like computers and electronics, use bubble wrap and balled up newspaper if the boxes they came in are gone, to protect them from potential damage. Damage from breaking down styrofoam can be a problem with electronic items, so it’s best not to use it.

For belongings that could break easily such as electronics, make sure you write “Fragile” on them, and be careful to not put anything heavy over it.

Use high quality locks on your locker, avoid cheaper options. When leaving, always be sure that the unit is fully secure.

If you want to know more about Canada home insurance, or if you’re renting visit insurance for your Alberta condo.