I'm leaving New York City for a few months and putting some of my stuff in storage. Does my apartment insurance policy protect my stuff while it's in a facility?
When your furniture is in storage, your apartment insurance and the facility’s protection plan might cover damage, but it depends on the policies and what caused the issue.
That’s because most apartment insurance policies don’t cover damage to your possessions when they’re stored outside of your apartment building, says Jeffrey Schneider, president of Gotham Brokerage (a Brick Underground sponsor). You should call your insurer and notify them that you’re moving things into storage and see what coverage your current policy has, he says.
You can also add off-premise coverage to your policy when you move belongings into storage, Schneider says. This will increase your premium by 15 to 40 percent, depending on the company, he says.
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However, if you’re moving out of your apartment completely and putting everything in storage, you would need a different type of policy, Schneider says. One workaround: If you’re subletting the apartment, you could keep the policy in place while you’re away temporarily.
Just like most apartment insurance policies, your items will be protected from fire or water damage while in storage with the right coverage. You should do an inventory of all of your stuff to make sure you have enough coverage in case this happens.
So what types of damage aren’t covered? Anything caused by mold, mildew, vermin, and even insects would not be covered, Schneider says. So you should really look into the facility and make sure it’s well maintained.
Some storage companies offer their own insurance or coverage for items stored at their facilities. For example Dumbo Moving and Storage includes basic insurance coverage in your monthly payments, says Joseph Crea, a representative from the Brooklyn-based company.
There is also an inspection to note the condition of your items prior to storage, so any preexisting damage would not be covered, Crea says. To prevent any damage, all items are wrapped in shrink wrap and more fragile items are get additional support with cardboard and moving blankets.
So if you didn’t add extra coverage before your items were placed in storage and something happens to your stuff, you might be out of luck, but you should reach out to the storage facility and your apartment insurance company to see if your existing plan covers damage.
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