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Does my home insurance cover items in storage?


Whether you’re in the middle of a move, downsizing, hanging on to a loved one’s belongings, or just looking to free up some space at home, you might find yourself storing items in an offsite storage unit. Whatever the reason, the items you’ve chosen to store are likely important to you. That’s why it’s equally important to know that your precious belongings have the proper coverage to repair or replace them if they were damaged or stolen while in storage. 
 
Are the belongings I have in storage covered by my home insurance policy? 
 
When we think about home insurance, most people (understandably) think of the items stored in their home. However, your home insurance coverage extends far beyond the walls of your house. In fact, your home insurance policy covers the contents of your home and belongings anywhere in the world. Whether your items are being held in a local storage locker or are halfway across the world waiting for you to settle into your new place, your home insurance will help to cover the repair or replacement cost if something goes wrong. Yes—even while you’re moving!
 
What are my items covered for? 
Most home insurance policies provide coverage for damage caused to your belongings by:

  • Vandalism

  • Theft

  • Fire or smoke

  • Lightning

  • Wind damage

  • Water damage

 
Damage caused by flooding, sewer back-ups, earthquakes, hail and landslides are not usually covered under a general home insurance policy. Contact your insurance broker to discuss what your current policy provides coverage for and what your options are for additional coverage.
 
Is there a limit to what my home insurance policy will cover?
Most home insurance policies do have limits for specialty items, including:

  • Silverware, glassware and chinaware

  • Jewellery and watches

  • Collectibles, antiques, fine arts, wine collections and fur items

  • Bicycles, spare car parts, watercrafts, golf carts and computer software

 
These coverage limits apply to items in storage as well. If your stored belongings fall into any of the above categories, contact your broker to discuss adding extra coverage to your policy. You may be asked to have the items appraised by a professional to ensure they are sufficiently covered.
 
If you are storing a motorized vehicle—such as a car, dirt bike, ATV or motorcycle—you will likely not have any coverage unless the vehicle is specifically added to your home insurance policy. Typically, these items require separate insurance. 
 
Every home insurance policy will have unique coverage, exclusions and limits. Review your policy closely before putting your belongings in storage to ensure you have the coverage you need to repair or replace them if needed. The best way to determine what kind of insurance coverage is right for you is to connect with your insurance broker. Your broker will work with you to ensure your valued belongings are protected—no matter where in the world they are. 
 
If you have questions about your current home insurance coverage, contact us at 1-888-494-0090. If you are shopping for home insurance and would like to get a quote, connect with an OTIP broker today at 1-888-892-4935.

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