Too often, you don’t think about needing a protection plan until it’s too late.
But, if you are renting a storage unit, or considering renting one, you need to hear what happened to one woman whose items were damaged.
Kara McCormick needed storage during a recent move.
So she rented a unit at an Extra Space Storage facility in Ohio, filling it with furniture, artwork and other belongings.
But when she returned, she found what looked like mice droppings on the floor.
Worse, she says she saw several mice scurrying around.
“There were mice coming out of all kinds of crevices,” she said.
McCormick says her boxes and clothing were chewed through.
“It’s a loss,” she said.
What to know before you rent storage space
Storage facilities are popular and tend to be very secure.
But before you put any of your valuable belongings into one of these units, you need to ask: What if there is a fire, insect, water or rodent damage?
Clare Rapasso of Realtor.com says first check with your home or rental insurance provider.
“Oftentimes, storage units are covered under your policies,” she said.
If not, many facilities will sell you insurance coverage. For instance, Extra Space’s website offers insurance starting at $11 a month.
Next, Rapasso says it is essential to store items properly to avoid damage.
She suggests plastic bins with tight lids, to prevent insects or moisture from getting to clothing, books or other items.
And for furniture, she says, “I would wrap them with moving blankets. Think about the last time you moved and how things were packed during your move.”
But be careful storing uncovered upholstered furniture.
Rapasso says you should never store:
- Anything with personal information — like your banking information or Social Security Number.
- Food or pet food, which will attract mice.
- Valuables or family heirlooms that can never be replaced.
We reached out to Extra Space Storage, where a spokesperson told us its protection plan would have covered pest damage, but unfortunately, McCormick had opted out.
“They said if I had the insurance that it would be a different story,” she said.
However, the company says it did give her one month of free rent for her troubles.
In addition, Extra Space says pest control agents inspect the property bi-weekly, and treat units anytime they see activity.
But there are always risks with any storage unit.
“I had a lot of sentimental things that I was trying to keep safe, and it did not turn out that way,” McCormick said.
That is why you should have insurance, so you don’t waste your money.
FULL STATEMENT FROM EXTRA SPACE STORAGE:
Extra Space’s Customer Protection Plan, our insurance product, covers damage caused by pests (also insect, water damage, etc.). It is Extra Space’s official company policy and stated on the lease that tenants are responsible for having insurance coverage for the items stored in their unit. We highly encourage using our insurance product since it covers more than a typical renter’s policy. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, this tenant opted out of our coverage, but the majority of Extra Space customers do have this insurance which covers damage caused by pests.
This is not a typical situation for us, but I wanted you to be aware that the rodent issue at this property was isolated to a small area of units, and once we were aware, the team worked to fix this issue. Extra Space also has a pest control vendor who visits the property bi-weekly for inspections, and anytime we see activity.
This content was originally published here.