How does my home insurance protect me when I go on vacation?
Imagine that you’re going on vacation. What about all the stuff you’re taking with you – luggage, camera, golf clubs? If something happens to your personal property while you’re travelling, will your home insurance cover it?
Most home insurance policies provide coverage for personal property temporarily removed from your principal residence. Home insurance policies also provide liability coverage for your personal actions anywhere in the world, if you unintentionally cause damage to another person or their property.
See if you can guess which situations below would be covered by your home insurance:
- You accidentally drop your camera in the canal during a gondola ride in Italy. If you have a comprehensive home insurance policy, you’ll have coverage for the lost camera, subject to your deductible, no matter where in the world you lose it!
- You accidentally hit someone in the head with your surfboard while vacationing in Hawaii. Liability insurance, which is automatically included in your home insurance policy, will cover you if you’re sued as a result of unintentionally injuring another person, anywhere in the world!
- Someone steals your golf clubs while you’re enjoying a celebratory drink at St. Andrew’s in Scotland. Your personal property is covered anywhere in the world, so your policy should definitely respond. However, golf clubs are considered “sporting goods,” and may be limited on some policies. Check with your insurance agent to make sure you have enough coverage before you leave.
- Someone breaks into your RV while you’re out walking the California coast, stealing your laptop and ripping the TV right off the wall. Your laptop should be covered by your home insurance policy, as it is an item “temporarily removed” from your principal residence. The TV, on the other hand, was attached to the RV, so may need to be claimed under your RV policy.
These are just some examples of how your home insurance will protect you, even when you’re away from home. If you plan on taking a trip and want to make sure your property will be protected, call your insurance agent to check in advance – especially if you’ve purchased expensive new gadgets like cameras to take with you.
Does my home insurance cover my children while they’re away at school?
It’s an exciting, yet anxious time when your children leave home to attend college or university. What about all the stuff they take with them if they’re living away from home? Maybe a TV, certainly a computer and a cell phone, all their clothes, shoes, books, bedding. What will happen if their stuff is lost or stolen? It’s a big move. Make sure your children are properly protected.
Why should students have contents insurance?
University students living away from home, whether on or off campus, are three times more likely to fall victim to theft. In fact, one in three university students report that they have been a victim. Did you know that the average student has contents valued at more than $4,000? With the rising price of textbooks, laptops, and other gadgets, the value of your child’s belongings can add up. With the increased theft risk and contents value you should look into how your current policy protects your child.
The landlord or school may require that your child have a separate tenant’s insurance policy for three reasons. First, the landlord wants to ensure your child has personal liability protection in the event that your child accidentally damages the landlord’s property. Second, the landlord wants to ensure your child’s personal property is protected against theft, fire or water damage. And finally, in the event the suite is damaged, the landlord wants to ensure your child’s temporary living expenses are covered.
How do I know if my child is already covered?
Check your insurance policy. Most home insurance policies will extend coverage to your child who is temporarily away from home and is attending a university or college as a full-time student. There is usually a limit on the amount of coverage, but this can often be increased if necessary. And, there are often policy sub-limits on computers, cameras, bicycles, etc. (Square One has no limit for qualifying members of your family.)
There may be some other restrictions, such as the child is still financially dependent on you. If your son or daughter has been working and is self-supporting, coverage may not apply. Or if they’ve moved into an apartment, with living room, kitchen, and bedroom furniture, the amount of coverage you can extend from your policy may not be sufficient. It may be time for them to purchase their own tenant’s insurance policy.
My child needs a separate insurance policy. What’s next?
Get a quote online or call us at 1.855.331.6933. Your quote will be specific to your needs and take only 15 minutes to complete.
What about property in a storage unit?
Have you thought about putting some of your belongings away in storage? Maybe you’re downsizing, from a big house to a small condo, and aren’t ready to have a garage sale. Or you might be between houses, staying with family, and need someplace to store your furniture temporarily. Your new apartment might not have enough storage space, leaving you in need of a place to put your skis in the summer, and golf clubs in the winter.
Whatever the reason, you’re entrusting your valuable goods with a storage company.
Will my home insurance cover my belongings in a storage facility?
Most companies provide very limited coverage for goods in storage, and often no coverage at all beyond 30 days. Sometimes, a “storage rider” can be added to provide limited coverage, for an extra charge.
If you are considering placing some of your goods in a rented storage locker, be sure to check with your insurance provider first! Find out if the items will be covered, for how long, and the types of losses that will be excluded.
With Square One home insurance, your personal belongings are automatically insured, whether they’re at home or in a storage unit. There is no special limit for items in storage, nor are there any extra exclusions for property kept in storage.
Having insurance is great, but how can I reduce the likelihood of damage?
When you decide to put your goods in storage, here are some important tips from experts in the business:
- Location, location, location! Put things you might need in the front! Put things you’re rarely (or never) going to need in the back. Try to create an aisle down the middle for better access. Put more valuable items at the back (harder for thieves to get to!)
- Give them air. Get pallets or skids to place boxes on, allowing airflow around and under items. Air movement helps to keep your property dry. Walls can develop condensation, so try to leave some room between your items and the walls.
- Make room. Remove legs and store tabletops and sofas on end. Fill empty spaces in furniture and appliances with small items.
- Box them. Pack heavy books in small boxes to make them more manageable. And pack them flat, to protect their spines. Protect books and other valuable papers by wrapping them in plastic or putting them in plastic bags before boxing. This will prevent moisture damage in the event of an accident, or if humidity were to risk inside the facility.
- Avoid collateral damage. Cover furniture with protective wrap, covers, or pads to eliminate scratching. Seal boxes well with packing tape, to prevent dust entering. Pack boxes correctly – don’t overfill causing the box to bulge and tip, and don’t underfill causing the box to collapse. Place photos between two pieces of cardboard and tape them together, to prevent curling.
- Danger, danger. Drain gasoline and oil from any engines, such as lawn mowers and snow blowers. Check with the storage facility for a list of things NOT to store. Never store firearms, illicit drugs, live animals, perishables, liquids, explosives, fuels, toxic materials, or any other items that need a controlled environment.
- Bed time. Stand mattresses on end, on something such as a pallet to allow air flow. Cover with a mattress bag or cloth bag. If using plastic, leave the top open for air. Do not stand hide-a-beds on end, because this can damage the frame and mechanism.
- Hang clothes up. Use wardrobe boxes to hang clothes, blankets, and draperies. This helps avoid wrinkles while keeping some distance between your clothes and the bottom of the box, just in case water were to get into the facility.
- Zip it! Ziploc bags can be very useful. Items like screws can be bagged and attached to the item they came from. TV or stereo remotes can be bagged and kept together.
- Tiny bubbles. Use bubble wrap and plenty of crumpled up paper to pack computers, electronic equipment, and camera equipment, especially if you don’t have their original boxes. Don’t use Styrofoam; it can break down and get into your electronics, causing damage. Tie or tape down moving parts. Use twist ties or zip strips for the cords and cables, and pack them in the same box.
- Handle with care. Mark boxes containing your electronics, or other delicate items, “Fragile” and do not stack heavy boxes on top of them.
- Lock it or lose it. Make sure any locks you purchase for your unit are high quality. And don’t forget to lock up when you leave.
For more information on how you can get not only great coverage on your home, but also on your goods in storage, call us at 1.855.331.6933.