Too often, you don’t think about needing a protection plan until it’s too late. If you rent a storage unit or are considering renting one, you need to hear what happened to a woman whose belongings in a storage unit were damaged.
Needing storage during a recent move, Kara McCormick rented a unit at an Extra Space Storage facility in Ohio, which she filled with furniture, artwork, and other items.
But when she came back, she found what looked like mouse droppings on the floor. Worse, she says she saw several mice scurrying around.
“Mice came out of all sorts of crevices,” she said.
McCormick said their boxes and clothes were chewed through.
“It’s a loss,” she said.
What you should know before renting storage space
Storage rooms are popular and usually very secure. But before you put your valuable belongings in one of these units, you need to ask yourself who is to blame for fire, bug, water, or rodent damage.
Realtor.com’s Clare Trapasso said check with your home or rental insurance provider first.
“Often storage units are covered by your policies,” she said.
If not, many establishments will offer you insurance coverage: Extra Space’s website, for example, offers insurance from $11 a month.
Next, Trapasso said that storing items properly is important to avoid damage.
She suggests using plastic containers with tight lids to prevent bugs or moisture from getting on clothes, books, or other items.
“I would wrap them in moving blankets. Think about the last time you moved and how things were packed during your move,” she said.
Trapasso says you should never save:
- Anything with personal information – like your bank details or social security number.
- Forage or pet food that attracts mice.
- Valuables or family heirlooms that can never be replaced.
We contacted Extra Space Storage, where a spokesperson told us their protection plan would have covered pest damage, but unfortunately McCormick decided not to.
“They said if I had the insurance it would be a different story,” she said.
However, the company says it gave her a month’s free rent for her troubles.
Additionally, Extra Space says pest control inspects the property bi-weekly and treats units if they see activity.
But with any storage unit, there are always risks.
“I had a lot of sentimental things that I was trying to protect and it didn’t turn out that way,” McCormick said.
That’s why you should have insurance so you don’t waste your money.
FULL EXPLANATION OF EXTRA SPACE STORAGE:
Extra Space’s Customer Protection Plan, our insurance product, covers damage caused by vermin (including insect damage, water damage, etc.). It is Extra Space official company policy and stated in the rental agreement that renters are responsible for insurance coverage for items stored in their unit. We strongly recommend using our insurance product as it covers more than a typical renter policy. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, this renter has opted out of our coverage, but the majority of Extra Space customers have this insurance, which covers damage caused by vermin.
This is not a typical situation for us but I want you to be aware that the rodent issue on this property was limited to a small area of units and as soon as we were aware the team worked to resolve this issue to fix. Extra Space also has a pest control contractor who visits the property for inspections every two weeks and whenever we see activity.
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