Business Scoop

Storage units – out of sight shouldn’t be out of mind

Press Release – AA Insurance

Auckland 24 September 2018 One in five Kiwis with belongings kept in storage dont know if they are insured.

Auckland – 24 September 2018 – One in five Kiwis with belongings kept in storage don’t know if they are insured.

A recent AA Insurance Home Survey found that while five per cent of the 1,100 Kiwis interviewed pay to keep items in a storage facility, 20 per cent of them don’t know if they have insurance, while another 14 per cent admitted they aren’t insured at all. Of those paying for storage, almost half (47 per cent) are covered by their contents insurance, and the remaining 19 per cent by the storage facility’s own insurance.

“Kiwis use storage facilities for a number of reasons, like keeping items safe between houses moves, if they’ve inherited furniture, or simply because they have too much ‘stuff’,” says Amelia Macandrew, Customer Relations Manager, AA Insurance. “However, it’s easy to forget that once your belongings are no longer in your home, they aren’t always covered under your contents insurance.

“So, it pays to update your policy by letting your insurer know you have items in storage, whether in a unit or in your parent’s garage, or consider taking out cover that’s offered by some storage providers,” she says. “You will also need to tell your insurer if all your contents are in a storage facility, so your cover can be updated.

“At AA Insurance, your stored items are covered for up to 12 months in a commercial facility, or we can discuss extending it. We’ll also cover damage to your items caused by fire, theft from your car, or an accident when you’re moving them to the storage unit. If you’re getting movers in, check they have liability insurance so if anything happens in transit your items are covered.

“As with all insurance policies, be sure to check out what it is and isn’t covered so you’re not surprised if you need to make a claim,” says Amelia.

Two AA Insurance customers were thankful they’d updated their policies after bouts of severe weather throughout the country. One customer lost over $45,000 worth of household belongings when her storage facility was completely flooded during a storm. She had sold her five-bedroom home earlier in the year and put its contents into storage while house hunting. Some of her belongings were not affected, or were able to be cleaned, however her contents insurance covered a wide range of damaged items from furniture, artwork and appliances to antiques, fishing gear and tools.

Flooding also caused irreparable damage to another customer’s contents during a separate storm. Up to 60cm of black water, which contained sewage, submerged his belongings that were held in a storage unit, including over 100 household items like soft furnishings, bedding and appliances worth almost $60,000.

“Our survey shows that furniture and household items are the most common items kept in storage by Kiwis, followed by sports equipment, and tools and equipment.

Although, two per cent of respondents aren’t sure what they have stored away, and 11 per cent don’t know the size of the unit they are paying for,” says Amelia. “For these people, out of sight is indeed out of mind.”

Statistics from the 2018 AA Insurance Home Survey
What do people keep in storage?

Furniture – 67%
Household items – 67%
Sports equipment – 34%
Tools and equipment – 30%
Baby/kids gear – 9%
Vehicles – 6%
Don’t know – 2%
Other – 13 % (including documents, fabric, art, coin collection and movie props)

How long has it been in storage?
In the last 12 months – 40%
Between 1 to 2 years – 22%
Between 2 to 3 years – 9%
Between 3 to 5 years – 14%
Between 5 to 10 years – 15%
More than 10 years – 1%

Size of storage unit?
Small 1.5 x 1.5m – 27%
Medium 3 x 3m – 34%
Large 6 x 6m – 19%
Other – 8%
Don’t know – 11%

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