The rapid rise of apartment-style strata living across Australian cities has coincided with a significant increase in the number of people using storage cages to store their belongings. This trend has come about due to the limited space in many modern apartments. Unfortunately, an increase in the use of storage cages has also seen a surge in the rate of storage cage theft.
Personal contents, often those of great value, are kept in storage cages and sadly this makes them an attractive target for criminals. As an insurance broker, we have seen items like televisions, furniture, skis, and racing bikes worth over $5,000 stolen from storage cages. Yet in many cases, owners of these items fail to realise they lack the right insurance to cover the loss and / or replacement of these items.
Make sure all contents kept in your storage cage are covered. Below we have clarified some common myths to help ensure you have the right insurance protection for your valuables.
Myth 1 – Storages cages are in the common area, therefore contents of storage cages are covered under Strata Insurance.
Incorrect. Despite your storage cage being situated in what may be deemed a common area, it doesn’t mean the contents are covered by Strata Insurance!
Strata Insurance is only designed to cover the building structure including fixtures and fittings, and Public Liability for the common areas.
A Contents Insurance policy is required in order to protect against accidental loss or damage to contents within the storage cage.
Myth 2 – All Contents Insurance policies will cover items kept in my storage cage.
False! Check that your Contents Insurance policy is an Accidental Damage policy, not a Defined Events policy. What’s the difference you ask?
- A Defined Events Contents Insurance policy is minimal in coverage, and will only cover you for the series of ‘defined events’ listed in your policy that occur within the home.
- Accidental Damage policies are much broader in scope, and are designed to insure all accidental loss or damage to contents, other than events specifically excluded by the insurance policy. Cover provided in an Accidental Damage policy is more comprehensive than a Defined Events policy and in some cases covers contents away from your home e.g. theft of valuables.
As a broker, we always recommend clients take out an Accidental Damage Contents policy if they live in a strata property.
It is important to note however that every Contents Insurance policy differs in coverage conditions. The best way to make sure you are covered, is by doing the following:
- Notify your contents insurer that you have contents kept in your storage cage.
- Make sure your policy schedule notes in writing that your insurance coverage extends to include contents and personal valuables kept in your storage cage.
- List the valuable items you keep in your storage cage e.g. bikes, artwork, instruments, sporting equipment, furniture etc.
- Keep your cage locked at all times. If broken into, you will likely need evidence to demonstrate forcible entry in order to be covered.
Myth 3 – Theft or vandalism is the only risk.
False! Property damage to contents held in storage cages is also common.
Recently we saw a claim for water damage as a result of a truck hitting a fire sprinkler in the carpark of a strata complex. This collision set off all sprinklers in the carpark, causing severe water damage to contents inside the storage cages. Sadly, many of the residents were not insured for the damage.
These events are more common than you think, making it all the more important to have the right insurance in place to protect your belongings.
Myth 4 – Liability inside the cage is covered by Strata Insurance.
Not true. Storage cages are deemed to be the property of the strata property owner.
If you are an owner occupier, or if you rent out your strata property, it is essential to have a policy in place that includes Liability Insurance for any injuries that could occur inside the storage cage.
Owner occupiers: Accidental Damage Home and Contents Insurance can cover your exposure to this risk.
Landlords: A Landlord Insurance policy can protect you against this risk.
What about Liability in car spaces? Does liability sit with the owner who occupies the space, or the OC?
Much confusion surrounds this area, yet unfortunately there is no clear answer on where the Liability within car spaces sits. In general, the answer to this question depends on the policy conditions of your Strata and/or contents Insurance policy, as well as the situation which sees the need to lodge a liability insurance claim.
For a clear answer on this, we recommend consulting your Strata Insurance policy wording or speaking to your Strata Insurance broker.
If you live in a strata property and would like for us to arrange a Contents Insurance policy that protects valuables kept in your storage cage, please contact Resolute Property Protect, Ph. 1300 668 033.
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal advice. Please contact Resolute Property Protect ABN 53 157 850 827 Licence Number: 425 966 for further information, or refer to our website.