Call for Action: How to keep your property safe while in storage

Call for Action: How to keep your property safe while in storage

MADISON, Wis. - A Madison woman is calling for action after she counted $20,000 in damage to her belongings, put in storage for six months. 

The compensation she got from her moving company was only around $370. What happened here, and what should you learn from this case if you ever make a big move? 

Sam Kroll placed most of her belongings in a storage unit with Armstrong Relocation Company for six months as she waited for her new condo to be built. When she got them back, she says they looked very different. 

"My really good furniture, which I took very, very good care of and took a lot of pride in anything I have  - they aren't even close to being what left our home," she said. 

Kroll points to wrinkles in her couches, apparent water damage to her Amish-made furniture and pieces missing from her sleeper sofa as evidence of the problems. 

Her contract with Armstrong called for 60 cents reimbursement per pound. But Kroll only received $372, and she says it's because her follow-up calls to report more damage as she found it went unanswered.

Cory Gilles, president of Armstrong’s Wisconsin division, said he was unaware of the missed calls but did note he had waived any additional moving feeds for Kroll. 

“In any circumstance... we're very fair here,” he said. “We try to work with the client as much as possible to rectify any situation.”

There is a 60-day limit to file or change a claim, though Gilles said the company works with the customer should a claim be made just a few days late. 

He added all customers should know there are many contract options when it comes to storage, and increasing the reimbursement from the industry average of 60 cents is one of them. 

Homeowners insurance also comes in handy when you opt to use a storage unit. Andy Franken with the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance says most policies cover property kept in storage – what varies is the extent of that coverage. 

“Take a look at your insurance policy,” he said. “Read what's in there. I understand that can be confusing. Then the next step is to ask your agent what those provisions mean.”

Another tip to keep yourself out of Kroll’s situation – take pictures of your property before storing them.

That can help with any claim made after the fact. 

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