Northwest Storages
Northwest Storages
Northwest Storages

Northwest Storages

Northwest Storages

Things You Don't Know About Self-Storage Insurance

by NW Storages on 10/18/17

Self-storage offers great benefits to its customers. Whether you store for the long term or just a short while, you can relax, knowing your property is behind locked doors, gates, and fences, and that it’s (usually) also under video surveillance all day, every day. But what about acts of nature or other events that might cause damage to your stored belongings? While self-storage is a good, safe option for protecting your property, the fact is that all those precautions may not be enough to completely safeguard your stuff. What then?

Why Do I Need Insurance on My Storage Unit?

What if your storage unit were hit by a tornado or hurricane? What if a fire destroyed everything in the facility, or left all  of your belongings smoke damaged? Many things can happen to your stored belongings that even  the most advanced security features can’t prevent. If the gas station next door explodes and takes out your storage unit? How will you get your property replaced?

If you think that your self-storage facility has an obligation to replace your belongings, you might want to think again.  Self-storage facilities are not obligated to provide insurance for your stored items, and usually don’t. This actually makes sense, since the storage company can’t know what you’re storing, what its value is, and has no control over it. If you look over your storage contract before you sign it, you’ll usually find a clause explaining this, and either advising or requiring that you provide insurance on your stored items.

This makes sense. The items you store are items that have value to you, and when we value things, we  protect them. It’s that simple.

How Do I Find Storage Insurance?

There are several ways to find storage insurance; which option is best for you is a decision only you can make.

The most obvious way to get storage insurance is to call an insurance agent - the same one who handles all your other insurance is a  good one to start with - and ask about insuring your self-storage unit.  But before  you do  that, check to see if you already have it!

Generally, homeowner’s and renter’s insurance actually covers property stored off-site. This means that, if you own a home or have renter’s insurance, your belongings are covered and you don’t need to track down a new policy for this. Bear in mind that your storage company will want to have proof of this insurance, so call  ahead to find out what to bring with you.

If you don’t already have coverage on another policy, then your next best bet is to ask the storage company employee if you can buy insurance from them. In most cases, the answer is yes; storage companies often work with an insurance provider to make it easier on your to get your insurance needs met at the time you rent your storage.

If for some reason neither of those options works for you, you can just start calling insurance companies until you find one who offers storage insurance.

How Much Does Storage Insurance Cost?

You will find that self-storage insurance is very affordable. Depending on the level  of coverage you select and the value of the items stored, your policy will likely run from $8 to $20 per month.  Every company differs, of course, and the cost will fluctuate based on what you’re storing.

Of course, if your homeowner’s or renter’s policy already covers self-storage, there should be no additional cost at all.

What Does Storage Insurance Cover?

Just as with pricing, coverage varies from company to company. As a rule of thumb, storage insurance or your existing insurance policy will cover things over which neither you, nor the storage company, has any control, such as:  

  • Vandalism

  • Tornadoes

  • Hurricanes

  • Lightning

  • Wind

  • Fire

  • Smoke

  • Plumbing leaks

  • Burglary

  • Hail

  • Explosions

Be sure to ask your agent specifically what is covered in your policy, so there are no surprises.  Flooding from natural causes, rodent and other vermin, and mold are among the few things your policy is not likely to cover.

Do I Have to Get Insurance?

As a general rule, yes, you will need insurance if  you’re going to store property. Most storage companies require insurance when you contract with them, because they all want your belongings to be protected and, in the event of damage, replaced. Their insurance company is not obligated to cover your property, and likely won’t. Thus, you need to have your belongings covered by your own policy.

When you first begin looking for self-storage, be sure to also check  with your insurance agent to see if you’re already covered. If not, ask about a policy to protect your stored belongings. Then, take your policy with you when you go  to sign your storage contract. It doesn’t take long to rent a storage unit if you come prepared with the insurance documentation you need. And you’ll feel a lot better knowing that your personal property is protected not just by gates and cameras, but by an insurance policy that will protect you even more.

The Business Secret No One Tells You About!

by NW Storages on 10/13/17

Self-storage is the business secret you don't know about. From small lockers to huge spaces with roll-up doors, self storage has the space and amenities you need to help your business succeed.

Self-storage is a versatile service, and it can meet a lot more needs than just decluttering or storing seasonal items. As a business solution, self-storage offers many benefits including lower overhead costs, convenience, and practicality. A  self storage unit - whether it’s for storing files or for keeping inventory safe, or even for giving you a place to keep equipment and materials - can be a huge benefit to every business, from a one man operation to a large corporation.

Why should my business rent a storage unit?

There are many reasons for a business to use self-storage.  There are many needs self-storage can fill; some of these include:

  • A temporary need for extra space to store supplies

  • Storage for old files and other documents

  • Tools and equipment may not be needed all the time

  • A place to keep vehicles and machinery not currently in use

  • A safe, protected space to keep inventory and merchandise until needed

  • ...and more!

If you own or manage a business, small or large, just give a little thought to how many ways safe, protected self-storage could make your life a little easier and more organized.

Can self-storage save me money?

We know that the bottom line is, well, the bottom line. Storage units cost money. But, can they help you save enough to make them worth the investment?  The answer is a resounding yes!

For a just-starting-out business, renting self storage is a lot less expensive than renting office and warehouse space; it’s also less expensive than the risk of storing your company’s property on a truck or in your garage.  When you compare the cost of professional spaces, or of adding space to your home or existing office, you’ll see what a tremendous deal self storage really can be; it might even keep you from needing to rent an office or store at all!

If your business is larger, perhaps you’ve outgrown the space you’ve got. Rather than start looking for a newer, more expensive location, and having to go the trouble and cost of moving your whole operation, look into self storage. Maybe freeing up a little space in your office, shop, or operating space is as simple as storing things you aren’t currently using, or getting rid of machinery you don’t often need. The costs involved in expanding your space - by building or moving - will likely exceed the cost of even a very large storage unit; using storage is going to require a lot less labor and hassle, too.

Even giant corporations can make use of the savings that self-storage offers. Seasonal equipment, large manufacturing machines, and even vehicles, can be stored when not immediately needed, keeping offices, shops, and plants easier to work in. Even if you already have warehousing, self-storage may be able to do the same job for a lot less money.

Is self-storage convenient and flexible enough to work for my business?

No solution is the right one if it makes your life more complicated. If you have to wait hours, or even days, to access your business property, your self-storage unit is not going to serve you well. However, many self-storage facilities allow access every day of the year; you can even find 24/7 access!  Drive up spaces, units with lights and electricity, extended or daily access . . . it all makes self-storage that much easier to use.

Consider, too, that there are self-storage facilities in nearly every town, and usually more than one. How convenient would it be to have a warehouse or supply station located where you need it? With self-storage, you can keep materials, supplies, and equipment all over town, near your jobsite, to save you the time and hassle of running back to your home base for something you forgot or ran low on. That would be fantastic, wouldn’t it?

What else can self-storage do for me and my business?

Businesses use a lot of services to stay efficient and profitable. Self-service can provide a lot of those services in one easy, quick stop, to make your life that much simpler.

For instance, in addition to storing your files, paperwork, and inventory, your self storage can offer you discounted boxes, tape, and shipping supplies, too. No more trying to get a carrier to come pick up a package, or struggling to find the right sized box in the shop, your storage facility can help you get that package wrapped and ready to go in no time. Everything is right there for you. Plus, many self-storage facilities offer mail services, too! Get a business mail box and you can send and receive mail  in the same place your business stuff is kept.

If your business tends to be seasonal, and you only need to use storage for part of the year, ask about month-to-month contracts for  your storage unit.  You’ll save a lot of money every year if you’re renting storage just for your downtime, as opposed to paying rent on an office or warehouse all year long.  Many storage facilities are able to offer these smaller contracts.

Check with your facility to see if they offer shelving, fax or copy services, delivery acceptance or other services you might need. All of these offer benefits to your business that can save you time, money, and hassle.

Don't underestimate the value of the security a storage unit offers, either. Ask your storage professional how your property will be protected; chances are your self storage offers better security features than your home or shop. Most places these days offer video surveillance, electronic keypad gated entry, good lighting, on-site resident managers or security patrols, fenced perimeters, and more. Some even offer individually alarmed units and off-site recording of surveillance. Using self storage to protect your business assets will save you a lot of money because the facility has already invested in keeping your things secure!

Is there anything else I need to think about?

You can’t store items containing fuel, unless it’s a vehicle being stored in a vehicle-approved space. This means that gas-powered tools and machines need to be completely drained before storing.

Talk to your storage professional about your chosen facility’s rules regarding business storage. They may have safety rules you need to be aware of, or limits on the kinds of activities you can do on their property.

Be sure to invest in insurance on your storage unit, too; talk to your insurance agent about this before you store. In most states, it is up to you to insure your items against burglary, vandalism, wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, and more. Storage insurance is a small expense and may already be covered on your business’ policy, but even a little added cost is worth it to know your property is protected.

Using self-storage to streamline your company’s operations while saving money at the same time is a great idea for modern businesses, and it’s both easier and more cost-effective than you might think.  Call your local self-storage facility and see how self-storage can help you grow your business while protecting your investment.

Pumpkins, and Corn Mazes, and Hay Rides, Oh My!

by NW Storages on 10/09/17

Halloween is a holiday steeped in tradition. Children dress up and go door-to-door for candy, pranks are played, jack-o-lanterns cut, and, of course, carnivals and fall festivals abound. The end of summer and the harvest, and the coming winter, are all a part of our Halloween customs.

One of the great things about Halloween is all the festivals and events that surround it. Corn mazes, hay rides, pumpkin patches, even haunted houses, are all a part of the excitement and activity of the season.

With that said, we present you with a list of some great places to go enjoy the fall weather and  alloween spirit. Take a hayride, pick your own pumpkin, eat some great food, and even wander one of those corn mazes; these places will delight grown ups and kids alike, and will certainly put you in the fall frame of mind!

  1. Fox Hollow Farm Featuring a hayride, pumpkin patch, corn bin, train ride, and much more, this farm in Issaquah offers a great fall experience for the whole family.  They even offer a petting area with friendly animals, as well as inflatables, a Farm Village to explore, and the opportunity to see salmon swimming upstream in the fall! Pricing differs on weekdays and weekends, but admission includes all events and features.  This attraction is open from the end of September through the October 28th Halloween Carnival.

  1. Mosby Farms From September 30 to October 30, enjoy Halloween- and autumn-themed activities, such as a hayride and corn maze. The farm also features a variety of pumpkins in, including just the right one for you. Mosby Farms is dog friendly, provided you remember to keep your pup leashed and bring plastic bags for cleanup. Their website also includes a coupon for for an admission discount.

  1. Carpinito Brothers Farm  A large pumpkin patch with a variety of gourds to choose from is just the beginning of this great farm. There are hay rides, a Farm Fun Yard featuring animals, a hay maze, duck races, and a lot more. Of course they are also offering hayrides, a produce market, and concessions featuring food and drink.  This fun attraction is open September 29 through October 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  1. Spooner Farms  The Spooner Farms Annual Harvest Festival promises to be lots of fun, with 49 kinds of pumpkins, gourds, corn, and squash, as well as a pumpkin sling shot, farm animals, face painting, and a corn maze.  Different events take place on different days and times, but there’s always something fun happening between September 30 and October 31.  The decorations alone are worth the trip to Puyallup!

  1. Stocker Farms If you happen to be in Snohomish this month, check out Stocker Farms corn maze (its layout was inspired by the Ronald McDonald House charity) and other entertainments. You’ll find a pumpkin patch, loads of family fun in the Big Red Barn, and more. There’s also a haunted attraction they call Stalker Farms and, while it promises thrills for those over twelve, it’s not suitable for younger kids.

  1. Pheasant Fields Farm Take a drive up to Silverdale to spend some time at Pheasant Fields Farm. There’s a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, and a tour of the working farm, all of which are available by reservation.  They even give military discounts, and their website features a downloadable coupon for $2 off an adult admission.

  1. Fosters Corn Maze You’ll find a great farm market here, as well as a u-pick pumpkin patch and a Charlotte’s Web-themed corn maze. There’s so much more going on, though! An Apple Cannon Blaster, Pumpkin Sling Shot, and Cow Barrel Train Ride will just make your day here too fun! There’s food and ice cream to be had here, too.

  1. Colville Corn Maze  Family owned Knight Farms provides a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, and a wonderful farm market. That corn maze? Is a 12-acre jack-o-lantern! Northeastern Washington residents will find this farm and its events to be plenty of fun.

If none of these events is near enough to you to be convenient, or if you’re looking for even more autumn and Halloween fun and excitement, check out the Washington State Pumpkin Patches and More page for a bigger list of events and attractions.

Get Your Scare On, Washington! - Part 2

by NW Storages on 10/07/17

We are continuing our listing of haunted places in Washington State today, with three more places to check out this month to really get yourself in the mood for Halloween,  or Dia de los Muertos, if you prefer. Luckily for  us, the Pacific Northwest has no shortage of spooky, creepy, haunted places to visit!

Mount Baker Theater: Opened in 1927, the Mount Baker Theater in Bellingham  seems to have been visited by ghosts since day one! Noises that have no explanation, voices that come from nowhere, strange lights, cold spots, and more have been reported over the years; ghosts have been mentioned, too.  In fact, there are believed to be four ghosts living in the theater and paranormal investigators claim to have verified this.

One of the ghosts believed to reside here is named Judy, and she was once a theater usher. The others are less specific and names aren’t known, but nonetheless, what could be better in October than going to an event at this amazing place and running into a spectre or two?

Kell’s Irish Pub: Long ago, the Butterworth Building in Seattle was a mortuary; today, it is known as Kell’s Irish Pub. Kell’s is, in fact, on the list of the most haunted pubs in North America; it’s also been featured on a couple of paranormal tv programs, too.

Because of its history as a mortuary, Kell’s has had more than its share of spirits pass through and some of them seem to have remained. Kell’s has experienced disembodied voices, untouched glasses falling off tables and shelves, mirrors that break for no apparent reason, and other phenomena.  There also seems to be a ghost who sits at the bar on occasion. It’s likely that some of the people handled here were victims of Starvation Heights, which was featured in our last post.

The Thornewood Castle: Located at the Port of Tacoma, Thornewood Castle is a 100 year old actual castle, built of brick that is probably five hundred years old or more. A wedding gift from Chester Thorne (founder of the Port of Tacoma) to his bride, he had the grand building constructed of reclaimed brick from Wales, and added a grand staircase and stained glass windows from other places, too.

The castle is believed to be haunted by Chester Thorne himself, often appearing as a ghost, and possibly by his wife, as well.  It’s said that Mrs. Anna Thorne has been seen in her room, sitting in the window seat there; she’s also been seen in the mirror in that room. In addition, odd goings on, such as lights turning themselves on and off, have been reported. There is also reported to be a child ghost near the lake on the property.

Thornewood Castle is now a privately owned bed and breakfast, which means you can book a night or a weekend, or more, enjoy the setting and history, and just maybe bump into a ghost or two.



Get Your Scare On, Washington!

by NW Storages on 10/05/17

As Halloween approaches, adults and children alike  seek out the thrills and chills of the holiday. Our homes are bedecked with jack-o-lanterns, cobwebs, and things that go bump in the night, and many of us dress up as the creatures of our nightmares. Mummies, ghosts, vampires, monsters and all the rest, we adore them this time of year.

Getting into your Halloween  mood involves more than just a few decorations, a costume, and some candy, though; you have to find that place inside you that can be a little giddy, a little excited, and a little bit scared. To truly enjoy this favorite of American holidays, you want to find the kid inside you who still believes in monsters under the bed and … ghosts.

To help you find your Halloween spirit, then, we present you with a list of some places in Washington reputed to be haunted. Maybe they really are, maybe not, but just walking these floors and paths knowing the stories will certainly give you the kind of heebie jeebies needed to enjoy All Hallow’s Eve.

Starvation Heights, Olalla WA

Linda Burfield Hazzard claimed to be a doctor and, thanks to Washington law at the turn of the 20th century, she was able to call herself one. So, when she opened a sanitarium dedicated to fasting as a cure for disease, people from all over came to seek treatment from what they believed to be a trained physician.

From the 1890s until 1911,Hazzard ran her clinic, which treated patients by severely restricting their caloric and nutrient intake for as long as 40 days. While many claimed to have benefitted from this treatment, as many as 40 individuals died from it. There is also evidence that at least one patient was actually murdered, although this was not proven. What was proven was the fact that many of Hazzard’s patients who died left all of their money to her; her husband having been discharged from the army for forgery and some theft, the legitimacy of these bequests is questionable, as are the causes of death Hazzard listed in clinic records.

Hazzard died in the 1940s, ironically, from a fast she had undertaken.

What remains of Hazzard’s Wilderness Heights Clinic in Olalla, Washington is said to be the site of one of the biggest hauntings in Washington, with Hazzard’s patient-victims appearing in various places in the house, which is still in use, including the kitchen, the bathroom, and the attic, where the patients stayed while being treated. Famed true-crime author Gregg Olsen, as well as Washington State Paranormal Investigations have investigated the site and found evidence of ghostly activity.

If you’re  looking for a good scare, Wilderness Heights, later dubbed Starvation Heights, would seem like a reasonable place to start, but the cottage that served as the clinic has been torn down. The ghosts may remain, but no one knows for sure, but the stories and lore you’ll find in Olalla would certainly make for an entertaining visit.

Fort Warden, Port Townsend, WA

Part of America’s Coastal Defense System, Fort Worden was established in 1889. As a part of a three-fort system to protect the Puget Sound entrance from attack, the fort was a part of America’s defenses until after World War II. After Fort Worden was decommissioned in the early 50s, the fort’s buildings and housing served other purposes, including as a treatment facility for troubled youth.

Now a 433-acre state park, and listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places, Fort Worden also houses some museums, and is a popular tourist and sight-seeing destination,. It’s also home to plenty of paranormal activity, according to experts in the field.

A photo of what is claimed to be a spirit exists, and since the park’s  opening in 1973 there have been a scant few reports that military service members who were stationed at the fort, and their families, have been seen wandering the grounds. Pershing Avenue houses have been said to still host those who lived there nearly a century ago, and smells (such as burning coal or rubber, and even sulfur)  in some buildings seem to be related to life, and death, at the fort, rather than to the modern world. Ghost hunters and paranormal investigators claim that ghost activity is present at  the fort.

Near enough for a day trip, the Fort Worden State Park might be a fantastic place to start warming up for this month’s Halloween spook-fest!

Maltby Cemetery, Maltby, WA

Just half an hour’s drive from Seattle lies Maltby, Washington. A small, picturesque community, Maltby draws tourists for its beauty, its award-winning Maltby Cafe, and it’s reportedly haunted cemetery.

Formerly a popular spot for teens to sneak out and party, it’s ghosts in ragged clothing are reported to have been seen. In addition, there is the local legend of  The Thirteen Steps.

Reportedly, there was once a set of thirteen steps that descended from the surface of the ground to an underground crypt. The crypt was, at  one point, rumored to belong to a wealthy family in the area, however, according to the legend, the steps terminated on a window to hell. The lore  states that when someone would descend the steps, reach the bottom, and turn around, they would see a vision of hell; this event was presumably so disturbing that people were rendered mute, comatose, and even dead, upon viewing the scene at the bottom of the stairs.

According to various reports, the steps were filled in and covered over sometime in the middle of the 20h century,  thus preventing any more damage to kids who chose to take the Thirteen Steps into hell. Despite  this,  the cemetery is still called haunted by  many, and would probably a good way to start off your Halloween celebrations this month.

More to Come…

Washington has many more ghost stories, haunted bulidings, and spooky legends. Check back here tomorrow for more ways to get spooked this month!

Next time: The Oxford Saloon, The Davenport Hotel, and more.

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