FAQ Friday: Do I need storage insurance?
Insurance: it’s one of those necessary evils in life. While many customers believe that self-storage facilities include storage insurance in their prices, this is usually not the case. Let’s get some clarification about why storage insurance is a good idea and how you can determine what kind of coverage you need.
Why get insurance?
Some self-storage facilities require you to have insurance, others recommend it, and still others fail to mention it at all. No matter how strong the security is at your chosen self-storage facility, it’s imperative that you take care to adequately protect your belongings.
When your items are in storage they are, theoretically, in the care of the facility you’ve selected. The facility will do its best to protect them, but it has little recourse when it comes to accidents and damage caused by natural disasters like fires, storms, and floods.
You have insurance for the contents of your home; you want to protect those belongings even when they’re out of your hands. That’s where storage insurance comes in.
What types of insurance are available?
There are two types of insurance:
- Insurance for commercial clients
- Insurance for residential clients
Residential insurance typically has a higher coverage limit than commercial insurance, and if you’re storing personal belongings (as opposed to for a business), you’ll fall under the “residential” category. Policy terms can range from 1 month up to 12 months, with renewals available in case your storage needs stretch longer than expected.
Your insurance premium will be based largely on the value of your items. Be sure to accurately assess and keep record of the value of your storage unit contents; you want to ensure the insurance company will cover the costs should you need to file a claim.
Will my home insurance cover the storage unit?
In some cases, your home insurance may extend to cover items in a storage unit. However, there is a key issue to consider: any claim for your stored belongings will count against your home insurance policy and likely affect your premium.
Self-storage facilities often offer storage insurance policies—be sure to ask about their coverage and rates. This can be a cost-effective option to protect the items you have in storage and ensure your home insurance isn’t affected by potential claims.
Determine your needs
Take time to review the items you hold in storage and determine your insurance needs. Here are some guiding questions to help you decide whether you want to invest in storage insurance.
- Are your items already covered under a current insurance policy, such as for vehicles and boats?
- Does the self-storage facility offer any type of insurance coverage?
- If an accident occurs and the facility is at fault, will your items be covered?
- If a natural disaster occurs, will your items be covered?
- Has the self-storage facility had many claims made by other renters?
- Will the policy need to be updated each time an item is added or removed from storage?
- Are the items being stored of high monetary or sentimental value?
Unlike home and auto insurance, storage coverage isn’t always required. Before jumping in, get a good sense of the value of your stored belongings and find out what is (or isn’t) already covered by other policies. Explore your options and contact multiple insurance providers to ensure you’re getting the best price for the coverage you need.
Though the insurance process may be frustrating, the peace of mind is worth it.