Storage insurance might be one of the most overlooked aspects of self-storage rentals. While self-storage facilities house your items, they are not responsible for the well being of them. The tenant is solely responsible for adequately insuring a variety of events beyond anyone’s control.
You’ve gone to the trouble of finding a secure place to store your belongings. Why stop short of protecting them from the unexpected?
What is storage insurance?
Storage facilities keep units secure, but the items held inside the units fall outside their scope of liability. This is where storage insurance comes in: it provides protection in case anything happens to your belongings while they are in storage. You’re covered for just about anything that could happen:
- Fire and smoke
- Weather events like hurricane, tornado, wind, earthquake, lightning, and hail
- Building collapse
- Leaking water
Simply put, storage insurance is peace of mind for the renter.
The mention of insurance is often met with an eye roll or sarcastic comment—but it’s one of those so-called necessary evils in life. The good news is that storage insurance is flexible (take note, car insurance companies). Coverage terms range from 1 month to 12 months and pay-as-you-go is certainly an option for those who aren’t sure about committing to a certain length of time. Circumstances changed? They’ve got you covered with options for extension and renewal.
Storage insurance covers (just about) everything
Much like your home insurance policy, storage insurance covers most of your belongings. There are some notable exceptions, however, and these items often require separate insurance policies.
Property not covered by most storage insurance policies includes:
- Financial records
- Jewelry and watches
- Precious stones
- Furs or garments trimmed with fur
- Antiques and works of art
- Motorized vehicles of any type (e.g. motor scooters, ATVs, and motorcycles)
It’s prudent to note that while most policies cover burglary (where there is evidence of forced entry), many do not cover theft (no evidence of forced entry) and mysterious disappearance.
Affordable protection for your possessions
Some people hesitate to get storage insurance since it’s another cost on top of the unit itself. But the value the insurance provides—that is, the peace of mind that your belongings are fully protected from the unexpected—makes the cost worthwhile.
Unlike most insurance, storage insurance policies are reasonable, with many costing just pocket change per day. Exact costs vary between units and depend on the amount of coverage desired. For example:
You probably have home insurance, so why can’t you use that? While some home insurance policies extend to cover items in storage, tacking your storage unit onto the policy might not be a great idea. It all comes down to if you have to make a claim.
The first big hurdle is the deductible—that is, the amount you are responsible for paying before the insurance company will cover the rest. Home insurance deductibles usually run anywhere from $500 to $1500 per claim, while standalone storage insurance deductibles are only about $100.
The other issue is your post-claim insurance premium. If you know a bit about how insurance works, you know that your premium—the amount you pay to remain covered—increases as your risk increases. The more claims you have on the policy, the higher your premium is. In the event that you need to make a claim for a storage unit loss, it will count against your home insurance and your premium will go up. But if you have standalone storage insurance, no such thing will happen.
All in all, storage insurance if an affordable way to keep your belongings safe while mitigating the risk of your home insurance being affected by a claim.
Putting it all together
When you look at the value that insurance can provide, it doesn’t make sense not to secure your items with it. If your belongings weren’t important, you wouldn’t take the time and effort to store them. But you have, and they are. So take those extra few minutes and find a storage insurance policy that works for you. Being prepared for the worst-case scenario is always a good idea.