As self-storage units become more and more popular in the U.S., the need for adequate insurance to cover stored belongings increases.
Many homeowners and renters alike think their homeowners/renters insurance policies cover their belongings stored elsewhere.
While many policies do make allowances for possessions in self-storage, they are often very limiting with some refusing to cover these things at all.
These days, the majority of self-storage facilities are extremely secure. They have high walls, are surrounded by fencing and locked gates, and include round-the-clock camera surveillance to deter would-be thieves and vandals. As secure as they are, however, there are still things that can happen to cause damage to your belongings while in storage.
Most Self-storage insurance protects your belonging from things like:
It’s important to note here that flooding isn’t on the list because flood insurance is usually something purchased separately, whether it’s homeowner’s insurance or self-storage insurance. Even if you don’t live in an area that floods easily, it’s worth considering a flood insurance policy anyway since flooding isn’t just something caused by Mother Nature.
Many self-storage facilities require proof that the things you are storing are covered by some sort of insurance policy. The first thing you should do is check with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company to find out if your policy extends to your self-storage unit. If it does, all you have to do is provide proof to the storage facility and you’re all set.
If the policy doesn’t extend to your storage unit, you can purchase the facility’s self-storage insurance or seek your own policy elsewhere. In most cases, you won’t be able to rent a storage unit without the proper coverage.
Because many storage facilities require proof of coverage before allowing anyone to rent a storage unit, many homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies do include some sort of storage coverage. Having said that, this coverage is often very limited and there are usually major stipulations that negate coverage in certain instances.
As convenient as it is to have homeowner’s insurance that covers self-storage, too, it may not guarantee full coverage of your things should they get damaged.
Once you’ve combed through the fine print and determined your policy does cover self-storage, the question still remains:
“What does the policy actually cover?”
A standard homeowners/renters insurance policy covers things like theft and fire or tornado damage, but it won’t cover damage from earthquakes, floods, pests, mold, mildew, or poor maintenance on the storage facility’s part.
To protect themselves from having to make large payouts, many homeowner’s insurance policies only pay out a maximum of 10 percent of the policy’s overall amount for off-site storage. This means if the full amount of the policy is $100,000, it will only pay out $10,000 for belongings damaged in self-storage. In addition, you may have to pay a large deductible before the policy even kicks in.
If the belongings you place in storage are worth more than the 10-percent limit associated with your homeowner’s insurance policy, or you don’t have any type of off-premises storage insurance at all, you’ll want to purchase a self-storage insurance policy to protect your things.
The storage facility you choose likely has their own brand of self-storage insurance. These policies are convenient and easy to purchase, and they usually provide up to $2,500 worth of coverage. If your belongings exceed that amount, you can purchase external self-storage insurance.
Having self-storage insurance is a vital part of renting a storage unit. While most storage facilities require it, it’s in your best interest to make sure you have the right coverage for your things in storage.
Check with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company to find out if they provide coverage for self-storage first. If not, or if it isn’t enough, speak with your storage provider about purchasing self-storage insurance with them.