You have made the decision to rent a storage unit. Maybe you need to claim back some of your household space, want to store collectibles, need to store your things while your home is being remodeled, or you have a business that needs to store files, goods or equipment – whatever the reason – it is important your belongings are protected. Choosing a storage facility that is secure goes a long way for peace of mind. But what if an act of nature, like a lightning storm, sets a storage facility on fire? Self storage insurance should not be overlooked.
Without some sort of personal property insurance the value of your stored items may be lost. As is the case when owning or renting your home, additional insurance to protect your valuables is a small price for covering unpredictable tragedy.
It is often assumed self storage facilities automatically provide insurance for the items being placed into storage. This is not generally the case. Few self storage facilities will offer full or comprehensive item insurance within their standard storage rental fees.
There are typically two ways to insure your belongings stored in a self storage unit. Many homeowners and rental insurance policies may cover personal property stored “off premises”, like in a self storage unit. Another option is to purchase self storage insurance through the storage facility itself. It is recommended that you check your insurance options carefully before signing your storage rental agreement.
Your first step should be to contact your homeowners/renters insurance agent to see if the items placed in a self storage facility will be covered by your current policy. It may be that you are fully covered for items stored away from home or you may be able to pay an additional premium to get such coverage. Check your policy to also determine the types of risks covered. Typically covered are fire, lightning, theft, and vandalism.
If you’re placing high-value items in your storage unit, such as art or jewelry, you might want to explore “scheduled personal property” coverage. This coverage is specified to protect those items. This may involve professional appraisal of certain items.
Many homeowners policies have lower limits for property located away from your home. For example, if you have $65,000 coverage on your personal property under your homeowners policy, coverage for “off-premises” property may be capped at 10% or $6,500. You can increase the coverage limit in your renters or homeowners policy to provide an increased limit for “off-premises” items, but that may be more costly than purchasing specific self storage tenant insurance from the self storage operator.
If you do provide your own insurance coverage, be aware that the self storage facility you choose may ask to see proof of your policy before renting you space.
Self Storage Insurance Policies
Many self storage facilities offer self storage insurance that will add an additional layer of protection to your belongings. This insurance usually incurs an additional cost based on coverage limits and the premiums are added to your monthly rent and collected as a single monthly charge.
Filing a claim with storage facility insurance will be less complex than homeowners insurance and typically doesn’t require the payment of a deductible, which can be a huge advantage.
Self storage insurance typically provides affordable coverage of loss from:
- Water Damage (may exclude flooding)
- Building Collapse
If certain damages are not included in your homeowner’s policy, storage facility insurance may be a good idea. And, if you don’t have homeowners/renters insurance, you should probably purchase self storage insurance because it is specifically tailored to possible self storage hazards.
Be aware that self storage coverage can place limits on certain items; and cars, boats, motorcycles, and ATVs usually have to be insured separately. Self storage tenant insurance, similar to a homeowners policy on personal property, does not typically cover damages resulting from vermin, mold, mildew, flooding or war.
Purchasing self storage insurance is an individual decision, dependent on many variables. As mentioned above, first check with your homeowners/renters insurance agency and then have a detailed discussion with the self storage manager to decide which option is best for you.
In any event, paying a little extra to retain the value of your personal property from a loss is a smart practice we follow for our home, car, and life. The property we store “off premises” has value and should also be covered from loss. And remember to keep a detailed list of what is in your self storage unit and its value.
Reserve a self storage unit in the Houston area, consult your insurance agency, and then discuss your self storage insurance options with an All Purpose Storage representative.