It is often assumed that self storage facilities will 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. Some may offer basic coverage as part of the package based on the size of storage unit rented, but this may not be enough for your needs.
Although some self storage facilities won’t insist that you have insurance coverage, others will and it makes sense to put adequate coverage in place. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of well-being just because the facility you’ve chosen has implemented good security measures or has a smoking ban on site for example. Your items are technically out of your hands in self storage and, although the facility may be doing everything it can to avoid theft, they can do little against accidents and damage caused by fires, floods, storms and other natural disasters.
It is recommended that you check your insurance options carefully before signing your storage rental agreement and placing your items into self storage. In fact, your first step should be to contact your homeowner/renter insurance agent to see if the items placed in the 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. This option could be cheaper than taking out a separate insurance policy. 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.
Should you purchase insurance? Ask yourself these questions:
- Are my items already covered under my current insurance policy? This would include vehicles and boats as well as household items.
- Does the self storage facility offer any type of 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? Be sure to keep a detailed list of what is in your self storage unit and its value.
- Are the items being stored of high monetary or sentimental value? If so, it may be worth the extra cost to rent a climate controlled storage unit.