The things you place in self storage are important to you, so you should take every precaution possible to protect them. Aside from renting a storage unit at a secure facility, there’s another great way to protect your valuable assets, and that’s with storage insurance.
Some people incorrectly believe that a storage facility’s property insurance will cover their stored items, but the coverage actually needs to come from the renter. With proper storage insurance, your belongings will be covered in case of damage or loss.
Storage insurance required
While storage owners cannot require a customer to purchase tenant insurance, they can require that everything stored in their units be insured.
In the self storage industry, the customer leases a controlled-access space that they secure. Since the storage operator doesn’t control access to the unit, they don’t have any insurable interest in the belongings stored there. By requiring the customer to carry insurance, there’s a clear understanding of who will cover the cost of any damage or loss to the items in storage.
Facilities that require your belongings to be insured will often provide insurance options on-site for customers who aren’t yet covered, so be sure to ask your facility’s manager what options you have.
Using homeowner or renter insurance
It’s not always necessary to purchase storage insurance as a separate policy. In fact, some people may be covered already through their homeowner or renter insurance plans. Many homeowner’s or renter’s insurance plans provide some form of coverage for items stored away from the house or apartment.
But it’s important to know that your belongings in a storage unit won’t be covered the same way as those things in your home. Depending on your policy, your stored belongings may have limited coverage and will be subject to the terms of the policy including any deductible. When using self storage, be sure to ask your insurance agent about what is and isn’t covered, and if there are any limits on coverage.
What it covers
Storage insurance protects against loss of the contents of your storage unit under certain circumstances. The types of damage covered depends on your specific policy and carrier, but it will usually cover events that are out of your control like lightning, vandalism, wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, fire, smoke, hail, explosions, plumbing leaks, and burglary.
It’s important to note that some damage—from vermin, natural flooding, or mold—may not be covered by your insurance policy. Make sure you have a good understanding of what type of damage is covered, and what’s not under your policy.
How much does it cost?
If you’re already covered under your homeowner or renter insurance, it won’t cost you anything extra. But if you need to purchase storage tenant insurance separately, it’s very affordable depending on your level of coverage and storage unit location.
Storage insurance can be found at very low cost and is often within the $8-10 price range per month, which is typical for a $2,000 policy. Of course, if you want extra protection like a higher coverage limit or coverage for damage caused by vermin or natural flooding, your rate would be a little higher.