Unless you practice minimalism, there’s a good chance you’re going to accumulate a lot of items over your lifetime. Whether you’re a business with a lot of stock or a homeowner that simply hates throwing things away, storage can help. There are units that provide cold storage, others with climate control, and bare-bones options for your basic items. However, what happens if you don’t get the right kind of unit and your belongings end up damaged? Storage insurance exists as an extra measure to protect your items when you’re not using them.
Here’s how it works and some of the benefits.
What is Storage Unit Insurance?
A storage unit is meant to provide a safe place to store your items without fear of them becoming damaged. However, the company owning the unit is not always obligated to cover the costs of anything damaged. One of the reasons self-storage exists is to take away that liability.
Storage insurance policies grant coverage if something happens to your property regardless of your current location. In fact, many storage facilities require that you have a policy in order to reserve a unit. Others offer storage insurance you can opt into if needed.
Not all storage insurance policies cover all objects, however. Pieces of art, antiques, or jewelry may be declined due to their higher value. In that case, you’ll want to consider special insurance or even an alternative storage option for them.
Before you buy storage insurance, you’ll need to value your items. Take stock of what items you’re storing and include information on it.
What was the initial cost of the item? How long ago was it purchased, and what is the brand name and model? Higher-value items may need to be seen by a certified appraiser for an accurate assessment.
If you want to provide the best protection for your belongings, consider the type of facility you choose. The ideal storage facility should have controlled access and 24-hour video surveillance cameras. You’ll also want to look at units with climate control to prevent dampness or cold temperatures.
Benefits of Storage Insurance
The main benefit of storage insurance is that it can help cover the cost of replacing items you’ve lost. This is important if you’re storing expensive belongings like furniture or electronics.
Although you’re storing your things in a facility owned by someone else, they aren’t legally obligated to replace anything that gets damaged. The exceptions to this are companies that transport your goods, such as mobile storage options.
If you opt for the facility’s storage contents insurance, then you may be able to save on the cost compared to a private plan. Make sure to confirm that all of your various items will be covered before transporting them there.
In addition to saving money, self-storage insurance is filed through the facility’s company rather than your own. As such, it’s a separate deductible that won’t affect your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance premiums.
Is Insurance for a Storage Unit Required?
Some of the most common mistakes people make with their storage are storing the wrong kinds of items and creating too much clutter. If you don’t use climate-controlled storage, then your items may develop mold and mildew. Too much clutter and you’re likely to knock over your things when looking for a specific item.
While both of these issues can be avoided with forward-thinking and a little bit of research, mistakes happen all the time. An insurance policy is there to make up for those times and ensure that your property isn’t completely lost.
If you have a lot of items in storage, you will definitely want to invest in insurance for a storage unit. Even if you’re confident in your packing and choice of unit, you never know when the worst will occur.
For those who live in a climate with cold winters or heavy weather conditions, make sure the unit is weather-resistant. A policy offered by your storage facility should take into account risks specific to your area.
Types of Storage Unit Insurance
There are three ways to insure your items. The storage unit company may offer its own insurance, or it may connect you with a third-party insurer. Alternatively, you can find an insurance provider on your own or use pre-existing insurance.
Choosing the storage company’s insurance allows you to simplify everything by paying them to store and insure your items. However, their coverage may be limited and may not cover the total amount of your items. The same goes for a third-party option.
Taking the time to shop around will be your best option. You may also want to get specialized insurance if some of your items are high-value.
What Other Insurance Plans Cover Storage Units?
You may not need to purchase storage contents insurance depending on your other insurance plans.
For example, renters insurance protects you and your belongings from the cost of an accident. It protects those items even when you’re away from home, including those kept in a storage unit. However, there may be coverage limits for items kept outside your home.
Certain homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for items kept off of your property. You should not expect it to have the same coverage limit as items kept in your home, though.
If you’re planning on renting out a storage unit, make sure to contact your current property insurance provider to see if it can provide any coverage.
An Extra Layer of Protection
The best storage unit provides a safe and accessible place where you can place your items when they’re not currently in use. Storage insurance serves as an extra layer of protection for when things go wrong.
SnapNsure provides self-storage and mobile storage insurance so you can rest knowing your belongings are covered. We work with all traditional self-storage companies and valet storage companies. Contact us to get a free quote today.