Tips for Choosing the Best Self-Storage Insurance Plan Your Belongings?

Every self-storage facility has insurance to protect itself from natural disasters, intruders, and other damaging events. Insurance is a necessity for them, but their insurance does not in fact cover the personal belongings of its tenants. If you have items in self-storage, then you likely require your own insurance to protect your belongings.

While self-storage facilities do their best to keep contents secure with surveillance systems, large walls, and heavy locks (learn more about Real Storage’s security here), this does not mean fires, floods, or thieves cannot circumvent their security. Each facility will be as prepared as they can be, but regardless of the measures they put into place to secure the facility and everything in it, there is always the possibility of events like these.

Insurance on your self-storage contents is the only way to ensure your items are properly protected. We at Real Storage want to be sure you not only understand this, but also how to go about acquiring the insurance you need. For this reason, we’ve put together the following tips on how to choose insurance for your self-storage belongings.

Homeowners insurance

The first thing you should be looking into is your insurance plan for your home. Many home-owners insurance plans will provide some degree of protection for your items in self-storage, and depending on what you are storing, you may already be covered (and the same usually goes with renters and business insurance as well).

That said, you must be clear on the limitation of that insurance on storage units. Typically, these plans are limited to 10% of the amount of the policy itself. If, for example, your coverage is a $100,000 limit, then $10,000 is the maximum amount of coverage for anything you have in storage.

Moreover, there are many items that such an insurance plan will not cover if they are held within a storage unit. These include vehicles, antiques, artworks, and other collectibles – all of which will require their own insurance policy.

So, if you find that your home-owners insurance will cover your items properly (i.e., you are not storing any of the above types of items and the stored items amount to less than the 10% coverage), then you are probably fine to cruise with that insurance coverage. Be sure though that you understand it properly.

Otherwise, a separate insurance plan for your self-storage belongings is necessary.

The facility’s own regulations

Before choosing an insurance policy, you really need to be clear on the regulations that your self-storage facility has in place to govern their tenants’ insurance plans, and that means being clear on your rental lease. (Find out more about Real Storage’s regulations on insurance here.)

Take this to your facility and speak with the staff there about your lease. Ask the right questions to get the information you require:

  • Is a proof of insurance required at their facility?
  • Does their facility require tenants to use the facility’s own insurance coverage (if they have one)?
  • Does their facility recommend a storage insurance provider themselves?

Be sure of your rights as a tenant though, and go through your lease and the facility’s policies carefully yourself again.

Understanding your plan

Understanding your insurance coverage properly yourself is obviously important here. Some insurance policies though are unclear, inconsistent, or just really badly written. When claims are made, it can be challenging to receive the appropriate compensation.

Part of the problem is simply self-storage insurance itself. The majority of insurance companies are not actually trying to take advantage of their policy holders, but the way that self-storage insurance works can be quite confusing, and often it is the policy holder who loses out if they do not understand the policy properly.

Advice from the experts

As we stated above, your home-owners insurance may have your items covered already, but you really want to speak to those who know before you determine this. Speak directly to your current insurance provider is a must. They can clarify what exactly your home-owners insurance will cover in storage, and to what amount. They will also be able to give you good advice for what you should do, given the terms of your policy and the contents of your storage unit.

Don’t make assumptions or guesses with something like this – speak to those who know before making any decision.

Question as much as possible

Only the right plan will work for your specific situation, and you need to be clear about it before signing on the dotted line. Ask questions! Be certain!

Be clear that the plan will cover you for unlikely events, but also the more common self-storage occurrences. These most frequent issues include pests, water damage, or mold, but, incredibly, these are typically what many policies will not cover.

Theft is also something that some policies will not to cover.

Be sure to ask about this type of information, so you are sure to know what sorts of situations your plan will cover you for, and to be sure to avoid making claims that are rejected.

In a similar way, be sure to ask about the specific belongings you intend to store if they meet any of the sorts of criteria we’ve mentioned above. Mention anything of particular value or rarity.

Make sure they are a licensed broker

Now, if you find yourself working with your facility and their plan, it is important to know that they are properly licensed. Anyone selling insurance must be licensed, so if they are not, then if anything is to happen, you may not in fact have any coverage. And the same therefore goes with any brokerage you speak to about insuring you: be sure they have a license to sell insurance before making any agreements.

It’s important to know that a storage facility’s insurance does not cover its tenants’ storage contents, and we at Real Storage want to be sure that you are fully armed with the knowledge you require to have an easy and smooth self-storage experience. Speak to one of our agents today for further advice on your storage needs.