Storage Insurance and Why You Need It
Many people assume that if they are renting a storage unit, then the contents inside of the unit are insured, either by the self-storage company or the insured’s homeowners’ insurance policy. This is usually not be the case, and an individual needs to check with their home insurance agent to see if their coverage applies to offsite storage of property or equipment.
Even if the contents of the storage unit are covered under the home insurance policy, a person needs to decide if it’s in their best interest to insure their property that way. Claim activity can have a serious effect on both your insurance rate and eligibility for renewal. It might be in the best interest of the insured to have a separate policy for the property located in the offsite storage unit.
Some companies’ policies differ depending on if your property is in a mobile storage unit or a building with individual storage units for rent. Companies offering mobile storage insurance usually offer a range of coverage limits and variety of deductibles. Depending on the company, the coverage may be month-to-month or for a set period of time. In many cases, the length of the policy is based on the individual insured’s needs and how long the property will be stored.
Common losses covered by a storage insurance policy include lightning, hail, earthquake, smoke, fire, windstorm, building collapse, explosion, water damage, and vandalism. Exact coverages and exclusions will vary by company. Perhaps the most important coverage is burglary. If someone breaks into the self-storage unit, your storage insurance policy will pay to repair or replace property that is stolen or damaged.
Items in your storage unit that may not be covered by a standard storage insurance policy include cash, deeds, jewelry, furs, and vehicles. Other restrictions may apply, but in many cases, when the property should have been in a safe or safe deposit box due to its high risk, it may be excluded from a storage insurance policy.
Flood damage is not covered by most storage insurance policies. If someone has stored property and needs coverage in the event of a flood, they should contact their insurance agent and find out if they have homeowners’ flood insurance and if that policy will cover offsite property.
Policies are available for individuals with multiple storage units and a multi-unit discount may be available, depending on the company. If an individual has a workshop or an office inside of the storage unit, no losses of office or workshop equipment will be covered under most storage insurance policies.