Many homeowners and small businesses use self-storage units for extra inventory or supplies. Located in many neighborhoods, they provide convenient extra room at an affordable price.
Did you know that you need to get your own insurance for your unit? If a fire breaks out and they are destroyed or if thieves break in and steal what you are storing, you won’t be covered unless you have a policy that covers possessions in self-storage.
You may have limited coverage with your /solution/homeowners-insurance/home insurance if it covers off-premises goods. But this is usually very limited, about 10% of the personal property limit or $1,000, whichever amount is higher.
If your personal property limit is $100,000, that means that your self-storage would be covered to the tune of $10,000. Even for small businesses, that doesn’t provide very much coverage.
The best way to protect your goods is getting insurance specifically made for self-stored possessions. This policy will cover you for the value of your goods, whatever happens, including fire or theft. You can get policies online or through your insurance agent.
The premiums are low, and the policies usually cover:
- Plumbing leaks
As a rule, storage unit insurance doesn’t cover damage from floods, missing items, damage from pests like rodents, vehicles or expensive jewelry or art you have stored.
If you need specialized coverage, you can talk to your agent to see what is available. You can check with your insurance agent about a floater or endorsement to your regular policy that will provide more extensive coverage for antiques, furs and other high-cost items.
There are limitations with these policies. For example, most will give you the cash value, not the replacement value. It is important to document what you are storing. Make a list and photograph it so each item and its condition is easy to check.
Though insurance is a sound investment, make sure you also choose a storage facility that is safe to begin with. Make sure it is secure, with fencing and access control. The best features include 24-hour video surveillance and security pads that require a code to get in.
If your unit has climate control, you will reduce the danger from temperature extremes, which can easily damage electronics and appliances.
Be sure to choose a storage facility that looks well maintained and clean. These types of units are less prone to infestations of rodents and other pests.
Make sure you have adequate coverage for the goods you put in a self-storage facility. These facilities are cheap and convenient, but accidents can happen there just as easily as at a house or business. Without proper insurance, you could lose the entire value of your inventory.