How to choose the right insurance for self-storage units

December 19, 2014

Do you need insurance for self-storage units? Well, yes, unless everything you own is worthless. You are responsible for talking to your insurance broker to find out if your regular insurance covers the goods you’re storing — and you do need to check, because most home insurance policies only provide limited coverage for objects that are stored outside the insured premises.

If your property is valuable enough to be stored rather than discarded, then they undoubtedly deserve to be insured. Here are the kinds of coverage you should be looking at.

Civil liability protection

To have the best insurance coverage when renting a self-service warehouse, you need to have civil liability protection. What’s that? It's simple: when you’re liable for losses or damage caused to someone else or to their property, it’s your insurance that pays. A good example is if a fire breaks out in your house accidentally, then spreads to your neighbour’s and damages his property and assets. In that case, you’re covered by your insurance.

Check that the civil liability protection offered by your home insurance also applies in case of a disaster at the storage site. If not, take measures to correct the situation. Sometimes self-storage companies offer such kinds of insurance coverage to tenants.

Protection against theft

If you rent a self-service warehouse for a week or two because you’re doing renovations at home or are in between moves, you're most probably insured. Most home insurance covers stored goods against theft for up to 30 days. However, check with your insurer to make sure that’s the case. Similarly, if you need to store things for a longer period of time, you can ask your insurer to extend the period of coverage.

Protection in case of disaster

Make sure your possessions are covered in case of disaster. It may be that your stored items are covered by your home insurance for the duration of your storage contract. However, you might only be reimbursed in part because your goods are stored away from the main insured location.

No matter the kind of insurance you take out on your stored goods, read the small print on the policy carefully to make sure you know exactly which kinds of disaster are covered. For example, insurance companies typically offer protection in the event of fire, but not in the case of an earthquake.

Take inventory

To make the right choices about insurance for your self storage unit, take stock of all the assets you’re going to keep there so you can report their value to your insurer. Take photos of your belongings, and keep an updated inventory list. These will make it easier for you and the insurer in the event of a claim.

How to choose the right insurance for self-storage units
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