Safety and security are two of the most important deciding factors when it comes to choosing a self storage facility. Because you may be leaving your personal items in a place for months at a time without setting eyes on them, you want to feel good about having them protected.
While choosing a storage facility that has gated access, security guards and audio-visual surveillance is a good way to start, you can take things one step further by insuring your property against theft, damage and natural disasters.
Not everyone opts to insure their personal effects in a storage unit. Depending on the monetary value of your items and how long you intend to keep them there, it might not be cost-effective to take out an insurance policy. However, there are certain situations in which it makes sense.
- High Value of Goods: If you are storing jewelry, electronics or family heirlooms, it is a good idea to look into additional insurance. If damaged or lost, these types of items can be difficult to replace.
- Your Personal Policy Does Not Extend to Storage: Many types of homeowners’ and renters’ insurance fail to cover items once they leave your property. Check with your insurance policy to determine how far your coverage extends.
- You Will be Out of Country/State: If you are storing items to take a long trip or to move temporarily—and you or a trusted friend will not be around to personally check in—you may want the extra layer of protection self storage insurance provides.
- The Storage Facility Requires It: Some facilities require that you take out an insurance policy as part of their terms of agreement. Although you can certainly find self storage options without this type of policy, it can be beneficial to choose one that takes security this seriously.
- Weather Conditions are Questionable: If you live in an area with high humidity or heat—and your self storage unit is not climate controlled—there is a greater likelihood of damage due to weather. Just make sure the self storage policy you choose covers climate damage before you sign on the dotted line.
What Kind of Insurance Should I Get for My Self Storage Unit?
To further complicate matters, there is not just one type of storage unit insurance. Different policies have different prices, and may come with fine print regulations.
- Storage Facility Insurance: Policies offered through the self storage facility typically cover a smaller amount of property (around $2,500 to $5,000), and cost more than private insurance. Some self storage facilities may try to push the insurance on you and tack the additional costs onto your overall monthly bill.
- Private Insurance: If you currently have an auto or home insurance policy, you may be able to add storage insurance to it. Because you already have a relationship with the provider, these policies tend to be cheaper and easier to maintain.
- Independent Self Storage Insurance: Because of the rising demand of storage unit insurance, independent licensed providers may offer policies specifically to self storage users. These policies tend to offer greater coverage amounts (upwards of $20,000), but will also have higher premiums and deductibles.
Keeping your personal belongings safe is one of the primary reasons for getting a storage unit in the first place. If you feel you might become uneasy with leaving your items so far out of your reach, an insurance policy could be the answer you seek. And with prices starting at around $25/month, the cost might be less than you expect.