Insurance is a must for self-storage facilities. These businesses, like all others, have insurance to protect their facilities from unforeseen events. The insurance they have though does not cover the items tenants store within the facility's storage units. Those items require their own insurance, and that is the tenant's responsibility.
At Box Me Up, we want to be sure that you understand the best way to get the insurance coverage suitable for your storage needs. And that's why we've got the guide for how best to determine your storage insurance right here.
Take a look into the insurance plan you have for your home. Many home-owners insurance plans will offer a level of protection for storage items. Depending on what you have inside your storage unit, you may already be covered. If you are a renter or business owner, it is likely to be a similar situation with your plan.
Be careful here though. Home-owners insurance will be limited on what it covers within storage units. Limited both in terms of value and of the specific items being stored.
Often, storage items are limited to 10% of the amount of the home-owners policy itself. For example, if your coverage is up to $200,000, then $20,000 is the maximum amount of coverage for anything you have in storage. And then there are also many items that home-owners plans 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, separate insurance policy.
If you are unclear about any of this, speak with your insurance provider before going any further.
Once you are certain your home-owners insurance does cover your storage items, then you are welcome to continue on with your home-owners plan. If, on the other hand, you find that your storage belongings will not fall within the limitations of the home-owners coverage, a separate insurance plan will be necessary.
Understanding the facility’s regulations
Before choosing an insurance policy, you 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.
Bring your lease to your storage provider and speak with them to clarify the following:
- Is proof of insurance required at the facility?
- Does the facility require its tenants to use the facility’s own insurance plans (if they have them)?
- Is there an insurance provider that the facility can recommend?
Be sure of your rights as a tenant though, and go through your lease and the facility’s policies carefully yourself again.
Reading insurance plans…
Understanding the insurance coverage yourself is of course important, but many insurance policies can be unclear and confusing to read. When it comes time to make a claim, it therefore makes it challenging to receive proper compensation.
The way self-storage insurance works is confusing unto itself. Insurance providers are not trying to make things complicated – storage insurance just is. And the policy holder is usually the one who loses out. This is always because they did not understand the policy well enough.
…means getting advice from the experts
As said above, your home-owners insurance may already have your items covered on it. You want to be sure though when you determine this to be the case. Speaking directly to your current insurance provider is an absolute must. And then speaking with any potential new providers is a subsequent necessity.
The insurance company will be able to clarify the exact coverage your policy provides your storage belongings. They will advise you on what are your best steps given the terms and limitations of your policy and the specific contents of your storage unit.
Don’t make assumptions or guesses with something like this – speak to those who know the specifics of your policy before making any decision surrounding your storage items.
Question as much as possible
Only the right plan will work for your specific situation, and you need to be clear about it before committing to it. Ask as many questions as possible. Be as certain as you can be.
Be clear that the plan will cover you for unlikely events, but also for more common self-storage occurrences. The most frequent issues storage tenants encounter are pests, water damage, or mold. Amazingly, these events are what policies will typically not cover.
Similarly, theft is also something that some policies will not cover.
Be sure to ask about what damages or events are not covered by an insurance plan, so you understand your plan completely, and will avoid making claims that are rejected.
When speaking to an insurance provider, also ask about any specific belongings you intend to store if they meet any of the sorts of criteria we’ve mentioned above. And mention anything of significant value or rarity to be sure the policy covers them appropriately.
Ensure the broker has an insurance license
Finally (or perhaps firstly), whichever insurance company you hire, even if it is through your facility with their own plan, be sure that they are properly licensed to sell insurance. If anything was to happen to your storage belongings, but your broker was not properly licensed, then your belongings may not in fact have any coverage whatsoever.
It is important to understand that a storage facility’s own insurance coverage does not include its tenants’ storage belongings. Tenants require their own insurance. At Box Me Up, we want to fully arm you with the knowledge you require to have an easy and smooth self-storage experience, and that means understanding how best to understand self-storage insurance. Speak to one of our agents today for further advice on storage insurance or for any of your self-storage needs.