Did you know that one in 10 American households have a storage unit? That makes it 10.8 million Americans who use a storage facility.
However, not all these have storage unit insurance, which protects their belongings inside. The question is – do you even need it?
You store your belongings to a facility you trust to protect them; what more protection can you ask? If you think that, there is a lot you have yet to learn about insurance policies and coverages.
What we can tell you right now is that your facility doesn’t likely have to cover your belongings. It’s up to you to protect them. Keep on reading to learn more about storage insurance policies and why you need to get one.
What is Storage Unit Insurance?
Storage unit insurance covers your belongings inside a storage unit. Loss of property or damages can make you lose thousands of dollars, depending on what you have stored. If you’re saving some valuable items in there, make sure you have an insurance policy to cover this.
Why You Need It
Storage facilities have their insurance, but you can’t rely on this. It doesn’t cover the contents of the individual units.
If something were to happen, the facility can claim their insurance and rebuild a unit. However, they’re under no obligation to replace or pay for what was inside it.
That obligation falls under your insurance policy. That alone should make you realize why you need storage unit insurance. Apart from that, though, here are other reasons that might convince you.
1. Theft and Other Crimes
Storage facilities, in general, have proper security measures against burglaries and crimes. Reliable ones have surveillance systems that deter criminals and make it harder for them to break in.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen at all, though. It’s even quite common.
If such a thing happens to your unit, you won’t be able to recuperate any of your loss if you don’t have insurance. Because your insurance has a low limit, you might not even get back the full value of your lost belongings.
Apart from that, storage insurance also covers damaged items. Arson is also a quite common crime that happens in storage facilities. If a fire broke out in the facility and it affected your unit, you can get your insurance company to reimburse you for the value of the items.
2. Acts of Nature
It’s not only the people you need to safeguard your property against. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and other acts of nature can damage your storage unit, as well. In these cases, you have no claim against the storage facility itself.
Accidental fire is also common, which can be due to a reaction in one of the units. Flooding due to any reason is another thing you have to worry about.
A typical insurance policy doesn’t cover these things. Even if your homeowners or renters insurance covers off-premise property, they may not cover damages from natural events. Make sure you’re covered by getting a separate storage insurance policy.
Take note that you may still need to get added coverage for things like flooding. Flood coverage isn’t often included, whether it’s in business, homeowners, or storage insurance.
3. Other Damages
You also have to watch out for animals – to be specific, vermin. Most insurance policies exclude damages from these creatures. Renters or homeowners don’t even mind them too much, as well.
What they might not know is that damages from rats – and even insects – can cost you thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s also essential to ask the facility how it handles the vermin and insect populations.
4. A Requirement by the Storage Facility
Landlords can require their tenants to get renters insurance as part of the contract. That’s legal, and it’s the same for storage facilities. Don’t let it surprise you if the facility asks you to get storage insurance as a condition for renting.
Don’t let that turn you off, as well. It’s better to follow this rule than to find another facility that may not have the same strict standards.
This requirement is one of the most common reasons why tenants get one in the first place. It’s not because of the advantages we outlined above. That’s a good enough reason, though, since it doesn’t cut the benefits you can get from it.
Make sure to ask the facility itself about its policy on insurance for storage units. They may also have more requirements.
Where to Get Storage Insurance
Your homeowners and renters insurance policy may already cover the property you stowed away in a storage unit – but, it has its limits. A typical system only provides 10% of your limit to your belongings if stored in a storage unit.
There are nuances to it, like if your home is unfit to store your items (during renovation, for example), then your policy may cover the entire value of your belongings while they’re in a storage unit. Call your insurance provider to ask if an off-premises property is under coverage.
In many cases, though, it’s not enough to rely on this coverage. That’s why you can buy a standalone storage insurance policy from specialized vendors.
Like a typical policy, it can have different coverage options. It can cover one cause of damage but not the other. It has coverage limits, too, but it’s higher than in homeowners or renters insurance.
Whether your homeowners and renters insurance covers your storage unit or not, it’s still advisable to get a standalone policy. The reasons for that are more coverage and a higher limit.
Another place you can get a policy from is the storage facility itself. They may offer you insurance from their policy. However, it has a lower coverage limit and minimal coverage, as well. You’re still better off getting a standalone policy.
Choose an Insurance Policy Wisely
Like you would when choosing health, business, or homeowners insurance, research storage unit insurance policies well and study the coverage with care. This is especially important if you’re storing expensive items or even those with high sentimental value.
You don’t want to lose everything in case of a fire or other type of emergency. Check out more of our blog posts for other helpful tips like these.