What is Self-Storage Tenant Insurance and Why Do You Need It?

Sometimes we just don’t have enough space. Whether we need to store grandma’s china or our dad’s guitar collection, you need to get all the extra stuff out of your home. However, you can’t put them anywhere or throw them out. For most, the answer lies in renting a self-storage unit. While it’s a good solution that most people have relied on for decades, it’s not always the safest option. Unexpected damage, natural disasters, and theft can all deprive you of your valuables. Aside from choosing a reputable, secure provider, how can you protect your stored property? The best answer is storage tenant insurance.

What Is Self-Storage Tenant Insurance? self storage

No matter how secure a storage facility claims to be, they can’t prepare for every eventuality. Unfortunately, in the event of burglary or damage, your goodies are as good as gone. While some homeowners and renter’s bundles might insure your items even when stored off-site, others will require you to get separate coverage. That’s where Tenant Insurance comes in.  These plans will usually cover your losses in the event of theft, windstorms, fire, earthquakes, building collapse, vandalism, or even pest damage. However, according to a post by BrokerLink, there are a few limitations to this type of coverage, too.

Here’s Why You Need Tenant Insurance

Although we’re aware that our property might be at risk in a self-storage facility, many of us still don’t consider insurance a priority. Even if you’re only storing your goods for a short period, you still need to invest in the right coverage. Here’s why:

Security Isn’t Infallible

storage security Self-storage facilities will often take several steps to ensure your property is safe. Some even offer services such as silent alarms and access codes. However, regardless of how good the security is, it’s never infallible. When you’re getting insurance for your storage, check with the broker how your goods will be covered. In some cases, you might need to provide an itemized list of your property before the company will issue your policy.

They Can’t Control the Weather

No one can control the weather, the planet, shifting plates, or guess when a random act of God may strike. Regardless of how secure your self-storage unit is, a wide variety of occurrences, from floods to wildfires, can put your goods at risk. Other unplanned disasters can include earthquakes, massive storms, and hurricanes. Even a broken pipe can cause a lot of damage to your stored property. It’s best to have insurance, especially if you’re storing valuable or sentimental items in your unit. Keep in mind that a standard insurance plan might not cover everything. Check with your broker to ensure you’ve got the right policy suited to your needs.

A Storage Company May Require It

Generally, reputable self-storage facilities will offer you an insurance plan before you even sign the paperwork. It protects them against legal action and keeps your property safe at the same time. You might be tempted to turn it down, but the company may well ask you to take your business elsewhere if you do. By law, self-storage facilities can require you to have a policy, much in the same way a landlord might insist on a tenant insurance plan. If it’s not something you’re interested in, contact the company in advance to find out what their rules and requirements are on this topic.

Some Things Are Irreplaceable

Whether it’s your dad’s prized comic collection or grandad’s purple heart, some things just can’t be replaced. Their sentimental value far exceeds their monetary value, but if they’re lost or stolen, they’ll be gone for good. Although tenant insurance can’t get these items back if they’re stolen or damaged, they can replace some of them. If not, you can still get compensated for your loss.

A Few Frequently Asked Questions

Are you worried about costs, coverage, or choosing the right policy? You’re not the only one. That’s why we’ve gathered a few of the most commonly asked questions about self-storage tenant insurance to give you a little more peace of mind.

Is the Cost Worth It?

Tenant insurance policies aren’t as expensive as you might imagine. Monthly premiums can range between $9 – $40 for plans that’ll cover you for up to $10,000. That’s a low monthly fee to make sure your property is protected. Additionally, if you’re choosing to store your belongings rather than throwing them away, it means they’re valuable to you. That alone should make the cost worth it.

Does it Cover Vehicle Storage?

Unfortunately, no. If you’re going to put a vehicle in storage, many facilities will require that you get auto insurance. You’ll likely have to provide proof of coverage before the company will allow you to store your car on their property.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover the Unit?

Most homeowners insurance policies will cover your storage unit. Unfortunately, there are several applicable terms and conditions. For example, your plan might only cover a certain percentage of your valuables in a unit. Others may not cover specific types of damages. Explore your options with your broker and decide what kind of policy will work best for you.

What If the Goods Are Damaged During Transport?

Check if your plan includes transport insurance. If it does, make sure to study the terms and conditions. Some policies will cover your property during transport, but often only within a certain radius. Your items likely won’t be covered during transit if you’re relying on homeowners or renters’ insurance. Consider getting tenant insurance that covers transport as an added safety measure.

Should You Make an Inventory of the Stored Items?

While most insurance policies don’t require a detailed inventory, it’s still a good idea. Try to take pictures along with your list so that you have a permanent and visual record of everything in the storage unit. If something does happen, and you need to claim for your insurance, having indisputable proof will work in your favor. You don’t want to lose out on your policy due to a technicality, and many insurers will appreciate having a record from which to work.

Other Tips On How To Keep Your Belongings Safe

Aside from purchasing self storage tentant insurance, there are a few other ways you can keep your belongings safe while they’re in storage:

  1. Make sure the storage facility you choose has good security features in place, such as gated access, security cameras, and on-site staff.
  2. When packing your items for storage, use sturdy boxes and seal them securely with packing tape.
  3. Label your boxes so you know what’s inside each one. This will come in handy when you need to find something later on.
  4. Store heavier items in smaller boxes so they’re easier to carry and less likely to get damaged.
  5. Place your boxes on pallets or shelves to keep them off the ground and away from potential flooding or water damage.
  6. If you’re storing any items that are valuable or sentimental, keep them in a safe place where you can easily access them if needed.
  7. Check on your belongings every so often to make sure everything is still in good condition.
  8. Let your storage facility manager know if you notice any damage to your belongings or the unit itself.
  9. Hire professional transportation services when moving your belongings into storage. Here are your options when you are moving your belongings into storage:

Man And Van

A man and van is a great option if you have a small amount of belongings to move into storage. This service includes one person who will help you load and unload your belongings from the van and then drive it to the storage facility for you.

The cost of a man and van service varies depending on the amount of belongings you have and the distance between your current location and the storage facility, however, you will find that it is cheaper (and easier) than renting a truck on your own.

Removals Company

If you have a lot of belongings to move into storage, or if you live far away from the storage facility, it is best to hire a professional removals company.

A removals company will send a team of movers to your home to help you pack up your belongings and load them into the truck. They will then transport everything to the storage unit for you and unload it.

A removals company is the best option, especially when you have heavy or delicate items to move, or if you are not physically able to do the heavy lifting yourself.

The Bottom Line

Being short of space can be annoying, but thanks to self-storage providers, we don’t have to worry about keeping our valuables in the back of a musty closet. With a little paperwork and a handshake, you’ll soon have your property locked up for safekeeping outside of your home. Unfortunately, inadequate security, creative thieves, and natural disasters can all rob you of your sentimental valuables and goods before you can get them back. Some things can never be replaced but having tenant insurance means you’ll receive some monetary compensation for your lost property. Whether you plan on storing your stuff for a short period or over the long term, make sure to chat with your broker about getting a suitable insurance policy. Better to take precautions than receiving a nasty surprise next time you visit your storage unit.