Updated: May 2, 2020
For the most part, storage unit coverage does not always come with a typical insurance coverage policy. Plus, you have many storage unit companies that require proof of insurance for your stored property before a rental agreement can be signed.
Tenant insurance or storage insurance
Tenant insurance covers property stored inside a storage unit in the event of damage, burglary, or loss. You want your homeowners and renters insurance policies to include items stored off-site. If they do not, separate insurance coverage is imperative. Insurance coverage for property placed in storage units is not as typical as other forms of insurance, but most storage facilities will have access to Tenant Insurance. Therefore, you may purchase coverage at the chosen location.
Reasons for Getting Storage or Tenant Insurance
1. Valuable items might have a high sentimental or monetary value.
Any items of value stored in a storage unit must have adequate coverage. But, keep in mind, items of sentimental value and high-value possessions like furs and jewelry are not the same. High-value items are not covered under a typical tenant insurance policy. You need a particular form of insurance purchased separately from your insurance agent to be protected.
2. Severe weather could put your belongings at risk.
Weather can easily cause damage to your property. It can wreak havoc fast and swiftly. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires are some of the significant events. If you want to be protected, be sure to have flood insurance in place on your homeowners' policy.
3. Despite security cameras at storage facilities, burglaries still happen.
Storage facilities have a plethora of security features. Many of them regularly-maintained surveillance systems and access control systems that monitor the grounds and discourage criminals . And yet, burglaries still happen. Storage insurance provides coverage for the act of stealing property by forcible entry. Moreover, the mere absence of a lock or padlock does not constitute a forcible entry. Nice try.
4. Most storage companies require insurance.
People acquire tenant insurance because the storage facility requires them to do so. Have you ever rented a home, and the landlord required you to have renters insurance? Well, it is the same thing. Yet, many people would likely skip this crucial step if insurance wasn't required.
Getting Tenant Insurance Coverage for a Storage Unit
I strongly recommend acquiring tenant insurance even if the storage facility doesn't require it. Be smart and do your research before you set foot inside a storage facility.
Here are some steps you can take.
1. Is it covered with your current homeowners or renters' insurance policy?
You should ask the storage facility if they are willing to accept your current homeowners or renters' insurance policies. If so, do the following.
Ask your current insurance agent if your policy would cover your belongings if you stored them inside a storage unit.
Get them to direct you to that part of your policy and read it yourself.
If you need to add additional coverage, find out what it will cost you per month.
Ask if there are any items the current policy won't cover. I know for sure, cash and jewelry are not covered by tenant insurance.
See what proof of insurance they need. Many require a copy of the Declaration Page, which outlines the coverages that specify whether or not your coverage extends off-site.
2. Maybe the storage company has insurance provider recommendations
Some storage companies can easily connect you with their preferred providers. Do not assume that the storage company is providing you with insurance.
3. You have three coverage options.
Here are your three options. Obtain coverage through an affiliated insurance company of the storage facility, use an existing policy, or search for a third party company.
Here are some things to look for when checking into your policy:
Coverage limit — What is the value of your storage items? Once you know, decide which policy will provide the most coverage based on your needs.
Inventory restrictions — Besides jewelry and cash, find out what else the policy will not cover. Do an inventory and make sure you are covered. On high-value items, find out if you need an appraisal.
Policy rules — Are there any hidden rules you are missing? For example, do you need to submit an updated inventory whenever you make storage changes? Do you need photos?
What's covered — What property types and kinds of damage do your policy cover and what does it not. For instance, natural disasters, theft, etc.).
4. Pick a company and don't miss payments
Pick a company and stay updated with your premiums. Ask your storage facility, what are the repercussions for defaulting on your insurance policy?
Storage Insurance Rates
The cost will vary dependent on the value of what you are storing, your location, and several other vital factors. Essentially, tenant insurance is relatively inexpensive, and you can include it with your monthly rental payment.
Universally, monthly premiums start at $10 -$15 per month for $3,000 worth of coverage. The higher coverage amounts aren't that much more expensive. For instance, $5,000 worth of coverage might only cost $14-$18 per month.
Keep in mind, the more coverage options you have, the more the policy will cost. To save money, try combining your policy with a homeowners or a renters policy. Be sure to read everything thoroughly so you understand what everything costs.
CEO and Co-Founder of linqrs mobile app, The Most Clever Way to Shop for Insurance. Former Insurance Agency Owner, College and NFL football coach.