There are plenty of reasons why you want a convenient place to store all of your extra stuff. But no matter the reason, you also want all your stuff to be protected against unforeseen circumstances. Even in the most secure of self-storage facilities, incidents such as flooding, fire or burglary can leave you financially vulnerable.
As you decide on self-storage units, think about how you want go about insuring your belongings for duration. The following offers several options you can take when it comes to self-storage insurance.
Your Existing Insurance Policy Has You Covered
If you already have homeowner's or renter's insurance, then you might not need insurance from your self-storage facility at all. Instead, you can rely on your existing insurance coverage to keep your self-stored items protected.
Most policies include off-premises coverage, which ensures that your belongings are covered no matter where you take them. However, this coverage is a relatively small amount compared to the overall amount of your renter's or homeowner's insurance policy.
The limits of ordinary off-premises coverage is 10 percent of your total insurance coverage. That means if you have $100,000 in homeowner's insurance, your off premises coverage limit is $10,000. If you plan on storing expensive items whose value may exceed your coverage limits, you should talk to your insurance agent about raising these limits.
In fact, if you want to store expensive items, then you may want to consider fortifying your existing coverage with an umbrella insurance policy. Such policies offer coverage above and beyond what's normally offered through your homeowners or renters insurance. For this reason, umbrella policies are usually available in million-dollar increments ($1 million, $2 million, etc.)
What If You Don't Have Your Own Insurance?
Without a pre-existing homeowners or renters insurance policy, you might find yourself signing up for third-party storage insurance offered by the self-storage facility. These plans are relatively affordable, depending on the value of the belongings you plan on storing. According to NetQuote, the average cost of self-storage insurance ranges from $7 per month for $1,000 worth of coverage to $200 for $75,000 worth of coverage.
Keep in mind that many self-storage facilities require proof of insurance prior to moving your stuff in. In most cases, you can purchase your third-party policy right at the counter. However, it's important to keep the following in mind:
- Always read the fine print before signing off on a new policy. You want to be aware of every stipulation and clause contained in the policy before you purchase it.
- Know how your self-storage insurance policy will provide reimbursement. Most policies offer reimbursement under "actual cash value" at the time of the loss, which could be significantly less than the actual cost of replacing those lost items. Some policies may provide reimbursement for the actual replacement value of your items.
- Don't sign up for a policy if you feel like you're being pressured into it. If you're not comfortable with the facility manager's hard sell, you can always back away and purchase self-storage insurance on your own and come back with proof of insurance.
What If You're Storing Automobiles?
If you have a spare vehicle you want to place in storage, you might want to check if your auto insurance policy covers your vehicle when stored in a storage facility. In most cases, a conventional auto insurance policy offers permissions for protecting stored vehicles from a wide variety of incidents.
In some cases, you may be able to have your third-party self-storage insurance carrier cover your vehicle while it's in storage. Just be mindful of the coverage limits and other stipulations of your policy.