Saving Money On Storage

Understanding 3 Self-Storage Insurance Options

Keeping your most valued possessions in your self-storage unit safe and sound depends on more than just a good lock. You'll also have to consider what might happen to your stuff if a tornado, flood or some other natural disaster happens. Having adequate self-storage insurance can help you replace or repair your belongings if they're damaged, destroyed or stolen.

There are many different avenues you can take when it comes to insuring your personal belongings. The following takes a look at several common options for self-storage insurance.

Your Own Homeowner or Renter's Insurance Policy

If you already have homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance, then you may be able to use it to protect your stored belongings. Using your own your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy can be a great way to save money while offering your stored belongings better coverage against damages and loss. It's usually a good idea to check with your insurance company to see what your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy has to offer in the way of self-storage insurance.

Your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy may extend to your stored belongings in the form of off-premises protection, which provides coverage for items in storage. Off-premises coverage through your homeowner's or renter's insurance can protect your valuables against theft, as well as a variety of natural disasters listed in your policy. However, it may not provide coverage for damages caused by flooding, mold and mildew, earthquakes or inadequate maintenance of the storage unit itself. Some insurers may limit the off-premises coverage for your personal belongings to 10 percent of the overall amount of your homeowner's insurance coverage.

It's also a good idea to see if your insurance policy covers damages through cash-value or replacement cost reimbursement. The former provides you with only the depreciated value of your belongings, whereas the latter covers your losses at current prices.

Third-Party Self-Storage Insurance

If you don't have homeowner's or renter's insurance, then there's a good chance that you'll end up with a third-party moving storage insurance policy. Most of these policies offer somewhat similar protection when compared to homeowner's and renter's insurance coverage, but with lower liability limits. For instance, most storage facilities limit their liability for the overall value of your stored belongings to as little as $5,000.   

Many self-storage facilities sell third-party insurance and many people purchase it as a requirement of their rental agreement. That doesn't mean you have to purchase third-party coverage directly from the storage facility. However, most storage facilities require some form of insurance coverage before you can rent a storage unit.

Your Auto Insurance Coverage

If you plan on storing a vehicle in a self-storage facility, you may want to see if your auto insurance policy can cover it during storage. Some auto insurance policies offer limited provisions for vehicles that are put away in self-storage facilities. However, there are a couple of important considerations to keep in mind when using your auto insurance coverage:

  • Many self-storage facilities require that your vehicle have both comprehensive and collision coverage in order to be stored on-site.
  • There may also be strict limits on the amount of damage your policy covers in the event of damages or loss during storage. However, these limits typically vary among insurance companies.

It's crucial to study the fine print when it comes to your auto insurance policy and its provisions for protecting vehicles in self-storage. Don't forget that many third-party self-storage insurance policies also cover stored automobiles, although the actual coverage may be even more limited in scope than your own auto insurance policy. Ensure you consult with moving storage facility owners before making your final decision.