Seven Myths About Self Storage Insurance

Jon Fesmire |
When you rent a storage unit, you’ll either have the option of choosing self storage insurance or you will be required to sign up for it. While most of the items in your lease are easy to understand, you might have some questions about the issue of storage insurance.

Because there are a lot of misconceptions about self storage insurance, here are seven myths about it that we’ve debunked.

1. Homeowners or Renters Insurance Will Cover Your Unit

You’d be mistaken to think that any homeowners or renters insurance policy will cover everything you put in storage.

Some homeowners and renters insurance policies partly cover your stored items, which are considered to be “off-site” or “off-premises.” At most, they cover about $1,000 in off-site property.

2. Self Storage Facilities are Perfectly Secure

Many facilities have advanced security, including monitored cameras that cover the grounds, individual alarms on units, and so on. However, even the best security doesn’t work all the time. Sometimes, thefts still occur, pests find a way in, and natural disasters damage belongings. Make sure you have enough insurance to cover the value of your things.

3. The Facility’s Own Insurance Will Cover Your Belongings

Self storage facilities have their own insurance after all. Shouldn’t it cover what you store on their property? Well, no. Their insurance covers the property itself, not what tenants store in it. That’s your responsibility.

4. You Can Insure Anything You Store

This is absolutely not true. In fact, there are a number of prohibited items. You aren’t allowed to keep them in your storage unit, and insurance won’t cover their loss if you do. These include flammable materials, live plants or animals, perishable food, illegal items including illicit drugs, many prescription medications, and weapons. Doing so can also get you evicted from your unit and even get you in legal trouble.

5. Self Storage Insurance is Optional

Many facilities require you to purchase a minimum amount of insurance from them. Others may simply require proof of insurance.

Even if you do purchase insurance from the facility, you should seriously consider getting your stuff insured through a third party vendor.

6. Self Storage Insurance is Expensive

Self storage insurance is very, very affordable. You can get a high level of coverage for around $10-20 a month.

7. All Types of Risks are Covered

It would be nice if this were so, but it’s not. Most types are covered, including theft and various acts of nature. Make sure you read the contract and know what’s covered, and check to see what other options they offer.

A few things that may not be covered include damage from rodents, floods, earthquakes, and water. Fortunately, some policies allow you to pay slightly more per month to include them. If you life in an area prone to any of these hazards, you should make sure you’re covered. Keep in mind that policies vary, so it’s important to read the fine print.