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Self Storage Insurance: Is It Worth it?

Climate Storage | Nov 27, 2017

One question we get all the time -- Is self storage insurance worth it? In the world of storage, we always tell our customers, “If it’s worth storing, it’s worth insuring!”  Some people think that’s just another way to get a little more money during the rental process, but unless you’re willing to pay for storage for several months AND run the risk of everything you have stored ruined by a freak accident or act of God, the small amount extra cost of temporary storage insurance is really worth it.

What many people don’t understand is that most storage facilities DO NOT cover your stored items FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER.  That may seem like a hard position for a company to take with its customers, but in the storage business, there’s no way for a company to know if Customer A is storing 20-year-old Christmas decorations while Customer B has his unit loaded with pricey antiques and artwork.  Items in the first case might not be worth just a few bucks, but in the second unit, the value could exceed a few thousand dollars.  For a company to cover all eventualities, the cost would have to be passed along to customers which would increase rent prices to amounts that would make rent prohibitively expensive to all but the most wealthy.

That’s where temporary storage insurance comes in.  For just around $10 to $20 a month, customers can buy storage insurance that will cover part, if not all, of their stored belongings.  At Climate Storage, our month-to-month leases can be paired with month-to-month insurance for our customers.  You don’t have to pay for 6 months or a year’s worth of coverage.  Your coverage lasts for only as long as you need to store your items.

Some people ask, “If I already have homeowners or renters insurance, do I really need more insurance?  The answer is both YES and NO.  Consult with your insurance agent BEFORE you come to sign your lease.  If you’re covered, just bring in your declaration page so we can keep a copy of it in your file in case there’s ever the need for it. 

However, most insurance policies come with a “deductible.”  That’s the amount YOU have to pay before your insurance kicks in.  On MOST policies, the deductible can easily top $1000-2000.  Many storage insurance policies come with a ZERO DEDUCTIBLE.   Even our minimal $9/month policy pays $2000.  That means, even if you have your own insurance, the small monthly amount you’d pay for storage insurance could pay your deductible if you had a claim.  That could translate into NO OUT OF POCKET costs to you.

Finally, educate yourself about your storage facility.  How old is it?  Is the facility well-maintained?  Have they had any insurance claims by previous tenants?  If so, how often?  Older facilities are more susceptible to things like water leaks, fire, insects, or rodents.  Take a tour of your facility and insist on looking at the unit you’re going to move into.  Chances are, if the facility looks clean and well-maintained, your chance of filing an insurance claim are low.

Also remember, employees of storage facilities are NOT insurance agents.  If you have a question about storage insurance, contact the insurance company directly.  Usually, the storage company will have an “800” number you can call and get answers to any questions you might have.