You are using a self storage facility to hold items for your household or business. Are you protected should anything happen to those items? Learn why it's important to have your storage unit insured before you snap the padlock closed on the door and drive away.
Who is Responsible for Your Items in Storage?
When you're given the storage contract, read it carefully to see who is responsible for damage to your personal or business items in storage. Sparefoot says to look for a release of liability clause in the paperwork. When you sign the contract, this clause means that you will not hold the facility owner responsible for damage to your property.
This is important to know because it means that you are ultimately responsible for all of the items you have in storage. For example, should a water pipe that runs across the top of your storage unit spring a leak, you will have to make sure you're covered under insurance. You have several options to get the coverage you need.
Insuring Your Storage Unit
The storage facility manager that rents you the unit will likely ask for proof of insurance. Most facilities require you to have insurance. Many offer their own insurance from a third party, and some make it mandatory that you purchase their insurance. The first step is to see what coverage you already have and get copies of the documents that prove you have coverage.
Home and renters insurance - Check with your insurance agent, but these policies often provide coverage for items in storage. When you insure your personal items, it normally doesn't make a difference where the item exists. For example, if you own an expensive camera and it's damaged by fire or water, it doesn't matter whether it was in your home, car, hotel room or storage unit. Since there are many insurers and their policies can be different, check on how to make sure your stored items are covered. You may need a rider on the policy where you name the items that will be in storage.
Business insurance - Check that your business insurance covers equipment and supplies that you keep in storage. For example, if you're an electrical contractor and a mouse gets into your unit and chews through the wires of an expensive piece of testing equipment, are you covered?
Storage tenant insurance - Many facilities offer insurance through a third party company. There are a couple of reasons that you may sign up for this insurance in addition to the coverage you already have:
If the tenant insurance has a zero deductible, you may be able to use it to cover the high deductible on your home or business insurance. Some tenant insurance offers in-transit coverage that protects items being transported to and from the storage unit, within a specific radius.
Protect Yourself Before Moving Items Into Storage
Check on your current insurance coverage before renting a storage unit and take your proof of insurance with you. Read and understand the contract regarding who is responsible for damaged items. Look at the tenant insurance offered by the storage facility to see if you'll be better off with supplemental insurance. Make sure your property is protected before unloading your truck or moving van into your storage unit.
For more information, contact a local storage company like AA All American Airborne Self-Storage.