A storage unit is a safe, secure and convenient place in which to store your belongings. There are many reasons why someone may rent out a self storage unit. You may need somewhere dry and secure to store your furniture and belongings while you travel, you may be an artist looking for somewhere secure to store your valuable pieces or you may simply want to rid your home of clutter and keep some of your belongings ‘off-site’. Whatever your reasons for renting a storage unit, it’s highly recommended that you insure your unit’s contents.
As secure and impermeable as storage units are, recent events have demonstrated that one can never be too careful. The fire at the Shurgard building in Croydon, South London in January showed us that there are some eventualities that not even the strongest locks and the most vigilant security staff cannot guard against. With this recent tragedy in mind, here are 7 things to think about when insuring your storage unit.
Your storage provider may require it
When leasing a self-storage unit it may be a requirement that you take out insurance on your unit. At Henfield Storage, we insist that customers have a valid insurance policy for their goods. While we also offer a policy which is well suited to our customers’ storage needs they are not obliged to use our policy.
If your storage provider offers their own, does it cover the value of your belongings?
Some storage providers offer free insurance which is folded into the unit rental costs. However, it behoves you to check whether the policy covers the value of your belongings. In many cases, the insurance policies offered for free by storage companies covers lost or damaged items up to the value of around £2000 – £3000. If the value of your stored goods exceeds this, you may want to use your own policy.
Are you storing anything that might invalidate your insurance policy?
The beauty of a storage unit is its versatility. Whatever you need to keep safe can be stored safely and securely. Nonetheless, there are some items which cannot be stored in a self storage unit. Attempting to store them may invalidate your insurance policy as well as your contract with the storage provider. Prohibited items usually include;
- Cash and securities
- Live plants and / or animals
- Flammable, toxic, or pollutant chemicals
- Illegal items
- Food and perishables
- Waste or radioactive material
Is there anything that insurance cannot replace?
The incident at the Shurgard building earlier this year demonstrates that there are some things which cannot be replaced. Many artists and creatives lost irreplaceable works which represent years worth of hard work and craft. It may be worth taking extra steps to protect them such as wrapping them in a flame retardant blanket.
Do you lock your self storage unit every time you visit?
Some storage providers will expect you to supply your own good quality padlock to keep your unit safe from potential theft. However, even if your storage provider furnishes you with a padlock and key, remember to use it every time you visit your storage unit. It’s all-too easy to forget to lock your unit after you’ve taken something out or put something in.
However, neglecting to do so could invalidate your insurance claim if something within gets stolen or damaged.
Will a cheaper policy give you the cover you need?
Insurance premiums for storage units are usually very reasonable, especially considering the cost of replacing damaged or stolen valuables. Yet, when it comes to insuring your storage unit, beware of false economy.
A storage unit is a safe and secure place, and you might think that insuring it is merely a redundancy and opt for the cheapest policy available. Nonetheless, unavoidable incidents do happen. Over in the US state of Idaho, a storage tenant was left frustrated when his storage unit became flooded. There are some instances where either natural disasters or deliberate acts of sabotage can affect your stored items. As such, it’s always a good idea to pay a little extra for a policy that could save you a lot in the long run.
We’re always on hand to help!
Finally, although it can be something of a head scratcher trying to find a policy that’s suited to your needs… Remember that we’re always here to help. We can recommend an insurance policy that’s right for your budget and will sufficiently cover the items in our care. To talk to us about storage unit insurance or any other aspect of self storage, you can always get in touch with us.
A friendly, helpful member of our team will be only too happy to talk with you!