Self Storage Tips & Tricks for Renters

Does Your Renters Insurance Cover Items in Self-Storage?

Renting a place to live can be expensive, and many people can’t afford the space they need for all their belongings. For this reason, more and more renters are finding that putting some possessions into self-storage is an efficient and cost-effective way forward.

The value of stored items may vary considerably, but if they’re worth holding on to they’re probably worth insuring. Your existing renters’ insurance might cover them while they’re away from home, or alternatively, you could take out a specialist policy. Your decision may be influenced by what you want to insure and how concerned you are about safety.

What Is Self-Storage?

Self-storage often used to be just a row of lock-up garages where folk could put fishing gear, bags of old clothes, unwanted presents, or a car. But the industry has developed greatly in recent years and now offers a wide range of storage units, air-conditioning, increased security, and greater accessibility.

In addition, there are specialist storage services which include collection and delivery of your items. This is ideal for people who have busy schedules or who don’t have their own transportation.

Now there are self-storage facilities in city centers as well as out of town. And the increased competition in the industry means that there has never been a better time to store things away from home, in a place where they are out of the way but can be retrieved again easily when needed. Go to STORAGECafé to find all the best options!

Do You Need Insurance?

Some people like having insurance for everything while others simply feel lucky. Are you the former? Maybe you worry a lot and wouldn’t want to lose any one of your possessions, all of which have sentimental value. Or maybe you prefer to take life one day at a time, and although you promised to cherish all those Christmas presents you received from your in-laws, you won’t be crying if somebody comes and steals the lot!

For possessions in rented accommodation, renters’ insurance is recommended, and we suggest using Resident Shield. If you’ve taken out renters’ insurance, you’re already aware that bad things could happen and you’d like some compensation if they do. You would probably feel the same about items in self-storage, as break-ins and accidental damage can happen there too.

Maybe you’ll choose a self-storage facility with excellent security and maybe you don’t have any renters’ insurance. But you could find that the facility’s operators require their customers to have insurance to avoid legal problems. This is a good sign as it tends to mean they are reputable, but it also means that insurance is not merely optional for you.

Using a Renters’ Insurance Policy

You may be pleased to hear that it’s often possible to use a renters’ insurance policy to cover stored items! But first, you need to be sure that your policy actually covers things kept away from your home. And then it could be the case that not all the different types of items you want to store are covered. Read the fine print of any insurance policy carefully.

Renters’ insurance also may not cover all possible calamities. For example, damage by water and vermin can be very destructive — you will not see it happening if it occurs at the storage facility, and it is not always covered in a policy. Damage caused by storage facility staff is also potentially a problem but won’t be included in renters’ insurance.

In addition, renters’ insurance may offer limited liability for items stored away from your residence, sometimes between 10% and 50% of the regular coverage. Because of this, you might not get the full value of your goods back if you claim. Also, many homeowners’ policies have long surcharge periods, which discourages people from claiming.

Do I Need Dedicated Self-Storage Insurance?

If you’ve found that your renters’ insurance won’t adequately cover the items you want to store away from home, don’t despair. There are policies specially designed for items in self-storage—and you might want to know about them even if you do have a renters’ insurance policy.

Self-storage facilities may try to sell insurance to customers, and in some US states, they can do this without becoming licensed insurance agents. But, though convenient, this type of insurance is not always good value for money. It also may not cover all the types of item you want to store, and it may not include protection for all possible hazards.

An alternative is to take out a policy with a reputable third-party specialist in self-storage insurance. In this way, you can be certain to get a comprehensive policy, with greater financial protection and coverage, and maybe for a better price. There are many companies out there and it’s not difficult to shop around to find the most suitable offer for you. The prices are quite cheap compared to some other types of policy, starting at around $5 per month for coverage of one or two thousand dollars, while $10 to $20 a month will generally cover what most people put in their units.

Do I Need Specialist Insurance?

Some insurance policies may be unsuitable because a customer wants to store something unusual. For example, some regular policies cover vehicles, but it is more usual that separate insurance is required for cars, motorcycles, boats, and ATVs. And hard-to-replace paperwork such as deeds and bills are difficult to value and may require a separate policy.

It is fairly well-known that people who fail to pay their rent on self-storage units risk having their items sold off at auction. But it may surprise many to learn that a facility owner can fail to obey the rules and wrongful auctions can happen without the customer’s knowledge. There is specialized insurance available for this possibility too!

If the items you want to put into storage are not of great value and are not unusual in any way, you could consider relying on your renters’ insurance policy, if you have one. Or, for more peace of mind, you might like to get a specialist storage insurance policy that matches all your needs. With the knowledge that you can confidently store excess possessions even if you rent a small place, you can carry on browsing the available listings on RENTCafé and find the right apartment for you!

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About the author

Alexandra Ciuntu

Alexandra is a creative writer and researcher for RENTCafé. With a background in e-learning content writing and a passion for knowledge-sharing platforms, she's covered topics from prop-tech to renters insurance to interior design tips. Very familiar with the renter lifestyle herself, Alexandra enjoys researching and writing about renter demographic shifts and residential real estate market trends as much as she loves writing about how to get along with roommates. You can connect with Alexandra via email.

Alexandra’s work includes collaborations with financial and business publications. Her articles have been featured in several national and international online publications, including the New York Times, Barrons, Inman, Forbes, Marketwatch, Bisnow, and Curbed. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Japanese and English and an M.A. in Journalism and Cultural Studies.

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