If you're going to put some of your possessions into a self storage unit for any period of time, you will need to think about if you'll need insurance. Chances are that you will. These possessions are being stored instead of being thrown away, meaning they have value to you. So you will need to protect yourself against the unlikely event of loss or damage. What are some of the things you need to think about when choosing insurance for your stored goods?
1. The Insurance Provider
Does the storage facility provide insurance? Many will, for a small surcharge. You should also enquire with your existing insurance provider for a price comparison. It might be easier to simply amend your home and contents policy to cover your possessions while they're in storage. Regardless of who is actually providing the policy, you need to find out if there's a minimum time period. If this period exceeds the length of time you plan to store the goods, you might need to find a provider who offers a month by month policy (which can often be the case with a policy provided by the storage facility).
2. Covered by the Policy
What will actually be covered by the policy? Most standard eventualities will be covered, such as theft or fire, and yet you need to enquire about any exclusions. As an example, flooding might not be covered when storing items at a facility that might be located on a floodplain. Think about these exclusions, and this might result in you opting to use a different facility.
3. The Nature of Reimbursement
Will the insurance policy provide you with indemnity value or new replacement cost? New replacement cost will reimburse you for the cost of obtaining new replacements for any of your possessions that are lost or irreparably damaged. Indemnity value pays you a reduced amount, with the age and general condition of the possessions taken into account. Again, the nature of reimbursement might make you opt to use a different facility.
4. The Underwriter
While the storage facility might be able to offer you a policy, find out which insurance company is actually underwriting the policy. Ensure that it's underwritten by a large, reputable provider for added peace of mind.
However unlikely it is that your possessions will be lost or damaged while in storage, it's rather important to ensure that you have protection if this was to happen.