How to Choose the Best Insurance Plan for Your Self Storage Belongings
It is a common misunderstanding that a self storage facility’s building insurance covers the contents of their tenants’ storage belongings; this is not, in fact, the case. While the facility requires insurance to protect the building, so do the tenants require insurance to protect their belongings contained within the facility.
This is an important piece of information that many tenants do not realize. At Sentinel, we protect our tenants’ self storage contents with state-of-the-art security systems, but this does not ensure protection from everything. Consequently, storage insurance is a necessity. With this in mind, we at Sentinel have compiled the following guide on how best to choose an insurance plan for the contents of your self storage unit.
Understanding your facility’s insurance regulations
Every self storage facility has their own regulations governing their tenant’s insurance coverage. You need to understand these clearly before investigating possible coverage, and that really means being clear on your lease agreement.
Speak to the staff at the facility for clarity on the agreement, and ask the following questions to be sure you get the information you require:
-Does the facility require proof of home insurance?
-Does the facility have its own insurance coverage?
-Does the facility require their tenants to use their coverage?
-Does the facility recommend a particular insurance brokerage?
-Is there property protection that you can purchase from the facility?
Take your time to understand their answers, and be sure to have the facility clarify anything you find confusing. Sit down with their policies and your lease agreement, and go through it again yourself to be sure you understand their requirements before signing off on any insurance plan.
Will your homeowners’ insurance cover your self storage contents?
Once you are clear on your self storage facility’s requirements, you’ll want to check your homeowner insurance plan. Sometimes these plans will already offer some level of coverage for your storage belongings. This can be the same for renters or business insurance coverage as well.
You want to gain an understanding of how much and what sorts of items your homeowner plan covers, as these plans do have limitations. It isn’t uncommon for such plans to cover storage items up to 10% of the amount on the policy itself. For a plan that covers $20,000, up to $2,000 of coverage may be granted to your storage belongings.
These plans can be limited in other ways as some items can be excluded from coverage such as collectibles, art, cars, boats, and antiques, to name a few. If you are storing items like these, then you may require separate insurance coverage for them.
Speak to your current insurance provider
Your current insurance provider is a great resource. While their coverage, as we mention above, may in fact already cover your belongings, you certainly should be confirming that with them directly.
They should be able to clarify what exactly will be covered by the plan, and can inform you of whether you need a separate plan or not. Be transparent and thorough during the discussion, informing the agent of everything you are storing to be sure they provide the correct answer. Let them know what the storage facility’s requirements are as well, ensuring you adhere to all of the rules and regulations they have in place.
Are they licensed?
Once you determine whether you will utilize your homeowners’ insurance plan, a facility’s plan, or require a separate policy, be sure that the first thing you determine about the brokerage is that they are in fact licensed. Every insurance brokerage requires a license, and if a facility, for example, is selling insurance policies without a proper license, then you may not actually be covered if something was to take place requiring a claim. Be positive that they are licensed before agreeing to any coverage.
Do not be afraid to ask questions
Do not limit yourself to investigating only one or two brokerages. Investigate a number of them. The more research you do, the better your understanding of self storage insurance will be, and the better the coverage you will likely receive.
Ask a lot of questions whenever speaking to an insurance provider. Be as clear as possible about the sort of coverage they provide, up to what amounts, and on what types of items.
If you have any questions about insurance coverage for your self storage belongings, you can speak with your Sentinel expert today; we’re here to help!