Tips and Tools:
People often either assume that self-storage facilities automatically provide insurance or believe that they are storing items at their own risk, with no recourse to compensation if something goes wrong. While some storage facilities offer basic coverage as part of a package, it is important for you to understand your storage options. Just as with other forms of insurance, you’re looking for the perfect balance. You don’t want to underinsure, but you don’t want to over insure either.
Some storage companies require you to purchase insurance, others leave the decision up to you. Prior to renting a unit, read your homeowner’s or renter’s policy to see if offsite storage is covered.
Read your storage contract carefully too. It’s important to know just what the facility includes. If you need more comprehensive coverage (and many people will), you can purchase more coverage from the storage facility, purchase a rider to your homeowners/renters policy, or pursue a completely new policy. Here are some questions you can ask to find out more about insurance:
- Does the facility offer coverage as part of the package? Does it provide coverage I can purchase? Does my homeowner’s or renter’s policy cover off-site storage or have a rider I can purchase?
- Are all the items I am storing covered under this insurance policy?
- Is the value of my items sufficiently covered?
- Are there exceptions to my preferred policy, like floods or other natural disasters? If so, how likely are my items to be protected from those disasters?
- How many claims have been made by others at the storage facility?
- Is there a third party policy that could provide me with a better rate?
- If you are storing business records, does your insurance cover legal liability for lost, stolen, or damaged records?
- Does your facility meet the policy’s mandated security guidelines?
- If an accident occurs and the facility is at fault, will your items be covered?
- Will you need to update the policy every time you add or remove an item from storage? (Be sure to keep a detailed list of what is in your self-storage unit and its value. Take pictures of valuable items. If you create a finding aid for your storage unit, it can double as this detailed list.)
- Are the items being stored expensive or sentimental? If so, look into the extra protection provided by a climate-controlled unit.
Even better? We have locations all over Illinois, so your belongings are never far from home.