A Self Storage facility’s insurance covers the property of the landlord, not the contents of the clients’ units. Never assume that in case of damage or theft, one can claim from the storage operator, unless negligence can be proved.

Questions to ask:

Are household goods stored away from home covered by your home owners or rental policy?

What is the percentage of the total contents allowed? E.g., is there a ceiling?

Does the storage company offer insurance, and if so – who is the underwriter?

Are special rates offered for a long term contract?

Once you have carefully selected a storage company, you will have to insure the contents. It will be wise to choose the best contract that you can possibly afford. Consider fire, water damage, riots, vandalism, an explosion, an earthquake, a burglary, smoke damage, mould caused by damp, vermin, temperature fluctuations and many other reasons that could cause you to lose your property – all frightening possibilities.

If you insure with an independent insurer, you can do so without a limit to the amount and without a payment up front. Insure for the full value of the contents. Be practical. This could be a good opportunity to get rid of stuff that are unlikely to be needed again or, considering the cost of storage, can easily be replaced. Sentimental attachment, though, has its own worth.

A detailed inventory together with photographs of your goods would be, in the event of claims, a valuable move. It will show that all possible measures have been taken to ensure the safety of your property. Collectables should be valued, described and photographed.

Some valuables do not belong in a Self Storage facility. Jewellery, firearms and valuable art ought to be stored in a bank safety deposit box. Special measures should be taken with irreplaceable papers: Securities, property deeds, company accounts, currency and bills, etcetera cannot be insured

Read the fine print of the insurance contract. Choose a replacement of goods policy instead of a cash value policy. As the latter will take devaluation in account, you will be better off with the former option.

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