Storage insurance, also commonly known as self-storage insurance, is an insurance policy which covers your possessions against theft or damage, when they’re stored away from the home or business premises.
This means you’re keeping your items in a self-store unit, which could range from clothing and furniture to collectables and heirlooms.
Of course, it’s possible that your items may be covered by an existing home and contents policy, which we’ll cover in more detail below. However, in most situations you may need to take out an insurance policy with the self-store owner or look for your own specialist storage insurance.
To give you a better idea of how self-storage insurance works, we’ve put together some of the most common questions we’re asked in this guide, so you can make the right decision.
“Why is Self-Store Insurance Important?”
Insurance is crucial if you’re looking to protect the quality and the value of your belongings while they remain in storage.
Once you’ve decided that a self-storage solution is needed, what the costs are and which storage provider is most appropriate for your needs, you’ll then need to sort out various paperwork and it’s usually at this point that the provider will advise as to the importance of insurance – whether that be through the storage company itself, or with a third-party of your choosing.
“Won’t My Storage Provider’s Business Insurance Cover Me?”
In most cases, no it won’t.
In some circumstances, the storage provider’s insurance will cover the cost of damaged or lost items, in cases such as negligence on the part of the store owner, but this an unusual occurrence with reputable storage businesses.
This means it’s down to you, to ensure that your items are appropriately covered. Your chosen storage company will only have a rough idea of what you have in storage at any one time, and since you are free to come and collect or add goods to the store as you, please, they can’t possibly know what value they need to place on your items in storage through their business insurance.
“Will My Home & Contents Cover Include Stored Items?”
It can sometimes be the case that your home and contents insurance policy will offer some protection for your belongings even if they aren’t stored at home. A good example of this is when someone is moving home, your contents cover will often continue to insure your items even whilst in transit.
However, if the move takes longer than planned, you might be required to place items in temporary storage; even then some policies will still cover this, but there is a time limit. After this, your items will no longer be insured whilst away from your home.
This means that if you’re looking for more of a long-term solution, it’s probably a good bet that your items won’t be covered by your home insurance policy.
Home insurance will typically only cover belongings outside of the named policy premises for a short time, leaving your valuables vulnerable.
That said, if you’ve been able to find a home insurance policy that does cover storage away from the named business premises, then be sure to read through your documents carefully to be sure of how much coverage you’re entitled to when your items leave the home.
“Is Self-Store Insurance a Legal Requirement?”
There is no legal obligation to obtain a self-store insurance policy.
However, the UK Self Storage Association advises that all of their members insist to all customers that they insure their items and they therefore have the right to turn away customers should they refuse to do this.
If you’ve taken the time to research storage solutions, and then move all your items to your local self-store yard, then it makes sense that they are worth insuring. While any reputable storage business will do everything to ensure that your items remain safe and secure, this doesn’t account for any unforeseen circumstances, and therefore it’s highly recommended that all of your items are covered by an appropriate insurance policy.
“Can I Find My Own Policy?”
As a self-store customer, you’re not obliged to take out any insurance policy that your storage provider might offer. That said, as we mentioned above, they do have the right to ensure that any insurance policy you do select is appropriate in matching or bettering the cover that they have offered.
For instance, if you’re storing a piano, your insurance policy must cover the cost to replace the piano rather than just the cash value of the item at sale. If the insurance policies you’ve found won’t offer to replace the item, then the self-storage company has every right to reject the policy for insufficient cover.
No matter what you’re looking to insure, policy costs will vary considerably between companies and self-storage is no different, so investigating as many quotes as possible is the only way to find the best value vs coverage.
Be sure to consider the following when looking for the right self-store policy:
- Length of the Policy: If you’re looking to store your items for a short period and your home insurance doesn’t cover this, then it’s a good idea to look for a short-term policy – these usually start from one-month upwards.
- Value Agreement: If you’re storing especially unique and valuable items, such as heirlooms or antiques, it’s important to ensure that you and your insurance provider agree as to the true value of your items.
- Value Everything Carefully: Ensure that you’re very careful when summating the value of your goods, if you underinsure this could be a very costly mistake since you’re leaving yourself open to losing not only your items, but cash too.
“Where Can I Find Self-Store Insurance?”
Firstly, we’d recommend accepting the insurance policy offered to you by the self-store provider. Along with being competitive and convenient, these policies will offer you the adequate protection you need to keep your items safe, and it means you aren’t required to research and contact any companies.
However, not every company will offer you this, or it may be the case that you may wish to perform your own due diligence. Below are a few things you might wish to explore when looking for a third-party self-store insurance policy:
- Call Your Home Insurance Provider: Depending on your insurance company you might be able to extend your home and contents cover to protect items outside of your home. If this is the case, you’d need to contact your provider with details of your valuations and the address of the store location, since these items will need to be added to your policy. Also, be sure to check if there is a maximum period that this insurance can be extended to, this may vary from provider to provider depending on the goods in storage and their value. Sometimes a particularly high value may mean that it is not possible to extend your domestic policy and another policy is a better option.
- Online Provider: There are many companies out there offering self-storage insurance – these can either be specialist providers or mainstream names. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s important to look very carefully and inspect the finer points of your insurance policy to ensure you’re getting the best possible cover.
“How Can I Calculate My Insurance Value?”
In order to work out the insurance cover you require, you must first class the items that you’re storing in the unit. Bear in mind that this will probably change over time, as you add or remove items from storage. This is another plus point of going with your storage providers coverage since you can get this changed as and when you remove or add more items.
When you know exactly what you’ll be storing, you’ll need to work out the exact cost needed to replace all of your items should the worst happen.
Remember, you need to work out not what they’re worth from a current cash point of view, but the cost required to replace them like-for-like where possible.
“Will My Self-Storage Company Deal with Any Claims?”
Your new storage provider will utilise the services of an insurance broker to offer the insurance and then deal with any subsequent claims. If you choose to take on the self-store’s insurance policy, you should be given information on how the claims procedure works from the outset.
“Is There a Minimum Amount of Insurance Needed?”
Of course, in an ideal world you’d never need to claim, but the idea of insurance is to safeguard your property and your financial security should something happen. As we’ve mentioned, if you underinsure your assets, you won’t be able to reclaim the full replacement amount of your insured items.
There’s also a chance that you may not even receive the full amount of your current policy if you’ve been found to have misvalued your items.
For instance, if some, but not all your items in the unit are damaged and you put in a claim to the insurance company for the cost of replacing those few items, the insurance company can reject that claim and give you only a portion of that money back because you’ve underinsured the items.
“Will My Self-Store Insurance Cover Vehicles?”
In most cases, particularly with classic bikes or cars, storage insurance won’t be enough to cover a vehicle kept in self-store. Vehicles aren’t cheap to insure so most insurance policies will only cover a part of the replacement value, which isn’t likely to be enough.
If your vehicle isn’t currently being used, you can avoid having to pay any insurance by giving notice of a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN). However, if you do decide to put a vehicle into appropriate self-storage, you should continue to insure it, to cover for fire, theft, vandalism, and any other damage.
The Store Log Flog App
Having witnessed first-hand the increasing requirement for self-storage solutions in the UK, self-store entrepreneur Dominic Willson devised the Store Log Flog app to offer a more hands-on service to self-store tenants and storage yard owners alike. The app allows you to associate a value to items in storage to provide an accurate overview and allow you to purchase insurance based on real numbers.
The Store Log Flog app is now available to download for free from Google Play or the Apple Store.
If you’d like a free, no-obligation quote go to the home page and press "Arrange a FREE consultation” or you’d like to learn more about Store Log Flog or self-store insurance, why not contact us today?