Self-storage units are an option that’s being used by increasing numbers of Americans – either as a way to declutter their homes and workspaces or as an additional short or longer term holding area for little-used items or items in transit (if you’re moving to a new home, for example).
They may be out of sight and out of mind, but like all of your property, you’ll want to be assured that all of the belongings you have in storage remain safe from theft, physical damage, and the ravages of the environment.
Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance are possibilities for protection, but not all policies cater for property held in an external storage facility. In many cases, it’s necessary to buy extra coverage or add a rider to your homeowner’s policy, to extend the insurance to property in storage. On top of that, the deductibles you’ll be faced with are typically in the region of $1,000 to $3,000 – and there are surcharge periods of about three years which can make filing claims a lengthy and frustrating process.
Also, items in a storage facility aren’t covered the same way as items in your house. Depending on the insurance company, items held in a storage unit may only be covered up to 10% of the amount of coverage in your homeowner’s policy. So if you have a lot of high-value items in self-storage, relying on your domestic insurance to fully protect them simply won’t be enough.
For these reasons – and others which we’ll describe – it makes sense for you to protect your valued assets with a comprehensive self-storage insurance program.
Why Is Self-Storage Insurance Necessary?
According to figures from the Self Storage Association, 10.8 million people in the US – that’s equivalent to one in every ten households – rent a self-storage unit. Items held in storage run the full gamut from household goods and personal belongings through to motor vehicles, fine art, electronics, furniture, and antiques.
That’s a lot of widely varied and variously priced stuff, sitting around in storage lockers and containment units, on sites owned by third-party storage companies that aren’t prepared to accept liability for the safety of your goods – or responsibility for damage caused to your belongings by fire, burglary, earthquakes, hurricanes, or other severe events.
Some kind of fall-back option is necessary for guarding against mishaps like these – and self-storage insurance is what readily fits the bill.
Most self-storage facilities these days will have some form of in-house coverage plan – and they try to impose this on you, at the point of sale. These plans are very expensive and usually do not provide you with the protection you truly need.
You can work around this condition by already having purchased a policy from a reputable third-party self-storage insurance provider, like SnapNsure™. If you can present the manager of the storage facility with documentary evidence that your goods in storage will be insured against various kinds of damage, you’ll also have overcome the major hurdle in acquiring that much-needed storage space. In fact, SnapNsure™ allows you to obtain coverage on the spot using your mobile device!
The Types of Coverage Available
Self-storage insurance will generally cover your personal property that’s stored within a recognized storage facility, and for which you’re paying rent in accordance with the terms of a rental agreement.
A good policy such as SnapNsure™ Contents Coverage will insure against causes of loss such as fire, lightning, vandalism, burglary, and water damage. These are the basics, but if you delve into your provider’s policy terms you may find that coverage is also available for the likes of hurricanes, tornadoes, wind, hail, leaking water, smoke, and earthquakes.
As a rule of thumb, self-storage insurance policies won’t cover damage resulting from catastrophic losses such as flood, earthquake or named storm. SnapNsure™ is the only program in the industry that provides all of these coverages.
Special Conditions for Vehicles
It seems rather odd, given that many self-storage units could be equivalent to an overgrown closet or garage, but insurance coverage for motor vehicles generally isn’t part of the package. Renters looking to store their cars, motorcycles, or ATVs in self-storage will generally have to purchase insurance coverage for each of those items separately.
Other Special Clauses
Certain classes of items may be eligible for self-storage insurance, but may only be covered up to a certain percentage of their true value. Others may not be eligible, at all. Depending on the insurance provider and their policy terms, such items would typically include the likes of jewelry, furs, fine art collections, antiques, property deeds, securities, stamps, or other valuable documents.
If your property goes missing from a self-storage unit (and it wasn’t consumed by rats or roaches), is that classified as theft or burglary?
The answer depends on how these terms are defined within your insurance policy – and it can make the difference between whether you’re able to claim against these losses, or not.
For example, SnapNsure™ Contents Coverage defines burglary as “the act in which a person takes property that does not belong to them using forced entry such as a cut lock or hasp.” Theft is classified as “the act in which a person takes property that does not belong to them. “
Coverage against theft as defined in this way usually isn’t included in self-storage insurance policies, as it’s assumed that due diligence on your part (keeping a close eye on visitors who accompany you into your unit, screening and limiting access to individuals allowed into your unit, etc.) should guard against instances of your property being pilfered while it’s in plain sight.
“Named Storm” Self-Storage Insurance Coverage
As climate change increases the occurrence and severity of extreme weather events, classification systems have had to step up to accommodate the year-round prevalence of tropical storms, hurricanes, typhoons, and other phenomena. Names and numbers are routinely assigned, to distinguish one weather pattern or event from another.
SnapNsure™ is the only self-storage insurance company to offer “named storm” coverage – as for example in the case of hurricanes (“Katrina, Harvey”, “Lily”, etc.). This offers an additional layer of protection to you as the policyholder, and the potential to insure your belongings during the extreme weather event in question.
Starting and Stopping Your Coverage
The SnapNsure™ Contents Program starts as soon as you’ve paid your first month’s premium, and your signed application is received by the company online. Coverage is maintained on a pay-with-storage, month to month basis, semi-annually or annually, which automatically renews until canceled. If you stop paying your SnapNsure™ program fee, then coverage is canceled.
What Will Self-Storage Insurance Cost?
That all depends on the insurance provider you choose. The self-storage insurance premiums offered by storage firms are as varied in coverage and cost as the facilities, themselves. What may look to be affordable at the outset may have hidden clauses and loopholes that could cost you dearly, in the long run. And as we’ve seen, homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies are notorious for not being inexpensive.
In contrast, the SnapNsure™ Contents Program will cost you far less, and offer better coverage than any insurance policy that a storage company may try to sell you. Add to this the unique benefit of “named storm” coverage against extreme weather events, and you’d be well advised to contact the experts at SnapNsure™ for an assessment and quotation, before entering into any self-storage contract.
If You Decide to Use Self-Storage, Make Sure you Insure Your Belongings in Storage with SnapNsure™
The SnapNsure™ Contents Program can be purchased directly through the SnapNsure™ website, allowing savings of 50% to 70% per month compared to other plans. And it offers some of the most comprehensive self-storage insurance on the planet – including options for specific incidents coverage against Named Storms, Flood, Rodent, and Earthquake.
When it comes to pricing, coverage, convenience, and reliability, the SnapNsure™ Contents Program is the best choice as a student to address all of these concerns. Coverage plans range from a minimum of $2,000 up to a maximum of $25,000 of coverage per unit.
It is simply the best self-storage insurance on the market (see our blog on self-storage insurance explained).
SnapNsure™ is a “direct-to-consumer” product with no middleman, SO YOU WILL SAVE MONEY over the insurance offered by self-storage companies! Our premiums are typically 100% to 200% lower for the same coverage limits offered at the storage facility (storage facilities typically mark up their premiums, with a sizable profit going straight to the storage company).
And every SnapNsure™ policy has a standard $100 deductible.
Coverage renews every month upon payment of your SnapNsure™ premium. It starts as soon as your completed application is received electronically by the SnapNsure™ website – so you can even purchase coverage on your cell phone as you’re signing the storage facility’s rental contract. And you can cancel at any time. Simple right!
SnapNsure™ is underwritten by The Hanover Insurance Group – the holding company for one of the largest admitted insurance carriers in the United States.
It simply makes sense to get the coverage you need from SnapNsure™. Get Insured now!