Insurance is one of those things that is only ever really needed in worst-case scenarios. When buildings burn down, when belongings are destroyed, when people pass away – these are the times when insurance policies can really make a difference and compensate the beneficiaries.
However, many people still choose to forgo insurance, either because they don’t think it’s worth the money or because they simply can’t be bothered. The “it will never happen to me” mentality prevents many people from investing in all types of insurance, and sadly many live to regret their decision.
Insurance companies are not without blame either. High premiums, confusing contracts and shady practices have discouraged individuals and businesses alike from insuring themselves and their belongings.
Self Storage Insurance
Insurance in the world of self storage shares the same industry wide problems. Too many people who need it don’t have it and, for those that do, too many of them are being massively overcharged by their self storage company.
At Flexible Storage, we don’t like to see storage customers being taken advantage of. Nor do we like to see them out of pocket in the very unlikely event that anything should happen to their possessions. That’s why we’re here to set the record straight around self storage insurance and help you decide whether you need to insure your storage items.
What is self storage insurance?
Self storage insurance is an insurance that can be taken out to cover personal and business belongings whilst they are in storage. There are a variety of self storage insurance policies out there and many storage facilities will require you to take out storage insurance before they will accept your items. Some policies even cover your belongings whilst they are in transit to and from the storage facility.
What does self storage insurance cover?
As well as protecting your possessions from theft whilst in storage, most self storage insurance policies will also provide cover for the following:
- Fire damage
- Water damage, e.g. from storms, floods or sprinklers
- Subsidence damage
- Insect or vermin damage
What doesn’t self storage insurance cover?
As with all types of insurance, there will be certain limitations to self storage insurance that you need to be fully aware of. While each insurance provider will have slightly different policy conditions, there are some exceptions that are pretty much universal in self storage insurance:
- No coverage for storage units containing dangerous contents e.g. flammable liquids or toxic chemicals
- No coverage for storage units containing any form of currency e.g. cash, coins, credit cards, cheques, bank drafts, vouchers, lottery tickets, etc.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to clarify with your insurance provider exactly what your policy covers you for AND exactly what it doesn’t. This should all be in the insurance contract so make sure you check the policy wording carefully before you sign on the dotted line.
Is insurance required for self storage?
In short, it all depends on the storage facility you use. As mentioned above, many facilities will insist on you taking out an insurance policy to cover your goods before they are willing to store them. However, many other storage facilities do not compel you to take out insurance but will strongly recommend it.
For the storage facilities that do enforce compulsory storage insurance, many will only allow customers to take out storage insurance with them or may even sneak it into the overall storage price without even consulting the customer. This lack of choice and blatant exploitation of customers has resulted in self storage customers paying an average of three times more for insurance coverage than they would if they have shopped around. This simply isn’t good enough.
So, do you really need insurance for self storage?
The short answer is – yes. While the vast majority of self storage facilities are incredibly secure with sophisticated surveillance systems and fires are very rare because of strict safety practices and fire regulations, there will always be some risk associated with any stored items.
As the devastating fire at the Shurgard self storage facility at the start of the year demonstrated, responsibility for the safety of possessions ultimately falls to customers. Many customers lost thousands of pounds worth of goods in Shurgard’s Croydon facility fire because they had no insurance or didn’t insure their belongings to their true and correct value, instead opting for the minimum level of coverage.
Storage facilities can do all they can to minimise risk by complying with safety standards and fire regulations but it is in everyone’s interest that storage items are properly insured.
If your personal possessions or business goods are important enough to store in the first place, they should be important enough to insure too. The risk of theft or damage may be miniscule but the fire at Shurgard acts a timely reminder of the real and substantial costs when disaster strikes.
How can Flexible Storage help?
At Flexible Storage, we recommend that all of our self storage customers insure their items. However, while we encourage insurance coverage, it is not compulsory. Instead, we offer specialist storage insurance through our partner NSIP Services. Their policies are varied, flexible and competitively priced to ensure you are getting the best deal possible. Get in touch with us today for a free insurance quote or to discuss your self storage options.