There are many reasons why you may need to put items into storage, it could be furniture in between the rental and purchase of a property, a family caravan laid up for the winter or just items that are surplus to requirements at that particular point in time.
Many of our retired customers choose to travel for long periods (6, even 12 months at a time!) and realise there’s income to be made from renting their homes. This creates a need for self-storage for their furniture and valuable items.
Your possessions are covered by insurance when they are on your premises, either through contents insurance within the home or a dedicated policy for an item like a caravan. But when your items are in storage, also called self-storage, they will need specific insurance cover as they may not be covered by a home contents policy. This is for loss or damage which could be caused by fire, flood or theft.
These are the most common causes of a claim but most self-storage insurance policies offer comprehensive protection against quite a variety of other perils such as vermin damage, moth and insect damage too.
Many storage companies will offer you cover or automatically build it into the fees but you could shop around and find your own free-standing cover elsewhere and this may be cheaper. However, some storage units insist you take their cover out and will not allow you to insure independently under their terms and conditions.
Whether you source your own self-storage insurance cover or use the cover offered by the storage provider, here are some of the key factors that you need will need to consider to adequately protect your goods:-
- Try and ascertain whether you are looking for short or long term rental – if you take a short- term policy and then keep extending the term this could cost you more
- What is the total value of the goods in storage? Don’t undervalue them in order to try and obtain a lower premium because if you do need to claim then you will be left out of pocket
- Is there provision for specific items of worth, for example, you might have cleared out granny’s house and reckon all the furniture and goods are worth around £10,000 but there is a diamond ring valued at £2,500, can you list this separately much as you would on home contents insurance?
- Is there an item limit on individual valuables or goods of worth? Some providers have a limit of £1,000 on bicycles for example so will your valuable road bike which cost £1,500 need its own policy?
- What basis is the cover on, is it ‘new for old’ or replacement cover?
- Are there items which the storage provider does not cover? Usual exclusions include any form of money or currency and that would include debit cards but does it include old or antique coins?
- Most storage facilities describe how items must be stored or you could invalidate the cover, for instance, possessions stored in wooden crates or tea chests would not be covered due to the fire risk
Premiums are based on the collective value of the items you are storing and may also reflect the type of storage you select on the premises and this can vary.
Insurance cover will be offered to you when you obtain a storage cost quotation but you don’t have to accept this; you can shop around and look elsewhere for your own policy which may well end up being cheaper.
Based on a sample policy covering goods worth a total value of £10,000, one insurer could offer a premium of £3.63 per week as compared to the insurance offered by some well-known storage companies which for the same value policy varied from £9.66 per week right up to £12.83.
It just shows that it can really pay to shop around. As with all insurance cover, always read the small print and when comparing prices, make sure you are comparing like with like so that the comparison is accurate.