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Storage unit insurance

Storage insurance gives your belongings extra protection when you’re storing them away from home.

Eve Powell
Eve Powell
Updated 22 November 2021  | 4 mins read

What is storage insurance?

Storage insurance is a special type of contents insurance. It provides financial protection for your possessions while your goods are in a storage unit.

Many storage companies don’t provide insurance for your belongings while they’re in their self-storage facilities. Instead, most will require you to take out your own cover.

Key points

  • If you’re paying to have your items stored it’s worth having them insured
  • Most storage companies will either want you to pay to use their insurance or require you to have your own cover
  • Your home insurance may include cover for temporary storage for up to seven days, but you’ll need separate cover for longer-term storage
  • Check the security and storage requirements on your policy to make sure any future claim is valid

What does it cover?

As well as protecting your belongings from theft, most self-storage insurance policies will also typically include cover for:

  • Fire and explosion damage
  • Leaking water or liquid from water tanks or pipes
  • Natural disasters, including damage from floods, snow, and lightning
  • Falling trees, telegraph poles and lamp posts
  • Vandalism
  • Insect or vermin damage
  • Subsidence damage
  • Impact from a vehicle or aircraft

Does my home insurance cover my contents in storage?

This will depend on your policy. Some insurers will cover contents that need to go into storage for up to seven days. For example, if your house move takes longer than expected.

You’ll need to check to see what’s included on your policy. Look out for any limits on the type of items protected or the amount you’re covered for while your contents are in storage.

If you want to store your belongings for more than a few days, or have expensive items to store, you may need to extend your home insurance to cover this or take out extra separate insurance.

Do I need storage insurance?

The storage provider’s own insurance will generally cover certain risks to the unit you’re using. For example, if their negligence causes damage to your belongings.

However, in most cases, your items won’t be protected by the storage provider’s insurance and cover will be your responsibility.

While you’re not legally required to take out insurance, it’s a condition of most storage providers that you have adequate insurance to cover the replacement value of your goods.

Even if your belongings aren’t worth much, if you’re paying to keep them in storage it’s a good idea to get them insured.

Do I have to purchase storage insurance with a storage company?

The majority of large storage companies will offer you their own insurance, but this doesn’t usually mean you have to buy it.

Instead, you might find it cheaper to purchase storage cover from a specialist insurer.

If you don’t use the storage provider’s insurance, you’ll need to find cover that’s similar to or better than the insurance they’ve offered you.

How do I calculate how much cover I need for my contents?

When you’re taking out cover, it’s important you don’t underinsure your storage unit contents.

To help you get the right level of protection, make a list of everything you’re planning to put into storage. Estimate how much each item would cost to replace and add this up.

You can use our contents calculator to help you work this out.

How can I get insurance for items in storage?

There are plenty of specialist storage insurance providers out there, so it’s best to shop around and compare quotes to find the best policy.

While we don’t compare specialist storage insurance, GoCompare can help you compare home insurance policies that may cover your items when they’re in temporary storage.

What self-storage insurance doesn’t cover

When you’re looking at cover, it’s important to check the security and storage requirements on your policy.

For example, if you don’t use a padlock on your unit or store things in waterproof containers it might invalidate your claim.

You usually won’t get cover for damage that happens to your belongings when they’re in transit, in public areas of the storage facility, or when they’re being loaded or unloaded.

Contents you typically won’t be allowed to store or be covered for include:

  • Dangerous contents, like flammable liquids or toxic chemicals
  • Any type of currency - this includes money, debit cards, vouchers, and lottery tickets
  • Items stored in wooden crates
  • Fireworks
  • Food or perishable goods

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Five tips for using a self-storage unit

Self-storage is a great way to free up space, or keep things safe when you’re in between homes, but you’ll get the most benefit if you make your storage work well for you.

To help you do this try to:

  1. Make a list or take a photo of everything

    This helps you to work out what size unit you need, get the right level of cover, and remember what you’ve stored

  2. Label your boxes clearly

    This makes things easier to find once your unit is full, try keeping an aisle through the middle of the unit to help you access boxes and read labels

  3. Pack well and strategically

    Put heavy boxes at the bottom and light at the top, fill wardrobes and hollow spaces, and put things you’re likely to need first at the front

  4. Buy a strong lock

    If your storage company requires you to use your own lock on your unit, it’s worth spending extra for one that can’t easily be tampered with

  5. Get the right level of insurance

    This will help to protect the possessions you’re paying to store and give you extra peace of mind

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