When you store your household contents, business archives, designer wardrobe or expensive car at a self-storage facility, it’s important to consider insurance.
Natural disasters like fires, floods and storms can strike at any time and could damage or destroy your stored belongings.
As a tenant, the onus is on you to ensure that your goods are covered in case of unforeseen events. It’s vital you determine whether your existing homeowner’s third party insurance covers personal items in a self-storage facility.
If not, there are short-term insurers that provide self-storage insurance at affordable rates.
Dedicated self-storage insurance products
Dedicated self-storage insurance is growing in popularity. It is a cost-effective and efficient means of protecting your goods while stored away from home.
The value of cover will vary according to the estimated market value based on the actual cost of replacement.
The insurer will usually request that you determine the replacement cost of your stored items. You may be expected to declare each item’s value individually.
Coverage is typically All-Risk, but there will be exclusions. If any of your personal or business effects are damaged, and cannot be repaired, you’ll be entitled to the declared value.
As with all insurance policies, it’s important to check the terms and conditions of use so you know exactly what is and isn’t covered.
Before you sign up for self-storage insurance, identify the general exceptions relating to the policy. For instance, most policies don’t cover computer losses and confiscation and forfeiture of goods by the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
You may even find you have to pay extra to extend cover for damages resulting from malicious damage, leakages from fire sprinklers, or underground subsidence due to mining activity.
Household insurance cover for stored contents
Almost all short-term insurance companies will extend your existing household insurance to cover goods in storage.
You’ll have to pay a higher monthly premium, however, and you may need to negotiate plenty of red tape.
The insurer will request information relating to your chosen self-storage provider, including what security measures are in place and whether your belongings will be stored in a unit that only you can access.
XtraSpace self-storage facilities have all the requisite security measures in place, from CCTV monitoring systems, 24-hour armed response teams to security beams. Furthermore, access is client-controlled.