How does insurance for self storage really work?

By Angus on October 10th, 2010 | 9 Comments

How does insurance for self storage really work?

Self Storage is all about peace of mind, which is why both security and insurance are so important. Insurance is usually supplied by the operator of the storage centre but users can also insure themselves independently.

Self storage and home insurance

If you think you are insured through your household policy, you should be quite careful to make sure – ideally you should have that confirmed in writing.

Usually household policies are designed to cover items in a house and only extend to stored items, or items removed for cleaning servicing or repair, if this is very temporary. So ordinary household items in self storage would not usually be covered.

Selling self storage insurance, or sharing it?

Occasionally storage operators really sell insurance as, for example, Big Yellow does. In such cases they are regulated by the FSA and their charge includes insurance tax.

Much more commonly, the arrangement for storage insurance is a different one in which the storage centre owner is insured and invites the user to come in under their policy. This usually means that the operator is using the Self Storage Association’s 2004 terms of business, which set out the formalities.

What is covered in a typical self storage insurance policy?

In any event, the user will usually be insured against fire, vandalism, flood, explosion, riot, malicious damage, earthquake, storm, escape of water, vehicle impact or theft.

“Theft” raises interesting questions, as insurers are wary of covering shoplifting – so they usually only cover theft with evidence of break-in. This will need to be a break-in to the individual unit rather than to the whole storage warehouse or container compound.

What happens if a claim has to be made?

Disasters do happen: a year or two back, flash floods hit some self storage operators and claims had to be made. As you would expect, loss adjusters arranged meetings at the storage facilities where deals were made and everyone was happy.

It is, of course, important that the storage user has quoted an adequate figure for the value of the goods stored, otherwise payment will be reduced pro rata (i.e. the insurance payout will be scaled down to the same extent that the replacement cost of the goods was understated).

Choice of insurers for self storage operators

Whilst the Self Storage Association says that insurance must be offered, there are various suppliers available to new storage businesses. A recent storage conference had representatives from Basil Fry, and from Reason Global Insurance.

As far as the end user is concerned, however, what matters most is the price rather than the company offering the insurance.

How does self storage insurance work in practice?

Self storage users will state the value for their goods and pay a monthly fee on top of their storage fee, based on a cost per £1,000 worth of goods.

If this is £4 per £1,000 and the goods are worth £5,000, the monthly charge will be £20 (4×5) for insurance, although usually there is VAT on this insurance fee.

This is a typical charge (£4 per month for each £1,000 of goods insured) but there is some variation – City Store Self Storage in Camden, London, charge £3.50, whereas Admiral Self Storage charge £2.50.

The cheapest self storage insurance seems to be about £1 per month per £1,000 of cover, which is what Warrington Self Storage charge, with a small extra for insurance premium tax and a minimum of £6,000 worth of insurance cover.

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9 Responses to “How does insurance for self storage really work?”

  1. We operate a franchise in south Essex and we generally include the first £5,000 of cover and £1 per £1,000 cover per month over that. Different branches charge different ammounts but this is the general rule. See the website for rates in other areas:

  2. We are Henfield Self Storage based in Wimbledon, South London. Our insurance is £1 per week per £1000, this is inclusive of VAT and goes up per £500. (£1500 = £1.50 PW, £2000 = £2 PW etc.)
    We have been told time and time again by our customers that we are the cheapest self storage unit in London.
    Our website has been developed to be as user friendly as possible, its very easy to get an online quote:

  3. can offer Self Storage insurance at a industry beating 55p per £1000 of cover per week! is FSA regulated and underwritten by the RSA giving the customer total peace of mind that there goods are adequately covered whilst in a Self Storage unit.

    Insurastore was formed to provide domestic customers with a low cost flexible approach to self storage insurance. Did you know that many self storage companies do not provide self storage insurance for your household and domestic goods in their storage facilities? Many of these companies leave it up to the customer to supply their own insurance and it has become extremely difficult to obtain adequate cover for goods in a self storage facility or unit through household insurance companies. Typically, this leaves the customer with no option but to either put their household goods into self storage without adequate insurance or find an alternative facility that provides insurance.

    Many of the self storage companies that offer their own self storage insurance tend to be expensive. Insurastore offers independent low cost and flexible insurance cover for all of your precious household and domestic goods. Here are a few reasons we think you may like
    1 Flexible. You can amend your self storage policies up and down as your needs and circumstances change. Cover can be instant, or start at a date in the future when your possessions go into storage.
    2 Easy to use. You can manage your policy entirely through the Website, adjusting the period, sum insured and specified items to suit your needs.
    3 Value for money. Our insurance premiums cost just 55p per week for every £1000 worth of cover you require and you only pay for what you need with the right to cancel your cover at any time without notice. (Minimum policy length 28 days).
    4 Tailored. Our self storage insurance policies are tailored to the needs of self-storage customers, so there’s no chance of paying for cover you don’t need.
    5 Secure. This website encrypts all credit and debit card transactions, and your security online is our priority.

    Go to for more information and to buy your storage insurance now.

  4. Peter Smith says:

    I don’t get it! If I’m paying a company to keep my possessions safe surely they are liable if they fail to do so. Why should I have to insure against their risk. I don’t insure money I deposit in a bank (not even in today’s economic climate).

  5. Alexander says:

    I work for a classic car storage company in East Sussex. I would highly recommend car storage in the winter.

  6. ken hawkins says:

    All our furniture that was in storage has been destroyed by a fire ,we moved our goods which were fully insured to another .Sounds stupid but we never knew where our furniture was stored,never got a contract or terms and conditions till after the event ,and then told it was not insured .Anyone in the same situation and can we do anything about the storage company

  7. I have to say it is really quite stimulating to arrive at a rather original blog such as this one, great work. I expect I’ll be coming back fairly soon.

  8. Nat says:

    I have a secured self storage box abroad (Europe) and wonder if anyone knows if it is cheaper to get insurance cover for the stored goods in the UK?

  9. I understand why people question self storage insurance. Earlier this year I pioneered an idea whereby insurance cover was included in our storage rates.
    We realised that customers would much rather just have a single price to budget for than have to account for a number of different charges.
    At Personal Storage, our prices now include insurance cover (worth up to £5000) and a padlock for the customer to secure their storage unit.
    We have storage facilities in the following locations. Just click the name for more information:

    Acton (West London)
    St Albans

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