After you’ve rented a self storage unit , the first thing to consider is whether or not you need insurance.
At some facilities, it’s not an option; you have to have insurance. But if it’s not an option, you might look around and see the gate system and security camera and think your stuff is safe. But if you’re stuff is worth storing, it’s worth insuring.
Renters  have three different options when it comes to insurance.
1. Sometimes homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will offer additional coverage to cover your storage unit (some plans will not cover anything once it’s removed from your home). This is often the cheapest option. If you plan to use this type of insurance, you need to make sure the facility where you are renting allows this as an option. When you go to rent, you need to make sure to take proof of insurance to the storage facility.
2. Some storage facilities offer their own insurance . The policies cover anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000. They may not require a deductible, but the rates maybe higher and coverage lower. It’s also important to ask what items the insurance will cover and what type of damage will be covered as well.
3. For more valuable storage, the best option might be to go with independent self storage insurance. These insurance companies might have a sort of partnership with the storage facility but operate independently. This type of insurance will insure higher-valued items and protect against damage that other insurance may not.
Insurance typically runs:
• $8 for $2,000 coverage
• $12 for $3,000 coverage
• $20 for $5,000 coverage
Some provide 50 percent burglary coverage for a cheaper rate. Jon Vogel is a Senior Account Executive at Bader Company, an independent self storage insurance provider. Vogel said he advises against getting the 50 percent burglary coverage.
“The only problem with that is our number one leading loss function is burglary,” Vogel said.
In case of burglary, Vogel suggests taking several measures to help guarantee that your claim will be processed if burglary occurs. Vogel said to use a disc or cylinder lock, which prevent many attempted burglaries. Bader Company waives the deductible if a renter uses a disk or cylinder lock.
When you put your storage inside your unit, Vogel said to take pictures of everything. If your valuables are stolen, take pictures of any damaged items and the damaged door. Vogel said to also keep everything and don’t throw anything away, even the lock. The insurance company will ask for some kind of proof of a break in, and the damaged lock should suffice.
As with any insurance, it’s important to understand the insurance that you’re getting and what is covered. Most facility managers are not certified to give advice or answer questions. Some public storage facilities in California have recently come under fire after  offering advice and reportedly not processing claims.
“At no time is the facility manager an insurance agent,” Vogel said. “If you have questions specific to the insurance, most of them if they have gone through training with us will direct you to call us. No matter what insurance agent or company providing, there should be an 800 number. You should call insurance company.”
As with any insurance, the most important thing to remember is to do your research on the company, ask questions and get the rate that’s right for you. And don’t forget your camera to take pictures of the facility!
Looking for storage? Check out StorageFront.com for a local storage  facility near you.