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Self Storage Business Insurance: What You Need to Know

By Matt Wallace

21 May, 20245 mins read

Navigating the complexities of business insurance can be just as important as any strategic decision a company has to make. For any business that relies on storing valuable assets, whether that’s inventory, equipment or essential documents, having the right commercial storage insurance is key to safeguarding the smooth running of its operations.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at exactly what commercial storage insurance is, how it differs from personal storage options and why it’s so important. We’ll also provide detailed information on what these policies typically do and don’t cover, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to find the best insurer for your business.

What is Commercial Storage Insurance?

In a nutshell, commercial storage insurance is specifically designed to protect businesses against the loss or damage of goods and equipment kept in self storage units. Knowing how to find the best storage facility can help keep your assets safe, but accidents can still happen. Whether it’s fire, flood, theft or something else, business storage insurance will cover the contents of your commercial storage unit from unexpected events, which are often outside your control. 

Having a good insurance policy is crucial for businesses that rely on stored goods as part of their day-to-day. Whether it’s retail stock, office equipment, important paperwork or specialist machinery, commercial storage insurance serves as a financial safety net, helping keep businesses afloat in the event of significant losses. Moreover, these policies often cover damages from less common, yet potentially severe risks like vandalism or structural damage to the storage facility itself.

However, the true value of commercial storage insurance is more than just financial security. Beyond simply covering the contents of your unit, it ensures that businesses can recover with minimal downtime and disruption. This peace of mind is priceless, allowing business owners to focus on doing what they do best: running their business!

Storage Insurance: Commercial vs. Personal

Commercial storage policies are very different to personal storage insurance as they address the unique needs of businesses and commercial operations. Some of the key differences include:

  • Scope of Cover: Commercial policies tend to cover a wider range of items and higher-value assets, such as machinery, tools and inventory.
  • Transit Cover: Recognising that businesses frequently move items to and from storage, commercial insurance often includes coverage for items lost or damaged during transit.
  • Specialist Cover: Some policies provide options for covering specialist equipment and bulk inventory, which is unlikely to be covered by a personal policy.
  • Public Liability: This essential cover protects your business against liability claims resulting from property damage or injuries sustained by third parties.
  • Business Interruption: Some policies may even cover loss of income following an incident that damages the contents of your unit, helping to minimisethe impact on your revenue.

While not all commercial storage insurers include these provisions as standard, many offer them as add-ons, allowing businesses to customise policies as needed.

What Is and Isn’t Covered with Self Storage Business Insurance

Business storage insurance is generally more comprehensive than personal storage insurance, often reflecting the higher value and different nature of commercial assets. While the specifics of what will and won’t be covered will vary depending on your provider and policy, some items simply aren’t permitted to be stored in standard storage facilities and standard policies won’t cover them.

In this section, we’ll take a look at which items generally are permitted and prohibited in storage units to help you determine whether or not you need a specialist storage facility. 

Pro Tip: Always read the small print and discuss anything you’re unsure about with your prospective provider before buying the policy.

What’s Covered

  • Office equipment and furniture (desks, chairs, filing cabinets etc.)
  • Electronics and IT assets (computers, servers, network devices etc.)
  • Manufacturing and production machinery, or any equipment used to produce goods
  • Retail inventory
  • Archival documents (important paperwork, contracts, historical records etc.)
  • Specialist tools and equipment

Events Covered

  • Natural disasters (storms, earthquakes, floods etc.)
  • Fire and explosions
  • Water damage (including sprinkler damage)
  • Theft, burglary and vandalism
  • Structural damages to the storage facility
  • Civil unrest (such as riots)

What’s Not Covered

As mentioned above, there are some items that standard insurers won’t cover. However, as most storage providers won’t let you store these items in their facilities, it’s unlikely to affect standard businesses.

Generally speaking, these items include:

  • Perishable goods and food items
  • Flammable materials (paint, oils, fuels etc.)
  • Hazardous materials and chemicals
  • Illegal substances and contraband
  • Live animals or plants
  • Human and animal remains (including ashes)
  • Cash and securities
  • Explosives
  • Compressed gas canisters
  • Weapons and ammunition

If you do need to store any of the items listed above, you’ll likely need a specialist storage facility and a specialist insurance policy to match.

Pro Tip: Always verify the specifics of your coverage with your insurer, especially if your business stores high-value items or materials subject to special regulations. You might also consider consulting an insurance expert to get a tailored policy that aligns perfectly with your business’s risk profile and storage needs.

How to Choose the Right Insurance Provider

How to Choose the Right Insurance Provider for Commercial Storage

Finding the right insurance provider and policy is crucial for ensuring your assets are protected. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you sift through self storage insurance companies and find the best policy for your business:

  1. Identify Your Needs: Start by assessing the types of assets you plan to store and any specific risks associated with your industry. This will help you understand the scope of coverage needed, including any special endorsements for high-value items or unusual risks.
  2. Research Specialist Insurers: If needed, look for insurance companies that specialise in commercial policies, particularly those offering coverage for business storage. Specialist insurers often understand business needs better and provide policies more suited to complex commercial needs.
  3. Utilise Comparison Tools: While general comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket, GoCompare and CompareTheMarket are great for comparing insurance providers, they don’t currently cover insurance for commercial self storage. However, you can use these platforms to gather information about general business insurance costs and providers. Then, visit the website of each insurer for more detailed products.
  4. Evaluate Costs and Coverage: When comparing policies, don’t just look at the premiums. Consider what is actually covered, including the limits and exclusions. This is particularly important for understanding potential out-of-pocket expenses should you need to make a claim.
  5. Check Customer Reviews: Research potential insurers’ customer service and claims handling reputation by reading customer reviews. A company with positive reviews is more likely to provide reliable coverage and have an efficient claims service.
  6. Consult with Insurance Brokers: Consider working with an insurance broker experienced in commercial policies. They can offer tailored advice and help you find a policy that matches the needs of your business, often at a competitive rate.
  7. Ask About Customisation and Flexibility: Discuss with insurers the possibility of customising a policy to suit your particular needs. Some providers offer flexibility in terms of policy adjustments as your business grows or your storage needs change.

By following these steps, you can more effectively find an insurance provider that offers comprehensive protection for your business’s stored goods, ensuring financial safety and peace of mind.

Matt Wallace

Matt Wallace

Matt is a Director of Pay Less for Storage. He blogs tips for storage customers and helps them navigate self storage.

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