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Self Storage Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

By Matt Wallace

21 May, 20245 mins read

Insurance, it’s a bit like an umbrella on a cloudy day — you hope you won’t need it, but you don’t want to be left without one when the rain starts pouring down. While insurance isn’t one of those things people get excited about buying, it’s an important part of ensuring your belongings are well-protected during their time in storage.

In this post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about self-storage insurance, including what it typically does and doesn’t cover, why it’s important and how to find the best policy.

What is Storage Insurance?

When you rent a storage unit, whether it’s for personal belongings during a move, excess inventory for your business or those keepsakes you’re not ready to part with, there’s a lot of value in knowing your items are protected from every eventuality. That’s what self storage insurance is for.

Storage insurance provides coverage for the contents of your storage unit against loss or damage due to a range of incidents, including fire, theft, water damage and other unexpected events. Unlike standard home or renters insurance, which may offer limited coverage for items stored outside of your home, storage insurance specifically targets the needs of items kept in storage.

Whether you opt for a policy through your storage facility or a third-party provider, understanding what your insurance covers is crucial for making an informed decision that ensures your possessions are well-protected while stowed away.

But this raises an important question: Do you need insurance for self-storage? The short answer is yes, here’s why…

Do You Need Storage Insurance?

While the contents of your storage unit are likely to be well protected under lock and key (provided you know how to choose the best storage provider), accidents do happen. Storage insurance isn’t a legal requirement but some storage facilities make it mandatory. Those that do will ask for proof of your policy before giving you the keys to your unit.

Even in the safest facilities, risks such as fires, floods and burglaries can pose threats to your stored items. Storage insurance is designed to cover these unexpected events, ensuring you’re not out of pocket following any losses or damages. Standard insurance policies might not cover these specific storage-related issues, making specialist storage insurance all the more important.

Moreover, should any legal issues arise from the storage of your belongings — such as damage to the storage facility itself — certain policies may help cover the associated costs. So no matter what you’re storing, insurance is particularly valuable in protecting you from any financial losses.

What Is and Isn’t Covered

The exact details of what is and isn’t covered by your insurance will depend on your provider and policy. Be sure to read the small print of your policy before you buy it and speak to your prospective provider if there’s anything you’re unsure about.

Doing so will ensure you know which of your items are protected and what they’re protected from. Getting this clear before you sign up can save you a lot of headaches later, making sure there are no surprises if you ever need to make a claim.

What’s Covered

Most self storage providers are only suited for storing general household items and office equipment. While this will cover most of the things in your home, it may not cover everything. If, for example, you have a shed full of half-empty paint tins, you probably won’t be able to put them in storage.

To give you an idea of what you can expect from your policy, here’s a general list of items and circumstances that are usually covered:


  • Electricals (TVs, laptops etc.)
  • Documents (deeds, registered bonds, birth certificates etc.)
  • Furniture (sofas, tables, curtains etc.)
  • Household appliances (fridges, microwaves, ovens etc.)
  • Sports equipment (golf clubs, non-motorised bicycles etc.)
  • Hobby items and collectables
  • General personal possessions

As a rule of thumb, if it’s not alive or dead, flammable or explosive, nuclear or radioactive, or edible, then it should be safe (and permitted) in a storage unit.


  • Natural disasters (storms, earthquakes, floods etc.)
  • Fires and explosions
  • Water leaks
  • Sprinkler damage
  • Theft
  • Fallen trees
  • Vehicle collision
  • Damage caused by pests and vermin
  • Civil disturbances and commotion (riots)

What’s Not Covered:

Fortunately, the list of things not covered by most insurance providers is relatively short and is made of things that most storage providers won’t allow you to store anyway. Plus, the scenarios in which insurers won’t pay out are very unlikely.

Things You Can’t Put in Storage

If there’s anything that your storage provider has explicitly said you cannot store in your unit, then it won’t be covered by your policy.

The most common items that storage providers won’t let you store include:

  • Perishable items, such as food and drink
  • Tyres
  • Paint
  • Cash
  • Plants or animals (regardless of whether or not they’re alive)
  • Human or animal remains (including ashes)
  • Fireworks
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Hazardous materials and chemicals (fertiliser, acid etc.)
  • Fuels (petrol, diesel etc.)
  • Compressed gas canisters
  • Illegal substances

This list of exclusions may not apply to all insurers as there are specialists that may cover some of the items mentioned, provided you have the appropriate storage. For more information on specialist storage units, like the ones used to house wine collections, take a look at our guide to the different types of storage.

Pro Tip: If you’re using a storage unit for business purposes, be sure to get business storage insurance. A personal insurance policy won’t cover commercial storage and you will likely struggle to make a successful claim should anything go wrong.

For more information, take a look at our guide to self storage business insurance.

How to Choose the Right Insurance Provider

Knowing how to find the best storage insurance provider all comes down to understanding the different policies on offer, what they cover and how much they cost.

While some companies may offer attractive introductory offers, others may not cover the types of items that you’re looking to store. It’s important to assess the types of coverage available against your needs and understand the long-term costs, beyond any discounts.

Comparing both specialist providers and general insurers can help you find the best policy. This will also give you the chance to learn more about how the company handles claims and the quality of its customer service. We suggest getting quotes from at least three insurance providers and comparing their policies and prices to determine which is best for you.

As a starting point, consider getting quotes from the following companies:

Pro Tip: Some self storage centres will offer their own contents cover, but these are often more expensive than the policies offered by third-party insurance providers.


What insurance do I need for self-storage?

If your home insurance doesn’t cover belongings kept in storage then you’ll need a specialist insurance policy. This coverage should protect all your stored items from theft, fire and water damage. Be sure to check whether your storage facility requires you to have contents cover and what specific events are covered under their recommended or provided policies.

Do storage locations require insurance?

Self storage insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but many storage facilities do require you to have a policy that covers the contents of your unit. Regardless of what’s required, storage insurance is a good way to ensure your possessions are covered against fire, flood and criminal damage.

Do storage containers have insurance?

Generally speaking, storage containers don’t come with their own insurance. It is usually the responsibility of the renter to secure a separate insurance policy to cover the contents of the storage container. Always confirm with the storage provider what their specific policies are regarding insurance requirements and coverage options.

Does contents insurance cover storage?

Home contents insurance may provide limited coverage for personal belongings stored off-premises, such as in a storage unit, but this often includes restrictions and may not cover all potential risks. Be sure to review your policy to understand what it covers and consider additional storage insurance for more comprehensive protection — especially for longer storage periods or high-value items.

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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