1. What are you storing?
Take a look at the items you need to store. If you are storing seasonal decorations and gear you may not need to to insure those items. However, if you are storing furniture, or heirloom items you should absolutely look at insurance. A good rule of thumb to consider is that you should insure items if what you are storing is worth more than 10% of your homeowner’s policy limit.
2. How long will you be storing?
Often you only need (or plan) to use storage for a limited period of time during a transition. For example, you may need some temporary storage during a move. In this case, insurance may be unnecessary, but keep in mind that the longer your items are in storage the higher the risk, not only of theft, but of damage due to natural disaster or pests.
3. What is the situation at your storage facility?
Most people select a storage facility because it is close to their home. However, regardless of how close and convenient it may seem, there are other issues you should consider. For instance, many storage facilities require renter’s insurance no matter what you are storing or for how long. You need to know their policies before you move in. You should also ask questions about their security procedures. How often do they conduct walkthroughs? Is the whole facility covered with CCTV surveillance? Are there secured gates and walls that are difficult to scale? Even if you are not required to have insurance, if you are not thrilled with the security, you should definitely insure your items.
4. What is your budget?
The last thing to consider is your budget. You can typically insure stored items for as a low as $6 a month, so it is not a big budget item. If you can afford the insurance, you should probably go ahead and get it. However, if you are on a tight budget and want to avoid insurance, be sure find a storage facility that doesn’t require insurance and that has trusted security measures in place.