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The Ins and Outs of storage unit insurance – who is responsible for what?

If you have ever had to move, been in-between homes, downsize or just require additional storage for your things, chances are you may have rented a storage unit.
Storage units come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are typically rented out on a monthly basis.

If you’re temporarily storing your belongings outside of your home, the contents portion of your existing home insurance will typically cover your items at no charge for up to 90 days. The duration of coverage and contents value vary based on your home insurance policy conditions and exclusions. To confirm your current policy time limits for property in storage, contact your BrokerLink broker.

Contents in Storage Coverage

What if you had to move your belongings into a storage facility for an extended period of time beyond three months? How would you keep your valuables protected in case of damage or theft?

Storage facilities are responsible for keeping the building and unit secure but are generally not responsible for the contents of the storage units. For example, if a fire broke out at a storage facility, the loss of contents within the storage unit would be the responsibility of the individual renter and not the facility.

Given the time, money and effort you’ve taken to store your items, you want peace of mind knowing your valuables are kept safe. That’s why getting contents in storage insurance is a good idea.

There are several specialty insurance providers in Canada that offer unique coverage for contents in storage. These stand-alone insurance policies usually offer all risk, replacement cost coverage for personal goods stored in a reputable storage facility. This type of coverage is ideal for temporary storage of your belongings during transitional times and for longer term storage of excess household items.

Policy terms can range from 1 month to upwards of 12 months, with extensions or renewals available with contents values ranging from $5,000 to $800,000.

In the event you would need a file a claim, your contents in storage policy protects any affect to your home insurance premium as it is a separate policy.

What to look for in a storage facility?

Not all storage facilities are created equal. When selecting a facility to store your personal belongings, it’s always best to go with a reputable facility. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:

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  • Security Features
    • What security measures are in place?
    • What types of locks are used and what type of alarm system is installed?
    • Is there 24 hour video surveillance of the premise?
    • Does the facility keep a daily record of who accesses the facilities and at what times of day?
  • Accessibility
    • If you need to retrieve your belongings in storage, how accessible and convenient is it for you?
  • Location
    • Is the storage unit situated in a safe location, not within a flood zone and away from areas that could be impacted by severe weather?
  • Maintenance
    • Is the facility well maintained and clean? Dust, moisture or mildew could potentially damage your belongings.
  • Climate Control
    • Does the facility use heat and air conditioning to keep a consistent climate in the building? Changes in temperature and humidity can easily damage items like fabrics and wooden furniture.
  • Building
    • What is the structure of the building made from and is it structurally sound? Is the facility gated?
  • User Reviews
    • Are there online reviews from storage users detailing their experience with the storage company? If so, this might highlight any potential problems.


Am I covered if I use a storage container?

In some instances like a renovation or move, you may choose to have a portable storage container delivered and kept on your driveway or property. In the event of an incident, contents inside the pod would be covered by your home insurance as long as the container is located on your property.

If you choose to use a company that comes and picks-up the container and transports it to a separate location for storage, you will require contents in storage insurance.

Protect the things you love by seeking professional insurance advice from your BrokerLink broker. We’ll help ensure everything you need covered is covered, whether it’s in or outside your home.

2 Comments

  1. Fred Summers

    I think a lot of people forget to get insurance on their storage items. It’s good to know that homeowners insurance does cover it for a certain amount of time. It would be a shame for someone to steal something right outside that window however. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Deanna Jones

    I’ve been on the look out for a good storage unit, but I’m not exactly sure about what features I should be looking for. It’s a good thing that you brought up the importance of making sure that a storage unit facility keeps their units well maintained. I have a lot of manufactured goods that my company needs to keep in a cool, dry space, so I’ll be sure that the storage unit that I rent is kept clean.