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Many people assume that self-storage providers will automatically provide insurance for the goods they store - after all, they must be paying it for themselves anyway. This is not generally the case. Few self-storage companies will offer full and comprehensive item insurance within the standard rental charges that you pay. If they do, you'll probably find that you're paying extra rental charges to cover the cost. Some may offer basic cover as part of the package based on the size of unit you hire but this will probably not be enough for your needs, bearing in mind that the goods you store may be valuable or of unspecific sentimental value. All will recommend that you check out your insurance options carefully before placing your goods into self-storage.

Your first step should be to contact your home insurer to see if the items you place in the facility will be covered by your domestic home contents policy. It may be that you are fully covered for goods stored away from home or you may be able to pay an additional small premium to get such cover. This could well be cheaper than taking out a separate insurance policy. If you do provide your own insurance cover, be aware that the self-storage provider you choose may ask to see proof of your policy before they will let you rent space.

The majority of self-storage providers will offer help with insurance. Some have policies of their own in place that you can buy or may even insist that you take out their policy before you can rent a unit. In this case, you will normally have to give the provider an inventory of contents with values before they will insure you and you'll usually be offered a range of policies tailored to your actual needs. Others may recommend industry standard or suitable insurance policies designed for self-storage - these are often offered at competitive rates in comparison to the ones you could source for yourself.

A key point to remember is that your insurance needs will change if you add to or remove items from self-storage. Check with your insurance provider before taking out a policy that it can be changed if you need to.

Although some self-storage facilities won't insist that you have insurance cover, many will and it makes sense to put adequate cover in place. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security just because the facility you've chosen has implemented good security measures and a ban on smoking on site for example. Your goods are technically out of your hands in self-storage and, although the facility may be doing everything it can to avoid theft, they can do little against accidents and damage caused by fires, explosions, malicious damage, floods, storms and other natural disasters.

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