Self Storage insurance – what kind and at what cost

Whenever you budget the expenses of your business, Self Storage insurance must be near the top of the list because you can’t always know exactly what is going to happen in the future.

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With the protection provided by insurance against accidents and all the other kinds of insurance we will tell you about, you can protect your business and yourself in case something unwanted happens.

Like any business owner, for your Self Storage enterprise, you must consider how much financial risk you are taking on.

If your Self Storage business runs without proper insurance, you are taking an enormous chance not just of losing some money but of a total wipe-out.

This is because the laws in every state are very strict in enforcing liability on the owners of businesses for the upshots of their actions. 

Self Storage Insurance

In this article, we are giving very general guidelines for small businesses to explain what the main kinds of insurance that you need are, and where possible, a rough guide to how much you can expect to pay.

The question is, can you afford to NOT have insurance for your Self Storage business?

What this means, for any Self Storage business owner, is that if some company claims that your work caused them some physical or economic damage, a court can award damages far beyond the total size of your business.

Your Self Storage business is not protected by laws in the same way as states are, where legislation can place a “cap” on the maximum level of liability.

In some states, like Montana, there are specific monetary levels that limit the amount a judge can award in any case against the state.

In a court case, it’s purely the privilege of the jury to award whatever amount they deem appropriate, even sometimes giving a plaintiff more than they have claimed.

When you are running your Self Storage operations, you can’t escape responsibility for the outcomes of your actions.

Even more importantly, unless you have spent in advance the money necessary to have your business running as a corporation, all of that liability belongs to you as an individual.

What does Self Storage insurance protect you from?

For your Self Storage business, the most important kinds of insurance are intended to cover the risks to your business from accidents, from unexpected events, and from mistakes.

Also there are some mandatory kinds of insurance that various states require.

In the next few paragraphs, we will outline the most important points any Self Storage business owner should remember when negotiating the insurance needed.

The main categories of insurance for your Self Storage businesses are liability insurance, commercial insurance, asset insurance and workers compensation insurance.

Liability insurance

General liability insurance

Any Self Storage business is dealing directly with other people, and that means you generally have the danger that some accident can happen to them personally or else something of theirs can be damaged.

In such a case, they can demand compensation.

General liability insurance policy for your Self Storage business insures you against claims coming from injury to customers or damage to their property.

It protects your Self Storage business from the claims themselves and in addition to any follow-on court costs and legal fees of the lawsuits.

In many cases, it can also help you to qualify for extra business from city and state organizations, where contracts require proper liability insurance.

The normal level of general liability insurance for your Self Storage business would be with a boundary of $1 million for a single event and a total of $2 million for the whole year.

See the table in the costing section below for average prices of general liability insurance for your Self Storage insurance operations.

Professional liability insurance for your Self Storage business

In the event where a client alleges some negligence, errors, or omissions in how you conducted your Self Storage business for them, you can quickly have to fight a court case.

Even if the case against you is decided in your favor, the cost of defense can be high, and the impact on your reputation can be damaging.

Every small Self Storage business should have enough professional liability insurance to cover a single claim of $25,000, with annual cover of $50,000.

See the table in the cost of Self Storage insurance section below for average prices of professional liability insurance for your Self Storage operations.

Product liability insurance

Whatever goods you sell or advice you give about the goods, you are running a risk that clients may claim that what you delivered didn’t meet your description of function, or that your advice was basically incorrect.

You need to know the specific laws of product liability in your own state.

For example, in California, all businesses in the supply chain can be held liable for damages caused by products claimed to be defective.

To cover yourself against any likely lawsuit, you need Product liability insurance for Self Storage

Only you can know exactly how much insurance you must have.

Best advice is to contact experienced insurance agents, brokers or company representatives for help.

Commercial insurance

Commercial vehicle insurance for your Self Storage business

Take care! – practically all policies for private vehicle insurance do not cover any happening like theft or accidental damage when the van is being used for business purposes.

The best way to make sure that your vehicle is insured for both its own value, and the valuable contents, is by taking out a proper commercial vehicle insurance package.

Commercial car policies guarantee the value of any vehicle in case of accident, malicious damage, fire, or theft.

In addition, in case of any accident, the truck itself, the content and any legal bills, medical expenses, and property damage is covered if your van is involved in a crash.

Most states, other than Virginia and New Hampshire, insist on this type of insurance.

The wanted value of the insurance depends on the depreciated value of the vehicle, and your requested level of cover of contents. 

Tools and Equipment insurance

Since your Self Storage business needs specific and costly equipment, you know how much it can cost to replace it in case of any damage, loss, or theft.

The equipment may be subject to malicious damage, deliberate fire, theft, other such unexpected acts.

As well, acts of nature like lightning strikes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other highly damaging natural events can destroy your whole business in one stroke.

Unless you can afford to immediately replace such specific gear quickly out of your own pocket, you need full-level equipment insurance so that you can immediately buy everything needed to keep your Self Storage business running.

It is impossible to advise how much equipment insurance you need – it’s really dependent on how much you have invested in your Self Storage business’ equipment.

Commercial Property insurance

Any Self Storage business that owns or rents space in a building must have a commercial property insurance policy.

If you own the space, you probably have a substantial capital investment, along with a big liability if there’s a mortgage.

Every physical building location needs to carry insurance coverage for the value of the premises and contents against accidental occurrences like fire and storms, and against man-made damages like theft and vandalism.

If your Self Storage business operates in areas of high risk, like Florida or South Carolina, extra coverage may be needed for earthquakes and hurricanes or tornadoes.

In other states like Rhode Island, where intense cold snaps can cause damage to outer coverings of Self Storage business premises, there is a need for more additional cover than in warmer climes.

Whereas the level of cover depends completely on the value of the property, it’s not possible to say what cover your need, but we have been able in the table in the cost of Self Storage insurance section below to give some estimate of the average prices per million dollars of property insurance for your Self Storage business.

Temporary insurance by month, week or day for your Self Storage business

Is your Self Storage business working part-time or casually, or is the level of business fluctuating?

Using short-term insurance makes good sense. Business insurance by the month, day, or week – temporary insurance for Self Storage – are special policies where you can cover a designated period when you want to be covered.

By only paying for that period of cover, you will save by having lower premiums but still having adequate risk cover.

The key feature of short-term insurance is that you purchase the cover for a defined period – a nominated date, or a week or month starting on a specific date, for example for 30 days beginning on the specified date.

When you are expecting periods of larger business activity, get the existing cover improved.

Talk to your insurance agent, broker or the company’s representatives to see what options you have.

Business Owners Policy BOP for your Self Storage business

You have the option to combine most of the important kinds of small business insurance in one policy that is known as the business owner’s policy – BOP.

A BOP integrates commercial property and public liability insurance by amalgamating these coverages into one insurance policy, which can save you money.

BOP insurance will protect you if any claims of injury or property damage are made.

It is frequently the right choice for small and medium-sized Self Storage businesses, such as yours.

There are a few limits that will determine whether BOP is suitable for your own business.

BOPs will not cover your professional liability or commercial vehicle policies.

Also, the size of your business will dictate whether you are eligible to take out BOP cover.

The usual business that is allowed to take a BOP policy must have no more than one hundred employees, and maximum five million dollars in annual sales.

Plus, you must separately take out the mandated worker’s compensation, health and disability insurance as determined for your state.

Workers Compensation insurance for your Self Storage business employees

In almost all states, it is mandatory to have workers compensation insurance when your Self Storage business has one or more employees.

Workers compensation insurance covers the operation against any costs that arise if an employee experiences an injury or becomes sick as a result of work.

The benefits include medical expenses, death benefits, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.

Failure to meet a state’s requirements in this regard can leave you as the employer obliged to pay penalties levied by the states.

Some states, such as North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming only authorize coverage from the government-run monopoly state funds.

In these states, you can’t get your workers compensation obligations from private insurance companies.

Workers compensation premiums are calculated based on the employee’s pay, and usually come out at around $1.00 per $100 per month.

However, you must refer to the relevant authorities in your state.

Average costs of these types of insurance

Although every Self Storage insurance level is unique, there are enough examples of usual quotes from insurance companies for us to give approximate guidelines, including what are the cheapest rates offered.

Of course, you should always check with an insurance representative what’s relevant for your business.

The list below is of annual premiums we have collected for the main types of insurance your Self Storage businesses needs.

Types of insurance Price range
Equipment insurance $354 – $1165
Commercial vehicle insurance $1904 – $3343
Commercial insurance $842 – $2465
Public liability insurance $398 – $785
Product liability insurance $230 – $503
General liability insurance $572 – $1109

Cost of insurance for your Self Storage operations depends on many different factors.

We have calculated these figures for small self-employed Self Storage businesses.

In larger states like California, premiums are generally about 20%-30% higher than national averages, whereas in smaller states like Oregon, they will be about 20%-30% lower.

The location and size and type of your Self Storage business can have a big effect on the cost of different policies.

You should discuss with professional insurance agents and brokers, or insurance company representatives.

In addition you can let the internet do the work for you by enquiring about insurance companies near where your business is located.

Another reliable source of information is the local Better Business Bureau in your suburb.

FAQ

What is small business insurance for Self Storage operations?

This is a wide term used to describe standard insurance policies designed to protect Self Storage business owners from risks like bodily injury, property damage, claims of negligence.

Does my Self Storage business have to have insurance?

Some of the kinds of insurance are not mandatory for you to run your business, but they can protect you from risks in your business operations.

Several other forms are required by state law, such as workers compensation and vehicle insurance.

What does a small Self Storage business insurance policy cover?

Liability insurance provides insurance against lawsuits or claims filed by a customer for bodily injury, property damage, or negligence.

The specific cover will vary based on your own operations.

See the table in the costing section above for average prices of the best policies for Self Storage insurance.

How much will Self Storage business insurance cost?

As well as the size of the business, several other factors, such as location and claims history, are used to determine your policy’s cost.

You should discuss with professional insurance agents and brokers, or insurance company representatives.

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