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Are my contents covered while in storage?

Are my contents covered while in storage?

Home contents insurance covers exactly that: the contents in your home. But will it cover your possessions if you need to put them in storage? To make sure your belongings are protected if you need to store them elsewhere for any length of time, here’s what you need to know. 

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 17 FEBRUARY 2020

Does my home insurance cover contents in storage?

Home insurance policies differ when it comes to cover for ‘items away from home’, so it’s always best to check.  

Some insurance policies include ‘house removals’ as part of their standard contents cover. This protects your items while in transit between your old and new house, but it might also include up to 7 days cover in a temporary storage facility. If your policy does offer this, it’s worth noting that you’ll most likely only be protected if you use a professional, licensed removals company.  

Some policies will also cover ‘contents temporarily away from the home’, should you need to put your furniture in temporary storage if your house move is taking longer to complete than you thought. Make sure you check any monetary limits or time limits that may apply to the cover. You might also find that valuable items classified as high risk might not be covered while in storage. This could include items like jewellery, money or deeds and documents.

If ‘alternative accommodation cover’ is included in your contents insurance, your belongings may be covered in temporary storage if your home isn’t fit to live in following an insurable event, such as a fire. Check your policy documents to see whether you’re covered for this and again if any limits apply.

Do my contents need to be insured if they’re in storage?

Yes. According to the UK self-storage trading body SSA, ‘if your goods are worth storing then they are worth insuring’.  

Most storage and self-storage companies will insist you have insurance in place before they’ll let you leave your belongings. Their insurance only covers their liability, if they’re found to have damaged your goods.

You can often take out contents cover via your storage firm, but it may not be the cheapest option. So shopping around gives you the opportunity to see if you can get a better deal.  

Remember, though, that storage cover isn’t always provided as standard with many home insurance policies. If you need cover for storage away from the home, choose a policy that includes it or opt for a standalone policy. You’ll likely need to look at the provider’s policy wording – check the contents section and look for headings that cover moving home, contents in transit or contents temporarily outside your home.

Can I get specialist contents storage insurance?

If your home insurance provider doesn’t cover contents in storage, there are some specialist companies that offer specific storage insurance policies. They’ll also typically cover single valuable items up to £1,000, but limits can vary so be sure to read the policy carefully before you buy.

If you’re using a self-storage unit, you should check whether there’s a ‘how to store your items’ stipulation in the insurance policy. For example, you may be required to lock the unit with a particular type of padlock or store your contents in plastic, damp-proof boxes, rather than cardboard. 

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For peace of mind, it’s worth knowing that your contents are fully protected if they’re away from you for any period of time. With Compare the Market, you can easily compare quotes and policies to make sure you have the right cover for your needs.

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