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Self Storage Insurance: What type of insurance covers storage units?

If you’ve made the decision to use a self-storage unit, you might have questions about how to protect your stuff while it’s in storage. Before you decide on a storage facility and sign your lease, pay close attention to the requirements for insurance coverage. The last thing you want is to leave your stored items uninsured and unprotected or to pay costly charges associated with breaking the rules of your storage contract.

SelectQuote can help if you’re unsure of what kind of insurance to buy to satisfy the requirements at your storage facility and fully protect your belongings. Let’s explore how insurance works for storage facilities and why your current policy might not cover everything you need it to.

Does renters insurance cover storage units?

Renters insurance covers your belongings anywhere in the world, but it only provides protection up to a certain limit if those items leave your home. Most renters insurance policies will cover your stored belongings outside of your home for up to ten percent of your personal property coverage. So if your personal property coverage limit is $15,000, your coverage limit for stored items is $1,500. If those items were still in your home, the full coverage limit would apply.

This is important to remember because in many use cases, storage units are a stopgap or holdover location for your belongings while you’re in between homes (and thus may not have a homeowners insurance policy). If you’ve stored the contents of your whole home in a storage unit while moving and something happens to them, a renters insurance policy won’t even come close to touching the replacement cost.

Does homeowners insurance cover storage units?

Your homeowners insurance typically includes provisions for personal property coverage, and in some cases that protection can extend outside of your home—such as when traveling or staying in a hotel. Damage from fire, severe weather events and even theft is typically covered.

But if those possessions are stored off your premises, you may need to look carefully at your home insurance policy to determine if you have enough coverage. The coverage limit in these cases may be significantly less than the standard personal property coverage. 

If this coverage is a fraction of the value of your stored belongings, you may want to buy additional property coverage to stretch the limit. Keep in mind this will raise your insurance premiums. Look for these key details in your policy documents:

  • Off-premises coverage limits: Items kept in storage away from your home fall under this coverage. Like renters insurance, it’s usually around ten percent of the total personal property coverage limit. If you’re storing items with a higher dollar value, consider raising the coverage limit of your policy or buying separate storage insurance.
  • Theft-only limits: Personal property coverage has specific limits for the amount you’ll be reimbursed after burglary or theft. Most items have a coverage limit between $1,500 and $2,500—even if the item is worth more.
  • High-value limits: Precious items, heirlooms, art, jewelry and other important high-value items aren’t usually recommended for storage units. If you do need to store these items at a storage facility, your insurance company may recommend scheduled property coverage. This type of insurance coverage requires you to list each item specifically and often have it professionally appraised for an accurate value before you apply for the coverage endorsement.

Do self storage facilities offer their own insurance?

Many self-storage facilities offer their own form of tenant insurance, but there are caveats to that coverage. A storage facility that offers its own insurance through a third-party insurer often excludes some water and smoke damage.

Is storage unit insurance mandatory?

Most storage facilities require storage unit insurance, also known as tenant insurance. Most of the major companies, such as CubeSmart, Life Storage, Public Storage and Extra Space have some form of storage insurance requirements, while smaller storage operators may not have this requirement. Make sure you ask before signing the contract.

What does storage insurance cover?

Storage insurance—either from your own insurance company or purchased from the facility itself—typically comes with coverage limits and monthly premiums, and more often than not buying it from your storage company is more expensive. Each policy usually provides coverage for a list of named perils, including:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Tornado
  • Water damage
  • Hail
  • Smoke
  • Wind damage

There are key exclusions to many storage insurance policies, however, and they can include:

  • Flooding
  • Mold and mildew
  • War
  • Earthquakes
  • Vermin

Before you buy storage insurance, make sure you’re well aware of any limitations or specifics regarding coverage.

How much does it cost to insure a storage unit?

Costs for storage insurance can vary based on the coverage limits you need. If you think you’ll be using storage for a significant amount of time, it’s probably worth upping your personal property coverage limits on your homeowners or renters policies to better protect your stored belongings. If your storage needs are temporary, you might be better off buying insurance from the storage provider. Most policies tend to hover between $8 and $38 per month.

Which type of policy is best to insure my storage unit?

The answer to the question of which insurance policy to buy for your self-storage needs really depends on how much you plan on storing and for how long. If your storage needs are minor, you can probably use your existing homeowners or renters policy. If you feel like you’re going to store several items for quite some time or the items you are storing are high in value, making changes to your existing policy can help.

A good way to help protect your belongings while in storage is to choose a well-lit storage unit. Rent an interior, climate-controlled storage unit if possible to help with the potential for water damage or mold.

Secure the Right Homeowners or Renters Insurance for Your Needs with SelectQuote

If you’re using a storage unit to help declutter your home or to stay organized during a move, storage unit insurance can go a long way toward giving you peace of mind about the items stored outside of your home. It’s important to stay on budget, however. That’s where SelectQuote comes in. We can help you find the right kind of homeowners or renters insurance policy to meet your needs—including protecting belongings not currently under your roof.

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