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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

Does homeowners insurance cover items in a storage unit?

The typical homeowners insurance policy offers limited coverage for personal items housed in a storage unit. Worldwide personal property coverage is limited to 10% of your total contents coverage. Homeowners insurance may be limited to theft-only coverage. If this isn’t sufficient, consider purchasing coverage from your storage facility. Check your homeowners insurance policy to confirm the extent of your storage unit coverage.

Let’s explore the ins and outs of storage and homeowners coverage, along with some additional tips. 

  1. Should I buy storage unit insurance?
  2. Details of limits and coverage for storage units
  3. What's covered by a storage policy?
  4. Tips and additional resources


Should I buy storage unit insurance? 

Storage unit insurance is a good idea if gaps exist in your personal property coverage. The three primary considerations for storage unit insurance are coverage levels, the types of damage you’re covered against, and limitations for high-value items. Below are details and questions worth considering when deciding whether to purchase additional storage coverage.


Home insurance and storage units

There are three primary considerations regarding homeowners insurance and storage units: off-premises coverage limits, perils covered by the policy, and sub-limits on high-value items. 

Coverage limits on off-premises contents

Personal property is covered worldwide by homeowners insurance — but this comes with some caveats. Personal property coverage outside of the insured residence usually comes to 10% of total content coverage. For example, with $125,000 of personal property coverage, insurance for personal property outside of your home would max out at $12,500 — minus your deductible.

A possible workaround for this is to raise your coverage limit, increasing the limit of your 10% off-site coverage and increasing your home insurance premium. Another solution is to buy the coverage offered by your storage facility.

Theft-only limitations

Confirm whether your coverage is limited to theft-only when the incident occurs outside of the insured property. If this limitation applies to your policy, consider purchasing extra coverage offered by your storage facility. Otherwise, any damage that occurs in transit or via flood, animals, or mold will not be covered.


Special limitations for high-value items

Keep in mind potential payout limits on high-value items. Below are some common limitations for items such as coins, furs, jewelry, or watches. 

Sub-limit Property Limitations
$200 Money, coins, gold  
$1,500 Jewelry, watches, furs Theft only
$1,500 Watercraft, trailers Theft only
$2,500 Firearms  
$2,500 Silverware  
$2,500 Business property On-premises
$500 Business property Off-premises
Varies Electronics  

Insurance companies often cap coverage on the above items unless you add — and pay for — an endorsement. If you plan on storing high-value items in a self-storage unit, consult your insurance company. High-value items generally aren’t covered by storage-unit insurance because of the risk. If you’re storing these types of items, consider adding an endorsement via your home insurance policy.


What perils are covered?

Review your storage unit insurance policy information to see what is covered. Some insurance policies will limit your off-residence coverage to theft only. This means that if your storage unit burns, floods, or is impacted by something other than theft, you would not retain coverage. 

Look for a storage facility that covers:

  • Water 
  • Flood 
  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Hail 
  • Lightning
  • Vandalism 
  • Theft
  • Vermin/bug infestation 
  • Fungus/mold  
  • Business property coverage 

Before purchasing additional insurance coverage, compare your storage and homeowners for vulnerabilities. If your contents will be placed at risk, consider an additional storage policy.

How much coverage do you need?

If you’re only allotted 10% of your total personal property amount, consider whether it will sufficiently insure the belongings you're storing. If it’s not enough, consider buying storage insurance to make up the difference. 

What is not covered by storage insurance?

Check the policy details of your storage coverage. Some storage companies will exclude coverage to high-value items such as cash, deeds, money, jewelry, watches, furs, and other valuable items. For these items, consider adding an additional endorsement to your homeowners policy or not storing anything of exorbitant value in your self-storage unit.


Storage insurance tips and additional resources

Best practices for your self-storage unit:

  • Avoid plastic bags: items stored without proper ventilation are more likely to develop mildew. Avoid plastic bags. 
  • Do not store personal or high-value information: keep deeds, cash, jewelry, and other high-value or irreplaceable items at your primary residence.
  • Store items on a pallet: to ensure ventilation and to protect your items from containments on the ground, store your items on a pallet.
  • Keep an inventory: record items that are stored in your unit. This will not only keep you organized but you in the event of a claim.

Compare homeowners insurance policies today!

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.