Renters Insurance for Storage Units

Will renters insurance cover property in a self-storage unit?

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Does renters insurance cover personal property in a storage unit?

Yes — renters insurance covers any personal property stored in a storage unit, up to a limited amount. Any personal property away from your listed residence will be covered up to 10% of your total personal property amount.

You can also opt to purchase insurance from your self-storage supplier. Depending on the value of the property you're storing, this might be an appealing option.

 

Table of contents
  1. Does Renters Insurance Cover Storage Units?
  2. Should You Purchase Additional Coverage for Storage Units?
  3. Tips and Additional Resources

 

Renters insurance and storage units

Your personal property is covered worldwide by your renters insurance policy. However, most policies limit coverage for belongings outside of your residence to 10% of your total personal property coverage. For example, if you have $25,000 of personal property covered by your renters insurance policy, coverage outside of your residence would total $2,500. The maximum amount you would recoup for a total loss of your storage unit's belongings would be $2,500, minus your deductible.

One workaround for this is to raise your coverage limit, increasing the amount of your 10% off-premises coverage. Another workaround is to buy insurance provided by your storage company

Depending on the specifics of your policy, your non-residence personal property coverage could be limited to theft-only. If this applies to your belongings, you would not enjoy coverage for fire, vandalism, or other perils not related to theft. 

The last factor to keep in mind is your liability sub-limit, i.e., how your insurance company may limit coverage for valuable items. Insurance companies may cap coverage for valuable items unless you add — and pay for — a special endorsement. Below are typical examples of items with limited coverage.

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  

If you’re storing items like the above, speak to your insurance company to confirm coverage. Depending on the insurance company's policies, you might be able to add an endorsement for off-premise coverage. Otherwise, you should explore specific storage coverage.


Is self-storage unit insurance worth it?

Depending on where you store your belongings, you might be required to purchase storage insurance. If you’re not required to carry it, storage-unit specific insurance could be a helpful way to fill any gaps left by your renters insurance. Below are helpful tips worth considering when deciding whether to purchase additional storage coverage.


What perils are covered?

Some insurance policies limit off-residence coverage to theft only. If your storage unit burns down, floods, or is otherwise impacted by something other than theft, you would be left without coverage.

Look for storage facility insurance that covers:

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

Before buying storage coverage, check the policy details — and your insurance policy details — to see what is and is not covered. If your contents will be vulnerable, consider an additional storage policy.

How much coverage do you need?

If your off-premises protection is limited to 10% of your total personal property amount, weigh how much storage insurance you need to fill in your coverage gap. For example, your personal property is limited to $5,000 for off-residence contents. If you have $15,000 of personal belongings in your storage unit, you should buy $10,000 worth of coverage.


What is not covered by storage insurance?

Check the policy details of your storage coverage. Some policies will exclude coverage to particularly valuable items such as deeds, money, jewelry, watches, furs, and other valuable items. For these items, consider adding an additional endorsement to your renters policy.


Storage tips and additional resources

Below is helpful information related to storing your personal belongings.

  • Avoid plastic bags: Without proper ventilation, items could mildew in plastic bags.
  • Do not store high-value items: Avoid storing jewelry, important paperwork, furs, cash, etc. in storage as they are generally excluded from your storage coverage.
  • 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: Catalog the items in your storage unit. This will keep your personal items organized and help expedite claims.

 



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Kristine LeeManager, Content and Data

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer.

She is an authority on all things insurance and covers the ins and outs of auto, home, life and renters insurance. Her specialty is in providing data-backed insights and information to help insurance shoppers make informed decisions.

Kristine's insurance expertise and research have been cited by publications such as CNBC, Car and Driver, Business Insider, Yahoo!, The Balance, Nationwide and Elephant.

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