If you’re planning to move belongings to storage, you may wonder if you need storage unit insurance. Learn what it covers, some of its limitations, and where to buy it.
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What Is Storage Unit Insurance?
A standard homeowners insurance policy includes personal property coverage that protects your possessions from covered perils at home or elsewhere. The policy also covers items stored off-premises, anywhere in the world, including in a storage unit.
Even if you have a renters or homeowners insurance policy, the coverage limits could be lower than the value of your possessions. Alternatively, the maximum payout for a single item could be too low to replace valuables like jewelry or antique furniture.
If your policy does not include off-premises coverage or the limits are too low, you’ll want to buy additional coverage from your insurance provider. You can also purchase coverage from an insurance company specializing in storage unit coverage.
Who Needs Storage Unit Insurance?
Most storage facilities require storage unit insurance. Buying coverage is optional if it’s not a requirement at your facility. Here’s how to determine if you need storage unit insurance:
- The storage facility requires insurance.
- You’d like protection in case the items in storage are stolen or damaged.
- Your homeowner’s or renter’s policy does not provide off-premises coverage.
- Your insurance policy has off-premises coverage, but the limits are too low.
- You want to cover the total value of expensive items, such as athletic equipment or antique furniture.
What Does Storage Unit Insurance Cover?
Storage unit insurance protects your possessions just as renters or homeowners insurance does. If events such as theft, fire, or severe weather damage your belongings, the policy reimburses you up to the coverage limit.
It’s important to review your policy because coverage varies from one insurer to the next. You’ll also want to understand your policy limits. Companies generally limit the insurance for off-premise possessions to 10% of your personal property coverage limit. A policy with a $25,000 limit for personal possessions pays up to $2,500 for items stored off-premises.
Standard homeowners policies also limit the liability for theft of valuable items, like jewelry, to about $1500 per item. If someone steals a diamond ring or fur coat, the policy will not pay more than the amount specified in the policy. Therefore, avoid storing expensive furniture or equipment or buy additional coverage to protect valuables.
What Does Storage Unit Insurance Not Cover?
Personal belongings coverage won’t pay for some types of losses. But it’s important to shop around because third-party storage insurance companies may offer different coverage. Here are things that storage unit insurance typically will not cover.
- Losses that equal more than 10% of your personal property coverage.
- Theft of valuables, such as jewelry or furs above the standard limit, is often $1500 per item. You’d need to purchase a personal property endorsement or floater for additional coverage.
- Your policy covers valuable items such as antiques and collectibles up to the policy’s limit, which could be a fraction of their total value. Again, you’d need to purchase a floater to cover these.
- Policies won’t cover damage from flooding, earthquakes, mold, pest infestations, or poor maintenance.
Will I Get Coverage Against Flooding?
Standard homeowners and renters insurance will not cover flooding in your home or a storage unit. You’ll need to buy flood insurance if your home is in a designated flood zone or another area vulnerable to flooding. Also, when shopping for a storage facility, find out if it is in a floodplain or has ever flooded.
Will I Get Coverage in the Event of a Named Storm?
A named storm is a hurricane named by the National Weather Service or National Hurricane Center. When a hurricane strikes, homeowners insurance typically will not extend its coverage beyond the standard benefits. Most policies cover wind damage but not flooding. In 19 states adjacent to the ocean, policyholders pay a much higher deductible for damage caused by named storms.
What If I Already Have Other Insurance?
If your homeowner’s insurance includes off-premises coverage, the policy reimburses you for stolen or damaged items. Auto insurance covers events such as theft, fire, vandalism, and weather disasters if you’re storing a car. Similarly, boat insurance covers your boat when it is in storage.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Storage Units?
Renter’s insurance policies usually cover items kept in a storage unit. But the coverage limit may be much lower than the value of your possessions. To secure adequate coverage, you may need to upgrade the coverage on your rental policy. You can also buy coverage from the storage facility or a storage insurance company.
Where Can You Buy Storage Unit Insurance?
If you need storage unit insurance, several types of providers offer it. There is less off-premises coverage in renters or homeowners insurance. Review your business insurance if you’re storing commercial property. Most storage facilities sell insurance coverage to customers using their facilities.
Homeowners, Renters, or Business Insurance Companies
Homeowner’s insurance typically covers personal property in a storage unit. Review your policy to see your off-premises coverage and if it is at the level, you need. Remember, property in a storage unit may have lower coverage than property in your home. Insurers limit coverage for valuables, such as jewelry and art. If possible, don’t store these in a storage unit, but if you do, purchase additional coverage that reflects the value of each item.
Renter’s insurance policies usually protect property kept in storage. Just as with homeowners insurance, the coverage may be less than the value of your property, and valuables may not exceed the standard limit. If so, increase the coverage on your renter’s policy or get coverage from the storage facility.
Business insurance companies that cover your commercial property protect it when it is in storage. The length of coverage is short-term coverage for 30-60 days. Check with your provider if you need storage for a more extended period.
Insurance from the storage unit facility is an option if you don’t already have coverage. Some facilities require users to have insurance and pressure customers to purchase the storage facility’s insurance. To find a competitive offer, shop around and compare prices and coverage levels before buying from the storage company.
Another option is purchasing stand-alone storage unit Insurance from third-party insurance companies specializing in storage insurance. These companies may have lower deductibles and different benefits and coverage limits than homeowners policies and storage company insurers.
How Much Is Storage Unit Insurance?
The price of storage unit insurance varies widely. Here is a comparison of the average costs of different kinds of coverage.
Type of policy
No extra cost if your policy has off-premise coverage
10% of personal property limit $12,500 average, $1,500 per item
No extra cost if your policy has off-premise coverage
10% of personal property limit$3,000 Average
Business insurance (Commercial property)
Storage unit insurance
How Can I Find the Best Storage Unit Insurance?
To find the best storage unit insurance, consider your budget, current coverage, and the items you want to insure. Read your policy to understand the coverage and benefit limits. If you’re considering a new policy, compare the price, deductible and covered events for several companies.
Decide if you need more coverage for high-value items, but keeping precious belongings with you may be wise. If a disaster strikes, you’ll have adequate coverage to replace your furnishings.