Does Renters Insurance Cover Personal Property in Storage?

Lucy Lazarony December 7, 2020

Wondering if your renters insurance will cover the items you have in a storage unit? You’re in luck. Renters insurance does cover items in a personal storage unit, up to a limited amount. How much is covered? Any personal property that is not in your listed residence will be covered up to 10 percent of your total personal property amount. So if you have $20,000 of personal property coverage with your renters insurance, $2,000 could be applied to property not on your listed residence such as a storage unit. If the $2,000 is too low for your items in storage, consider increasing your personal property coverage amount. For example, if you increase your personal property coverage amount to $30,000, the amount applied to storage unit items gets bumped up to $3,000.

Check the Details. Carefully review the specifics of your renters insurance policy. Some policies only give theft-only coverage for items in a storage unit.

How Valuables Are Handled. You’ll also want to check how your renters insurance handles valuable items in a storage unit. There may be a cap on coverage and you’ll need to buy a special endorsement to get the insurance coverage for your most valuable items. These valuable items include coins, gold, jewelry, watches, furs, silverware and electronics.

Look for Covered Perils. Look for renters insurance policies that cover perils for personal property items in a storage unit. These perils include flood, fire, smoke, vandalism and mold. A renters policy with covered perils gives you more protection than a theft-only policy.

Watch out for Exclusions. Some renters insurance policies will exclude jewelry, watches, fur, and other valuable items from coverage in a storage unit. So avoid policies with these exclusions if you have these valuable items to store. Or see if you can buy endorsements for these items.

Homeowners Insurance and Storage Units. As with renters insurance, personal property stored in a storage unit is covered at 10 percent of the total personal property coverage amount of your homeowner policy. So if you have $150,000 of personal property insurance with your homeowners insurance, you would have $15,000 personal property protection for a storage unit.

To increase your storage unit coverage, you’ll need to increase your total personal property protection. Increasing your personal property protection to $200,000 would increase the storage unit coverage to $20,000.

Watch out for theft-only coverage. This coverage won’t offer any protection should a peril such as a fire or a flood strike your storage unit.

You’ll also want to watch out for limitations on valuable items in a storage unit. Jewelry, watches and furs and other valuable items may have limited coverage with your homeowners insurance. Review your policy carefully. You may need to pay for an endorsement to have these items covered with your homeowners insurance policy.

Check out the perils listed on your homeowners insurance policy for items stored outside your residence. Do you have a theft-only policy? Or does it cover perils such as fire, flood, hail, lightning, vandalism? You’re looking for a homeowners insurance policy that covers perils as well as theft for items in a storage unit.

Got valuables in your storage unit? Some valuables may be excluded from your storage unit coverage. These items include jewelry, watches and furs. So review your policy carefully. If these storage unit items aren’t covered by your homeowners insurance, you may want to find a new location for them, such as at your home.

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What to Look for in a Storage Unit

Lots of research is the key to finding a good deal on a storage unit. Here are key questions to ask.

Does the storage unit have 24-hour, 7 days a week security cameras and security guards?

Is the storage unit gated with a fence around it? You’re looking for a secure location to store your belongings.

Do you get access by keypad or with locks?

Are there backup alarms that will notify the owners of the company if something is amiss?

What kind of exterior lighting does it have? A well-lit facility is preferable.

What types of rental unit spaces are available? You want a unit that fits your stuff and

is not too big for your needs.

Here’s a telling question. How clean is it? You want a clean and safe space for your possessions.

Research the storage unit contract. What is the cost and minimum lease amount? Make sure you are crystal-clear on the pricing before signing a storage unit contract.

Bring your insurance policy. Many storage unit providers will require you to have homeowners or renters insurance before you can rent a storage unit. And you will need to bring along a copy of your insurance policy as proof of insurance before you sign the contract with the storage unit provider. So don’t forget to bring a copy of your insurance policy when it’s time to sign your storage unit contract.

How to Pack for a Storage Unit

First time moving belongings into a storage unit? Here’s what you need to know.

Be sure to wrap fragile items in bubble wrap. Make note of which boxes contain fragile items. Handle these items and boxes with care.

Take the time to cover each piece of furniture with a sheet.

And you may want to dismantle furniture to save space in your storage unit. So break down tables and bookcases. It will free up space for additional items.

Hang your clothes in a wardrobe box. Fill up boxes to capacity. Pack heaviest items on the bottom and the lightest items on the top. Label your boxes and leave a center aisle for access. You want to be able to walk through your storage unit and take a good look at your possessions.

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