When Should I Get Storage Unit Insurance?
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While storage units provide a safe and convenient space for your belongings, unforeseen events like theft, fire, or water damage can still occur. Storage unit insurance ensures that such losses are covered.
Keep in mind that your homeowners or renters insurance policy may already offer limited coverage for your stored belongings but a separate storage unit insurance policy may be worth buying for its extra coverage.
What Is Storage Unit Insurance?
Storage insurance protects your furniture, clothes and other personal belongings while they are stored in a self-storage unit. Although self-storage facilities are often equipped with security cameras and have employees on-site, your items may still be vulnerable to theft, vandalism and fire. Storage insurance provides an added layer of protection against these risks by covering the cost of repairing or replacing your belongings in the event of such losses.
Both may offer coverage for items stored off-site is available but is usually limited to 10% of your policy’s personal property limits. For example, if your renters insurance policy has $100,000 in personal property coverage, then losses for items inside your self-storage unit are covered only up to $10,000.
Therefore, if the value of your storage unit’s contents exceeds your policy’s off-premises coverage, it is generally recommended to purchase a separate storage insurance policy to ensure comprehensive coverage
Types of Storage Unit Coverage
Coverage for items stored inside your storage unit is extended under the off-premises coverage of your homeowners or renters insurance policy but is limited. Alternatively, you can buy separate storage unit insurance, which specifically insures only the items inside your unit.
Renters insurance for storage units is typically available through the off-premises clause in the policy. Off-premises coverage is an inclusion in many renters insurance policies and insures personal belongings that are not physically present in your home against the perils listed in your policy.
For instance, if furniture is stolen from your storage unit or any other off-site location like your car, it will be covered. However, off-premises coverage will usually only cover you for up to 10% of your personal property coverage.
As an example, say your policy covers $50,000 worth of personal possessions, your coverage for off-premises items might be restricted to $5,000, or 10% of the total.
Similar to renters insurance, off-premises coverage is usually included in a standard homeowners policy. Personal belongings stored in your storage unit are typically covered for only 10% of your personal property coverage limits.
The Storage Unit Company's Insurance
Many storage unit companies offer insurance coverage for their customers, which can be convenient because your personal belongings are being insured by the facility housing them. This type of insurance protects personal belongings stored in a self-storage unit against damage or loss caused by covered perils such as theft, fire, smoke and more. Consumers can also buy coverage limits higher than what’s provided under the off-premises clause of their homeowners or renters policy.
What Does Storage Unit Insurance Cover?
Storage insurance, also known as self-storage insurance, is a type of insurance coverage that offers protection for personal belongings stored in a self-storage unit. The coverage can vary depending on the policy, but here are some common items that storage insurance covers:
- Fire and smoke
- Building collapse
- Leaking water
It is important to note that storage insurance coverage can vary depending on the policy and it may not cover certain items or situations. Some self-storage insurance policies may also have limits on the total amount of coverage for certain losses.
For example, SafeStor covers burglary-related losses for up to only 50% of your coverage limits. Let’s say you purchased $5,000 of coverage and the value of all the items stored inside the unit total $10,000. If somebody breaks into the unit and steals everything, you’re covered for only $2,500.
What Isn’t Covered?
While storage insurance provides valuable protection for personal belongings stored in a self-storage unit, it is important to understand that there are limitations to the coverage. Here are some common things that storage insurance may not cover:
- Items related to illegal activities
- Natural wear and tear
- Rust or mildew
- Mysterious disappearances with no evidence of theft or damage
- Damages from vermin
Specific items may be excluded from coverage, as well. Depending on the facility, the insurance provider may not cover the following items:
- Financial records
- Certain collectibles
- Jewelry and watches
- Motorized vehicles
- Items stored for business purposes (you may need to purchase separate commercial insurance coverage for your business items)
How Much Does Storage Unit Insurance Cost?
The premium for storage unit insurance can range from $6 to $16 per month for $4,000 of coverage depending on the carrier. Raising your coverage limits to $10,000 can increase rates from $18 per month to $38. Similar to renters insurance, you may have to pay a deductible before your insurer covers any losses.
Rates will vary by the company and your region. Below, we’ve compared coverage limits, rates and deductibles between three storage insurance companies.
Do I Need Storage Unit Insurance?
Your stored belongings are not insured by the self-storage facility — that will be your responsibility. Moreover, some self-storage facilities will require you to maintain insurance as a condition of the rental contract. Fortunately, some storage facilities partner with a storage insurance company, which can be convenient. Otherwise, storage insurance can be purchased directly through a storage insurer.
Self-storage insurance tends to carry the same types of coverage as renters and homeowners insurance, including losses from fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, explosions and burglary. For this reason, storage unit insurance may seem redundant.
However, remember that a home or renters policy only covers stored items for 10% of the personal coverage purchased. A self-storage unit policy can offer higher coverage limits. Some storage unit insurance policies may even cover losses from earthquakes, which are always excluded in a standard home or renters policy.
How To Purchase Storage Unit Insurance
Purchasing a standalone storage unit insurance policy follows many of the steps taken when buying homeowners or renters insurance:
- Determine what coverage you need: Consider the value of the items you're storing and the types of perils you want to be covered for. Similar to creating a home inventory list for your primary residence, you should create the same for your storage unit.
- Check your current insurance policies: You may already have coverage for items stored off-premises under your homeowners or renters insurance policy, so it's important to check before purchasing additional coverage.
- Research insurance providers: Look for insurance providers that offer storage unit coverage and compare their policies and prices.
- Obtain quotes: Once you've narrowed down your options, obtain quotes from the insurance providers to compare the cost and coverage of each policy.
- Review and purchase the policy: Carefully review the policy to understand what is covered and what is not, as well as any exclusions or limitations. Once you've selected the policy that meets your needs and budget, purchase the policy and make sure you have a copy of the policy documents.
- Reassess your coverage needs annually: Re-evaluate your storage unit coverage needs on an annual basis. As the value and quantity of the items you're storing may change, you may need to adjust your coverage limits accordingly.