Storage Unit Insurance: Your Guide to Coverage and Costs

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Renters insurance offers storage unit insurance, an important coverage that provides essential financial protection for your belongings that are away from home. You may be offered insurance from a storage facility, but you may not need it, unless you want supplemental coverage. Both types of insurance pay to replace your things when a hazard damages or destroys them.

Renters insurance gives customers peace of mind no matter where their belongings may be. 

According to the FBI's latest statistics, there were also 713 arson-related fires at storage facilities in 2019, with losses averaging $18,281 per crime. Burglaries are also rampant at storage facilities, and the police only recover 3% to 12% of stolen goods.

Having the right renters insurance policy can help you protect your belongings in storage.

Does Rental Insurance Cover Storage Units?

Some renters insurance policies only provide theft-only coverage for items stored off-premises. When signing up for renters insurance, look for policies that cover named perils, such as fire, vandalism, mold and water damage.

Most renters insurance policies cover the following hazards, which are usually events out of the policyholder's control:

  • Fires
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Explosions
  • Windstorms and hail
  • Lightning
  • Damages from cars
  • Falling objects
  • Accidental water damage

 Renters insurance may not protect your belongings from every hazard, including:

  • Rodent, insect and vermin damage
  • Missing items (unrelated to theft)
  • Motor vehicle coverage
  • Mold and mildew
  • Smoke damage
  • Water seepage
  • War
  • Earthquakes
  • Floods

Your renters insurance may limit or exclude coverage for valuables and expensive items such as:

  • Furs
  • Fine art
  • Antiques
  • Jewelry
  • Firearms
  • Watches
  • Financial documents (deeds, etc;)

You can always buy add-on insurance to renters or home insurance policies to cover expensive possessions.

Storage Unit Insurance vs Renters Insurance

There are four choices for storage unit insurance coverage:

Renters Insurance

Renters insurance protects tenants from financial losses associated with theft, personal property damages and legal liability. You can buy this coverage if you live in an apartment, a rented condo or rented house.

You'll receive coverage up to 10% of your policy's limit for items in storage. If you have a policy that covers $60,000, you would be insured up to $6,000 for your stored items. These policies cap coverage limits for expensive items like jewelry or musical instruments.

Using renters insurance can save you money, because it is typically cheaper than most storage unit policies.

Using renters insurance can save you money, because it is typically cheaper than most storage unit policies. The average cost for renters insurance premiums are $15 or $180 per year.

You can purchase endorsements to increase your personal property coverage limits on your renters insurance. These add-on options will increase your premium, but will provide essential protection for your valuables:

  • Scheduled property coverage will raise your coverage limits for expensive items such as fine art, jewelry and electronics.
  • Replacement cost coverage reimburses you for the amount you originally paid for your belongings. It is a better choice than actual cash value, which pays the depreciation value.

Homeowners Insurance

A standard homeowners insurance policy insures your home's structure and personal property when a peril damages your house, attached structures and unattached structures. This policy also provides off-premises coverage.

Homeowners policies also offer off-premises coverage for stored items. This coverage is usually 10% of your personal property coverage limit, between $1,000 and $5,000. You can also obtain theft-only coverage for expensive items that range between $1,500 and $2,500.

If your storage unit contains expensive items, consider raising the total coverage limit of your home insurance, or buy a separate storage insurance policy for additional coverage.

Storage Unit Insurance

Storage unit insurance, also called tenant insurance, is a personal property coverage that replaces your stored items when a covered peril damages or destroys them inside of a storage facility.

Storage facilities can't make you buy storage unit policies, but they can require you to insure your stored belongings. You can use a standard homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy to cover your items instead of buying one from the storage company, but they will require you to bring proof of insurance before you can sign up for a unit.

Some self-storage insurance policies exclude coverage you'd normally find in renters insurance or homeowners insurance policies, such as water seepage and smoke damages from sudden and accidental causes.

The average cost for storage unit insurance is more expensive than relying on your renters insurance or homeowners insurance policy. Premiums can cost from $8 to $40 a month for $10,000 of coverage, depending on the provider and the size of the storage unit. Deductibles for storage facility insurance policies range from $100 to $500.

Third-Party Insurance

Lower-end third-party policies provide $1,000 in coverage for a $6 premium. Higher-end policies provide $15,000 of coverage for $20 - $25 per month, depending on the insurer.

The nation's largest self-storage insurance providers are MiniCo and SafeStor.

Compare the Best Renters Insurance

Is Storage Unit Insurance Even Necessary?

Carefully review the details of your renters insurance policy to find out what it covers. Storage unit insurance is only necessary if your renters insurance or homeowners insurance policies don't provide enough coverage.

For instance, if you have a renters policy that only covers theft of stored items, you may need additional coverage or a new renters insurance policy. You may also need to add endorsements to your policy for expensive items that require higher coverage limits.

Buy Affordable Renters Insurance, Save on Storage Costs

A renters insurance policy or storage unit insurance can financially reimburse you for your stored things when a covered peril damages or destroys them. Being adequately insured is necessary because crimes have skyrocketed at storage facilities. Although storage unit insurance protects your things from several perils, they provide a less coverage level than a renters insurance policy and often cost more.

If your renters policy doesn't offer adequate coverage or costs too much, it may be time to shop for a new policy. Get free renters insurance quotes when you compare rates with SmartFinancial. Just enter your zip code below.

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