Does Renters Insurance Cover Storage Units?
There are plenty of reasons why you might need to rent a storage unit. Maybe you need extra room while you’re renovating your home. Perhaps you want a place to safely house vehicles or equipment. Or it could be that you’re using it for business inventory, archives, or a growing personal collection. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to ensure that your belongings are protected for as long as they’re stored.
The good news is that if you store personal items in a self-storage unit away from your main premises, renters insurance will generally cover them — though at a lower limit. Still, there are plenty of fine-print details you need to know, including limitations on what you can store and what will actually be covered. Stick with us as we cover all of that and more.
Are Storage Unit Costs Covered by Renters Insurance?
You probably already know that, like homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance protects personal property like your furniture, electronics, and clothing if they’re damaged, destroyed, or stolen. Renter’s insurance policies cover perils such as fire, smoke damage, windstorms and hail, as well as acts of theft and vandalism. And for the most part, that coverage protects your belongings anywhere in the world.
For example, if your laptop is stolen while you’re traveling or working from a coffee shop, your renters insurance will still consider it a covered theft. This also means that your personal belongings are protected when they’re in a storage unit. The only catch is that most renters insurance policies put a cap on the amount of your reimbursement if your belongings were stolen or damaged somewhere other than your home. The only catch is that most renters insurance policies limit your reimbursement amount if your belongings were located somewhere other than your home—including at a storage facility.
What Does Renters Insurance Not Cover in Storage Units?
Typically, everything that your renter’s insurance covers in your home is also covered in a storage unit. Your insurer will reimburse any furniture, clothing, electronics or appliances if they’re damaged by fire, tornado, water damage, and even theft.
However, there are a few instances of damage that your insurer will not cover, including:
- Damage resulting from pests (rodents, termites, cockroaches and other insects)
- Damage resulting from floods
- Damage resulting from earthquakes
- Damage that occurs while your property is being repaired or refurbished,
- Damage that occurs to your belongings
- Damage to belongings that are stored in another residence that your renters insurance does not cover.
Your insurer may also limit what you’re allowed to store in the unit. For example, some storage facilities may allow you to store firearms, but none of them will allow you to store ammunition.
Coverage Limits for Personal Property in Self-storage Units
As mentioned above, there are also some limitations to the amount you’ll be reimbursed if your belongings are kept in a storage unit away from home. This is also known as a sublimit—the
maximum amount of money your insurer will pay for specific belongings, circumstances, or perils.
Here’s how that works. If you keep some personal belongings in storage, they’ll be covered up to a certain limit—either a percentage of your Coverage C (personal property coverage) or a flat dollar amount. For example, if your renters insurance policy has $100,000 for personal property coverage with a 10% of Coverage C limit, you may have up to $10,000 of coverage for items in a storage unit, minus your deductible. In most cases, a renters policy sublimit for your personal property away from home is 10% of the coverage you’d receive had the property been at your home, or $1,000, whichever is greater.
Coverage Limits for Types of Belongings
In addition to coverage limits for property stored away from home, some policies have limits for types of belongings as well. This usually includes high-value property such as firearms (when permitted), jewelry, coin collections, and electronics.
The limit on a claim payout varies depending on the object. For example, the sublimit for firearms tends to be around $2,000 to $2,500. That means if your firearms are stolen or damaged while in a storage facility, your insurer will consider the firearms sublimit, as well as the off-premises sublimit into your overall reimbursement. Here’s how that would play out. Depending on your policy, if firearms valued at $2,500 in your storage unit are stolen or destroyed, you’d receive either 10% back, or $1,000, since it’s greater than the 10% limit.
How to Purchase Additional Coverage
Want to purchase additional coverage for extra protection? No problem. This is known as adding an endorsement to your policy. Depending on your insurance company, you may be able to increase the sub-limits on individual items, the sub-limits on your belongings in your storage unit or at another location, or both. Here are some common renters insurance endorsements you can add to your policy to increase coverage for the belongings in your storage unit.
- Schedule property endorsement: Scheduled property endorsements are a type of endorsement for personal property that may not be covered by your policy—or which are covered at very low amounts. You can schedule an endorsement to your policy for certain belongings, usually high-value items, that exceed your policy’s sublimit. You’ll want to ensure that your schedule includes coverage for those items in a storage unit.
- Replacement cost rider: Actual cash value policies and replacement cost policies are the two types of renters insurance policies you can purchase. If you opt for an actual cash value policy, it’s a good idea to add a replacement cost endorsement to your policy. It will drive up the price a bit, but doing so will guarantee that you get enough from your insurer to replace your belongings as if they were new.
Lower Your Renter’s Insurance Rates
One of the best ways to keep your rates down is to find an insurance policy that offers you low-cost coverage. And with our affordable rates, protecting your home won’t be a drain on your wallet. Best of all, our online renters insurance quotes are lightning quick. Get yours now, and say hello to affordable home insurance coverage—in just a matter of minutes.