Self storage insurance coverage
Homeowners insurance typically includes personal property coverage. Personal property coverage helps protect your belongings, which may include clothes, appliances, electronics and furniture, from certain risks up to the coverage limits in your policy.
However, insurance coverage for belongings in a storage unit is typically provided by the “off-premises” personal property coverage in a homeowners policy.
Personal property coverage has a limit. Generally, the coverage limit on personal property coverage is up to 50% of the policy’s dwelling coverage limit. However, many homeowners policies have lower limits for belongings located away from your home. Make sure to talk to your agent and check to find out how much coverage you have for your belongings off premises.
If the value of your stored items exceeds the limit specified on your policy, you can do one of the following:
- Increase coverage for your personal property on your homeowner’s policy so the percentage assigned to off premises items could also be increased automatically
- Get a self storage insurance policy. This is usually offered by the storage facility as part of your contract or as a separate policy you can purchase at a cost.
Self-storage insurance policies may differ some, but the main damage they usually cover includes:
- Water damage
Common exclusions in these policies include:
- Missing items. Items can only be considered stolen as part of a burglary if there is physical evidence of a break-in. If an item goes missing from your storage unit, it’s considered a “mysterious disappearance” and isn’t covered.
- Damage from insects, rodents and other vermin. These exclusions are similar to homeowners and renters policies. Be sure to ask the facility operator how they manage the local moth and rat populations.
- Expensive items and documents. Policies offered at the storage facility can be more exclusionary than third-party insurance coverage. Exclusions usually include jewelry, art, furs, collectibles, cash, deeds, securities and other documents. Your homeowners or renters insurance allow you to purchase riders to cover these normally excluded items. However, this additional and vital protection is most often not offered through the facility’s insurance.
- Motor vehicles. Most of these policies also exclude vehicles. You may not have auto insurance on the car or truck you wish to store, so you will want to secure a car insurance policy or opt for a self storage insurance policy from a third party that includes such coverage.
If you are planning to rent a storage unit, please contact us to check how much coverage you already have under your homeowner’s/renters policy and whether you need a separate self storage policy.