Q

Does homeowners insurance cover storage units?

A

Yes, homeowners insurance covers items in storage under the off-premises personal property coverage section of your home insurance policy.

Jennifer Gimbel

By 

Jennifer Gimbel

Jennifer Gimbel

Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel is a managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

Published April 30, 2022 | 3 min read

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Does homeowners insurance cover items in my storage unit?

Your home insurance policy may cover items in your storage unit from certain perils — it all depends on the coverage limits outlined in your policy. While your personal property coverage limit is typically set at a percentage of your dwelling coverage amount — the limits for coverage of belongings outside your home are typically much lower.

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Here are the three different types of coverage in your home insurance policy that might extend financial protection to items in storage.

1. Off-premises coverage limits

The coverage in your home insurance policy for personal belongings usually includes off-premises coverage, unless you opted out of it. Off-premises coverage pays for damage to items stored anywhere in the world, including your storage unit. 

Just keep in mind that some companies limit off-premises coverage to around 10% of your personal belongings coverage limits, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). [1] Depending on your insurer, you might be able to increase your off-premises coverage limits for an additional fee.

2. Theft-only coverage limits

Depending on your insurance company, you might have separate coverage limits for personal belongings that are stolen. Many insurers limit reimbursement of stolen property like money, firearms, jewelry, and collectibles to around $2,000 — regardless of how much they’re worth. 

In this case, if you’re keeping high-value items in storage (which isn’t recommended), you’ll likely want to purchase a scheduled personal property add-on, which we talk about more below.

3. High-value item limits

High-value items like furs, firearms, jewelry, golf clubs, artwork, antiques, and other collectibles are often limited to around $2,500 to $3,000 in coverage. To ensure these items in storage are fully protected, the III recommends purchasing a scheduled personal property endorsement to add to your policy. [2] This provides greater coverage limits for high-value items. 

You’ll typically pay around $100 for each $10,000 you need scheduled for each class of items, according to Policygenius rate data.

What is your storage unit covered against?

Your belongings in storage are typically protected against the following hazards through your home insurance policy:

  • Hurricanes and tornadoes

  • Wind and hail

  • Fire, smoke, and lightning

  • Theft and vandalism

  • Explosions and falling objects

  • Weight of snow and ice

  • Water damage

What is your storage unit NOT covered against?

Your items in storage usually are not covered against the following types of perils through your home insurance policy:

  • Flooding

  • Earthquakes

  • Mold and mildew

  • Vermin, rodents, and pest infestations

  • Poor maintenance

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Should you buy a separate storage insurance policy?

Experts recommend purchasing a separate storage insurance policy if you don’t have an existing homeowners insurance policy to ensure your belongings are fully protected. Some storage companies like CubeSmart, Public Storage, and U-Haul Storage even require it. If your storage company doesn’t offer their own insurance policies, they’ll likely direct you to a third-party insurer they’re affiliated with. 

If you do purchase a separate storage insurance policy, make sure to ask about whether your items are covered on an actual cash value or replacement cost basis. Actual cash value coverage subtracts depreciation (wear and tear) from your claim payout, while replacement cost coverage pays to replace your items at today’s prices.

What is covered under separate self-storage insurance?

Separate storage insurance typically covers damage to your belongings from more hazards than your standard home insurance policy, though it varies by company. 

Here are perils that might be covered:

  • Fire, smoke, and lightning

  • Hurricanes

  • Tornadoes

  • Wind and hail

  • Vandalism and burglary

  • Vermin

  • Earthquakes

  • Leaking water

  • Building collapse

  • Explosion

How much is self-storage insurance?

Self-storage insurance can range anywhere from $10 to $50 per month for $2,000 to $10,000 in coverage — it varies by storage insurance company. 

Here’s a look at insurance pricing for some of the most popular storage companies:

  • Extra Space Storage: $2,000 to $10,000 of insurance coverage for $11 to $47 per month

  • U-Haul Storage: $5,000 of insurance coverage for $15 per month

  • MakeSpace Storage: $2,000 of insurance coverage for $20 per month 

4 tips to further protect your items in storage

Here are a few ways to further protect your items in storage aside from purchasing insurance, according to experts at the Insurance Information Institute: [3]

  • Opt for a climate-controlled unit. Very hot or very cold temperatures can lead to damage to your furniture and appliances caused by dampness. Opting for a climate-controlled unit and keeping your items wrapped in plastic can help prevent this. 

  • Make sure it’s a secure facility. Confirm that the facility has fencing around the entire property,  24-hour video surveillance, and coded security pads. And don’t share your access codes with anyone. 

  • Double-check the storage facility has natural disaster protection. Ask about its procedures in case of a fire or flood, including whether it has restrictions on storing flammable and combustible items. You’ll also want to make sure that rising ground water from rain or snow can’t seep into your storage unit in case of a flood.

  • Create an inventory of items in your storage. SImilar to how you should keep a home insurance inventory, keeping an up-to-date list of all of the items you have in storage and their value can help if you ever need to file a claim for damage or theft.

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Frequently asked questions

Does USAA homeowners insurance cover storage units?

Depending on the type of USAA homeowners insurance policy you have, your stuff in storage might be covered. Just keep in mind that artwork, jewelry, and other high-value items will likely require additional insurance to be fully protected. Learn more with our review of USAA homeowners insurance.

Does State Farm homeowners insurance cover storage units?

Your State Farm homeowners insurance policy might cover your belongings in storage. It all depends on the off-premises personal property coverage outlined in your policy. Like with USAA, you likely need to purchase additional coverage for high-value items you keep in storage. Learn more with our review of State Farm homeowners insurance.

Does renters insurance cover storage units?

Your renters insurance policy might cover items in your storage unit — it varies by insurance company and the type of policy you have.

Do I need home insurance to use a storage unit?

Yes, many storage companies require you to have a home insurance or storage insurance policy before you can rent a storage unit. It all depends on the rules of the storage company you go with.