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.
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).  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.  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
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:
Mold and mildew
Vermin, rodents, and pest infestations
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
Wind and hail
Vandalism and burglary
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: 
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.