If you have renters insurance, your belongings are covered anywhere in the world, including in a self-storage unit. However, your belongings stored in your storage unit will only be covered up to your policy’s limit.
Renters insurance covers your personal property from named perils both on and off your property, which includes storage units
That said, there will be limits of liability for personal property stored off your rental premises. 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
You can schedule endorsements to your renters policy to extend coverage for valuable belongings and to increase coverage for personal property stored in your storage unit
Most self-storage companies offer insurance, but some might also require you to have your own insurance policy. You should bring your renters policy as proof of insurance when you rent a storage unit
Renters insurance is financial protection for your personal property if it’s damaged or lost due to a named peril in your renters insurance policy. A typical renters insurance policy will cover perils like fire, smoke damage, windstorms and hail, theft, vandalism, short-circuit damage, and more.
With some exceptions, if you have renters insurance, your belongings are covered anywhere in the world. That means not only in your home, but also whenever your personal belongings are with you or with another member of your family who’s insured under your policy. For example, if your suitcase gets stolen while you are traveling, your renters insurance will cover it. If your laptop gets stolen out of the gym locker room, your renters insurance will still consider it a covered theft.
This also means your personal property is covered even when it’s in a storage unit. However, renters insurance policies usually limit how much you can get reimbursed for a claim if the property is located somewhere other than your home.
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Your renters insurance reimburses you for your property that is damaged or lost when it is almost anywhere in the world, including in a storage unit.
Whether you’re eligible for reimbursement depends on which peril caused your belongings to become lost or damaged. There are many named perils, so make sure you check your policy for the precise details of what’s covered.
Some renters policies may also be all-risk coverage, meaning that your coverage is not limited by what’s named in the policy and it’s up to the insurer to prove that the loss wasn’t covered.
Common named perils include:
If a named peril damages or destroys your personal belongings inside your storage unit, you should be able to file a claim with your renters insurance company and receive a reimbursement for the loss.
Some of the named perils have caveats attached to them. For example, the water or steam coverage doesn’t cover damage caused by water that backed up or overflowed from a sump pump or sewer, or water damage caused by flooding.
Some perils are also explicitly excluded. In addition to floods, earthquakes and other types of earth movements are generally not covered, unless you purchase additional coverage, which is known as an endorsement. A Policygenius expert can help you find renters insurance that fits your geographic needs and contains the coverage you need for your property.
There are sublimits for personal property located in a storage unit. Your sublimit is the maximum amount of money your insurance company will reimburse you for specific belongings, circumstances, or perils.
Any property stored away from your home is subject to a sublimit. 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.
This limitation has some exclusions, meaning that you can still benefit from the full limit of liability if your property is away from home under these circumstances:
In addition to reduced coverage for property stored away from the rental premises, certain individual personal property also has its own sublimits, as defined by your policy. This usually pertains to high-value items like guns, jewelry, coin collections, and electronics.
Each item’s sublimits vary. For example, the sublimit for firearms tends to be around $2,000 to $2,500. That means if your guns are damaged or stolen in a storage unit, your insurance company is going to factor in the firearms sublimit as well as the off-premises sublimit into your overall reimbursement.
Depending on your policy, if guns worth $2,500 in your storage unit are destroyed by a covered loss, you may receive either 10% back, which is $250, or $1,000, because it’s greater than the 10% limit.
It’s possible to purchase additional coverage that increases your sublimits, thereby protecting greater amounts of your personal belongings. This is called adding an endorsement to your policy. Depending on your insurance company, it may be possible to increase the sublimits on individual items, the sublimits on your possessions in your storage unit or another off-premises location, or both.
Below are common renters insurance endorsements to add to your insurance policy to extend protection to the belongings in your storage unit.
While not every self-storage company offers insurance for the contents stored in their storage units, most will still require your belongings to be already insured, so make sure you bring a copy of your renters insurance coverage when you go to pay for your storage unit. Homeowners insurance also covers personal property in a storage unit in the same way that renters insurance does.
Self-storage companies that do offer property insurance will outsource it to an insurance carrier, so you may have to pay your premiums and file claims with that carrier instead of the storage company.
Check with the storage company about rates, how losses are covered, what types of personal property are eligible for coverage, and any limitations that might apply. You may find that your renters or homeowners insurance policy provides adequate coverage.
About the authors
Zack Sigel is a SEO managing editor at Policygenius. He covers personal finance, comprising mortgages, investing, deposit accounts, and more. His previous work included writing about film and music.
Kara McGinley is an Insurance Editor at Policygenius. She previously worked as a freelance writer and a copywriter for various startups. Her work can be found in Teen Vogue, The Culture Crush, Mask Magazine, and more.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.
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