Storage Unit Insurance: What Is It and What Does It Cover?

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Storage unit insurance is part of the protection that a homeowners or renters insurance policy grants to your belongings no matter where they are in the world. You can also buy storage unit insurance as a standalone policy from specialized vendors.

You could benefit from buying a separate storage unit policy if you don't already have insurance or if the property you're storing is worth more than 10% of your existing policy's limit. Storage unit insurance could be especially worthwhile if you have renters insurance, since these policies often have lower limits than homeowners insurance policies.

Does renters insurance cover storage units?

Your renters insurance policy will cover property you put in a storage unit — unless the storage facility won't protect certain items, such as firearms. Usually, a homeowners or renters insurance policy protects your belongings up to 10% of your policy limits while they're in a storage unit. So if your insurance limit is $10,000, then your policy will typically cover $1,000 worth of items.

However, your policy may cover the entire value of your belongings if your home is unfit to store the items, such as while you renovate or repair your home. Say that you are painting the office of your apartment and you want to make room by moving a shelf of books into storage. If those books get ruined, your policy would compensate you for up to the full coverage limit instead of only 10%.

Do storage units have their own insurance?

Since self-storage facilities require their customers to have insurance, storage units almost always offer their customers access to their own policies or to a third-party specialty insurer. However, these policies sometimes exclude some forms of water and smoke damage. These are two common threats to stored goods, which could leave you vulnerable to financial loss. As with any policy, check what is and isn't covered before you sign a contract.

How much is storage unit insurance?

Storage unit insurance can cost $8 to $38 per month for $10,000 of coverage, depending on your provider. While this number might seem low compared to the amount of personal property coverage in a normal renters or homeowners policy, remember that you won't need to insure everything you own. You only need protection for items in storage.

Rates for self-storage insurance providers

The two largest companies that specialize in self-storage insurance are SafeStor and MiniCo. SafeStor works through self-storage facilities and directly with customers. SafeStor offers three policy limits with maximum coverage of $15,000 for $24 per month with a $100 deductible. Its coverage excludes expensive items such as jewelry. MiniCo doesn't have deductibles, but its policies are more expensive. MiniCo offers more than two dozen plans directly to customers, with a maximum policy limit of $75,000 for $240 per month. Like SafeStor, MiniCo excludes specific items from coverage.

When we compared the rates of the two largest providers of specialty self-storage insurance, we found that SafeStor is cheaper than its primary competitor despite its limited coverage options. But no matter which provider you buy coverage from, you have access to the whole policy instead of only the 10% limit imposed by most renters and homeowners insurance policies.

Comparing Rates of the Leading Self-Storage Insurance Providers

LimitSafeStorMiniCo
$4,000$6/mo.$16/mo.
$10,000$8/mo.$38/mo.
$15,000$24/mo.$54/mo.
$25,000N/A$87/mo.
$50,000N/A$175/mo.
$75,000N/A$240/mo.

This means a cheaper policy can provide you with more efficient coverage than your existing homeowners or renters policy. A typical renters insurance policy covers you for up to $25,000 of personal property protection, or $2,500 of coverage for items in storage. If you add a $4,000 storage unit policy, you could boost your coverage by 160% for a relatively low cost. Plus, this money would all go to covering your property.

Rates for insuring storage units with renters or homeowners insurance

If you choose to protect your storage unit under the terms of your regular renters or homeowners insurance policy, the price will depend on the overall cost of the policy. Remember, however, that in most cases, homeowners and renters insurance policies only cover stored property for up to 10% of the policy's total coverage limit. For example, if 10% of your $25,000 policy — $2,500 in coverage — would be insufficient protection, you'll need to pay more for expanded coverage.

A fairly inexpensive option for insuring your items in storage is increasing the overall limit of your policy to cover more of your items. Based on the average cost of renters insurance, raising your personal property coverage from $15,000 to $25,000 (going from $1,500 in storage coverage to $2,500) might cost you around $20 per year in New York City. Similarly, as the overall coverage of your homeowners insurance increases, each additional dollar amount is cheaper than the last.

You may also add protection to specific items or groups of items that your insurance policy does not cover. By adding endorsements or floaters in addition to your regular home or renters insurance policy, you can insure unique and expensive items, such as jewelry or your prolific basketball card collection, from a variety of calamities. The cost of endorsements and floaters depends on the nature of the item and the desired level of coverage.

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