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

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

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Storage unit insurance is typically included in homeowners or renters insurance — so if you already have a policy, then your belongings are likely protected no matter where they are in the world.

But you can also buy storage unit insurance as a stand-alone policy from specialized vendors. This might be a good option if you don't already have renters or homeowners insurance or if the property you're storing is expensive. Here's what to know if you need storage unit insurance.

Does renters insurance cover storage units?

Renters insurance covers your belongings for up to 10% of your policy limits while they're in a storage unit, as long as the facility doesn't exclude those items.

So if your policy's personal property 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.

For example, let's say you're painting your home office and you want to move a stack of books into storage. If those books get ruined while in storage, then your policy would compensate you for up to the full coverage limit instead of only 10%.

Do storage units have their own insurance?

Because self-storage facilities require customers to have insurance, storage companies almost always offer their own policies or policies from a third-party specialty insurer. However, these policies may exclude some forms of water and smoke damage, 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 policies exclude 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

Limit
SafeStor
MiniCo
$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

The cost of insuring your belongings with renters and homeowners insurance depends on your options.

  • Typical renters or homeowners insurance policy: In most cases, homeowners and renters insurance policies cover stored property for up to 10% of the policy's total coverage limit. So if you have a $25,000 policy and $2,500 in storage coverage isn't enough to cover your belongings, you'll need to pay more for expanded coverage.
  • Expanded renters or homeowners insurance: A fairly cheap option is to increase the overall limit of your policy to cover more of your items. Based on the average cost of renters insurance, raising your limit from $15,000 to $25,000 might cost you around $20 per year in New York City.
  • Add endorsements: You can also protect 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. The cost of endorsements and floaters depends on the nature of the item and the desired level of coverage.

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