Is My Storage Unit Insured by My Homeowners Policy?

Person unlocking padlock on their self-storage unit.Stuff. And lots of it. Modern-day Americans often have more stuff than they know what to do with. Enter: storage units—a place to keep all the extra stuff you don’t have space (or a need) for in your everyday living space. From holiday decorations to unused furniture, sentimental keepsakes to seasonal wardrobes, and family heirlooms to collector’s items, storage lockers can be useful in a variety of ways. But just like your house, office, or car, storage units are exposed to risks that can damage or destroy your possessions. While they’re tucked away and out of sight, how do you protect your belongings? Is your storage unit insured?  

What Personal Property Does Homeowners or Renters Insurance Cover?  

In many cases, your homeowners insurance covers more than just your home, and the same can be true of renters insurance. Both types of basic insurance cover your personal belongings, up to a certain amount, and in certain loss situations—all of which are determined by the policy you purchased.  

When you have items stored elsewhere—like in a detached garage, a gardening shed, or an off-premises storage unit—your home insurance may provide the same coverage as it does for the items inside your living space. However, the coverage limit is typically much lower than the standard personal property coverage, which is already based on a percentage of the dwelling coverage amount. 

A Note About High-Value Personal Property Items 

Since the coverage limit of your stored personal property is likely far less than that of your on-site personal property, it’s not advised to store high-value items away from your home. Expensive jewelry, priceless antiques, fine art, and other big-ticket or irreplaceable items would only be covered at a small fraction of their worth. Luxury goods like these should be covered with special add-on policies or insurance endorsements to suit your unique needs.  

My Storage Unit: What’s Covered and Not Covered 

Your personal belongings in storage are usually protected against the same hazards as your homeowners or renters insurance, including: 

  • Fire, smoke, wind, and lightning 
  • Theft and vandalism 
  • Falling objects and explosions 
  • Weight of snow or ice  

On the other hand, the hazards which are typically excluded from coverage through your existing insurance would also be excluded when it comes to your storage unit. The common exclusions are:  

  • Flooding 
  • Earthquakes 
  • Mold and mildew 
  • Vermin, rodents, and pest infestations 
  • Poor maintenance 
  • Wear and tear 
  • Water damage 

Can I Purchase a Separate Policy to Get My Storage Unit Insured? 

Yes. And doing so is recommended if you don’t have homeowners insurance or any other kind of coverage that would apply to your stored items. Many storage rental facilities offer their own stand-alone storage unit insurance policies; some storage companies even require proof of insurance coverage in order to rent from them. If you’re going to buy a separate policy for your unit, it’s best to compare prices first; make sure you thoroughly read the policy and understand exactly what’s covered and what the limitations are.  

Whether you’re storing sentimental things you can’t part with or bulky winter sweaters that just don’t fit in your closet year-round, you need adequate coverage to protect your belongings in case of damage or destruction. Unsure if your current homeowners insurance covers your storage unit, or interested in adding on to your policy to do so? Contact TJ Woods Insurance Agency today. We’ll help your peace of mind by getting your storage unit insured.