Do I Really Need Storage Unit Insurance?
Storage unit insurance is important for the same reason that renter’s insurance and homeowner’s insurance is important — because your belongings are valuable. In many cases, even if you have homeowners insurance, you’ll need to also get storage unit insurance to ensure that the items you’re keeping off your property are protected from a variety of natural disasters and theft.
In general, homeowner’s insurance will cover most types of personal property, such as clothing, electronics, furniture, and appliances. However, be aware that certain items aren’t covered by particular policies: for example, jewelry and cash are usually not covered.
And, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, homeowner’s insurance can cover your belongings even if it’s not physically located on your property. However, this is not always the case.
So, the first step is to determine if the storage facility you’re using will accept your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies. If they give you the green light, then you’ll need to figure out if your policy will actually cover belongings stored in the unit.
This can easily be done by calling your insurance company and having a representative point out exactly where in your policy the details about off-site storage are located. You’ll want to make sure that whatever you’re storing in your unit is going to be covered.
Though standard homeowner’s insurance will typically include personal property coverage, it doesn’t cover all natural disasters. Most policies do cover damage caused by hail, lightning strikes, windstorms, and fires. However, other types of incidents, such as earthquakes and floods, require additional insurance policies to protect your belongings from those risks.
Thankfully, even if you renter’s or homeowner’s insurance isn’t going to provide you the coverage you need, there’s storage unit insurance.
What is Storage Unit Insurance?
Storage unit insurance is exactly what it sounds like. It’s additional insurance to protect your personal belongings while they are in an off-premise storage unit. Though it varies between facilities, some will refuse to rent a storage unit to a client who does not have storage unit insurance of some type.
Thankfully, because of the security provided and the low-risk nature of keeping your belongings in a storage unit, this type of insurance often costs only a few dollars a month.
The total cost for your self storage insurance will be dependent on just a couple of factors: the insurance company with which you take your policy and what you’re insuring. Compared to many other types of insurance, self storage insurance is cheap — which is just another good reason to have it.
Depending on what type of insurance you get, storage unit insurance could cost anywhere from 50 cents to $2 for every $100 worth of items you are storing. On average, your coverage will usually start at $1,000 for $6 per month and ends at $15,000 for $24 per month.
There are three primary options when it comes to storage unit insurance: you can get it through the storage facility; you can get it through an independent self storage insurance agency; or you can get it through a private insurance agency.
Storage Unit Insurance Via Storage Facility
Many storage facilities, aware of the importance of storage unit insurance, offer their own insurance policies to renters. In such cases, there often is not a deductible. However, the rates can be a little high and the overall coverage low; the typical policy will cover $2,500 to $5,000 worth of damaged or stolen items.
If you’re looking at such a policy, make sure to read all the fine print, as these policies are usually very basic and won’t cover a variety of items or types of damage. That’s not to say they aren’t a great choice for you, just that you need to do some research to ensure they’re a great choice.
Storage Unit Insurance Via Independent Self Storage Insurance Company
This will be the right choice for you if you need to cover more valuables than might be covered with the policy offered by a storage facility. Basically, it’s going to function as a serious upgrade over a basic insurance policy. You can expect to be able to have up to $15,000 worth of goods covered, with coverage in more scenarios, such as earthquakes and flooding.
However, you’ll be paying more for this level of coverage. In general, such storage unit insurance packages cost $20 to $25 a month.
Storage Unit Insurance Via Private Insurance Company
In circumstances where you have renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance, your policy might already have you covered — at least partially covered. If that’s the case, your rates will be much lower than other policies. However, you’ll still want to look at the details, as you might decide that opting for additional storage unit insurance is the best choice for your needs.
One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that your policy will have a limit for personal property coverage, even for off-premises property. According to the NAIC, property coverage is up to 50 percent of the policy's dwelling coverage limit.
Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance policies have lower limits for your belongings stored away from your covered property. That cap could be set for as little as 10 percent of your personal property coverage. So if you’re insurance covers up to $150,000, the amount for personal property could likely be capped at $75,000, and only $7,500 worth of belongings would be covered off-premise. However, you’ll definitely need to look at your personal homeowners policy to be clear on the details.
Final Thoughts: Do I Really Need Storage Unit Insurance?
Yes. Yes, you really do need storage unit insurance in the same way you need renters or homeowners insurance.
Just because a storage facility has top-notch security in the form of cameras and on-site personnel, doesn’t mean things can’t still happen. There is always the possibility of theft or a natural disaster. And, in such cases, it’s best to ensure that you can replace your belongings.
Want to know more about your options for storage unit insurance? Talk to the experts about it!