Do You Need Storage Unit Insurance and How to Choose the Right Coverage

Couple researching storage unit insurance as they pack to move out

When it comes to storage unit insurance, there are many areas to navigate. What does storage insurance cover? Do I need insurance for my storage unit? Is it included with my storage unit or do I need to shop for it on my own? This guide will help answer all those questions and walk you through everything you need to know about storage insurance, including Neighbor’s Renter Guarantee which provides protection at no additional cost.

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How Does Storage Insurance Work?
How Much Does Storage Unit Insurance Cost?
What Other Types of Insurance Cover a Storage Unit?
What is covered under storage insurance?
Should you use storage unit insurance provided by a storage facility?
Neighbor’s Free Renter Guarantee

How does storage insurance work?

When it comes to protecting items stored away in a unit, a storage insurance policy is what will grant coverage if something happens to your property no matter where you might be. Some storage facilities may require it in order to reserve a unit and they may or may not offer storage insurance you can opt into if you don’t already have coverage, but not all facilities guarantee this offer.

If you own your home, your homeowners insurance might provide coverage or even your renter’s policy if you’re a renter. In most cases, your existing coverage may extend to the contents you keep within a storage unit.

How much does storage unit insurance cost?

If you don’t use any existing homeowners or renters policy to cover your storage unit, storage facilities may offer a storage insurance policy deductible ranging between $100 to $500 to cover between $2,500 to $5,000 worth of property.

As it applies when determining insurance pricing, the cost to acquire storage insurance will be dependent on how large your storage unit is and how valuable the property you’re storing is worth.

Use this helpful guide for choosing a storage unit type that fits your needs before determining the level of insurance coverage you’ll need.

What other types of insurance cover a storage unit?

In many instances, your existing insurance policies can likely extend coverage to protect your items in a storage unit. However, it’s important to check your existing insurance policy carefully to confirm if it will provide the level of storage unit insurance needed. If it doesn’t cover personal items kept in a storage unit or doesn’t provide enough coverage, you may want to consider changing your existing policy or seek out a separate storage insurance policy.

Homeowners insurance policy coverage: Most homeowners insurance likely acts as “storage unit insurance” depending on what items are being stored. Be sure to check your “off-premises coverage” section on your existing homeowners insurance policy to confirm if your personal property and valuables intended for storage will have the protection you need. In terms of protection, it’s likely that any items stolen or damaged in your storage unit won’t have the same amount of coverage as they would if stored they were stored in your home. In many cases, more valuable items such as firearms, jewelry, antiques, art, collectibles, and other highly expensive items may have limited coverage or not be included in under your existing policy at all.

Renters insurance coverage: Most renters insurance policies provide coverage that protects items in a storage unit. However, with renters insurance, the coverage limit may be significantly lower than what you actually need and you’ll want to either update your existing renters policy to increase coverage or opt into coverage provided by a facility if it’s available. Similar to the limitations often found with homeowners insurance coverage, your existing renters insurance policy may not include more valuable or rare items stored.

Auto insurance policy coverage: Existing car insurance policies are your best bet for car storage insurance needs and there are many different types of coverage to choose from when opting for an auto insurance policy, depending on how you intend on using your vehicle. Driving-related type coverage aside, you may only need comprehensive coverage if you’re storing a car for more than 30-days to protect against any damaging events outside of your control such as weather disasters, vandalism, fire, theft, etc. If you reduce your current auto insurance policy down to comprehensive-only coverage, you may also benefit in getting a lowered premium cost as well. The financial status of the car will likely dictate if comprehensive-only coverage will be enough to protect your vehicle in storage without needing collision coverage as well.

Boat insurance policy coverage: When storing your boat during the off-season, you’ll still want to make sure it’s protected against theft, disasters, or unforeseen damages. Ending your existing boat insurance policy while storing your watercraft is not recommended and existing homeowners insurance might extend coverage to your boat, but it’s likely not enough and may not apply at all if stored off-premises. Depending on the financial status of your boat, updating your current policy to opt into winter-only coverage may be available to protect your boat while stored during the off-season and save on costs to maintain coverage. However, year-round coverage may be the only option to ensure your boat stays protected if it’s financed.

What is covered under storage insurance?

Take a look at your existing policy to assess what types of damage are typically covered. For example, some insurance policies may not cover flood or water damage. Others may not cover specific types of natural disasters. Make sure you know what coverage your policy offers and how it applies to your storage unit.

Coverage for water or smoke damage: Damages caused by water or smoke are most commonly excluded from storage unit insurance coverage, depending on the policy you have. For example, renters insurance often covers fire damage, but not water damage. If you choose storage insurance provided by the facility or a third-party provider, be sure to verify the extent of water or smoke damage that can be covered and weigh in the total value of the items you’re going to be storing with the threshold provided in the policy.
Storage facility insurance coverage for extreme weather or natural disasters – Most storage insurance policies through renters, homeowners, or a third-party usually cover damages caused by natural disasters, but you likely won’t find a policy protecting against a specific type of disaster. If you’re using your homeowners insurance or renters insurance to cover your storage unit contents, for example, the off-premises coverage will typically cover fire, tornadoes, and lighting, but may not include floods or earthquakes. Be sure to check your current coverage policy with serious consideration to the types of natural disasters that are most prone to occurring in the area you’ll be storing your items.

Coverage for pests or mold: Most storage insurance policies don’t cover instances of damages caused by mold, mildew, or pests. Read over your policy thoroughly before you sign on or ask your storage unit provider what their policies are in addressing mold prevention and pest control.

Coverage for lost or stolen items: If property kept in a storage unit gets lost or stolen, it’s highly unlikely that a storage insurance policy provided by the facility itself will cover any damages. This is especially the case if the storage facility has security cameras and features in place, which makes them less likely to be found liable for recovering those damages. Existing homeowners or renters insurance can be your best protection in the case of lost or stolen property from your storage unit, but that will solely depend on what your policy provides for “off-premises” protection.

Coverage for highly valuable items: For valuables such as art, jewelry, furs, collectibles, and such, any storage insurance policy will likely only cover damages up to a certain limit. Double check to see what this threshold is and where it currently stands in your existing policy, then consider adding a floater to expand your coverage so these items are protected from any damages in full.

Should you use storage unit insurance provided by a storage facility?

Insurance provided directly by storage facilities have their own limitations to what’s covered, what’s not, and up to a certain amount, but this also applies to most homeowners and renters insurance policies as well, but in different ways.

For example, a policy provided by a storage facility would automatically cover damages to appliances, furniture, or electronics just as your homeowners or renters insurance policy would, but this coverage may be up to an amount much lower than what your existing homeowners or renters policy provides. On the other hand, your homeowners policy may not provide enough protection for storing a large boat or RV, so vehicle insurance or finding third-party insurance may be the better option.

When it comes to deciding what storage insurance policy is best for you, always read over your existing homeowners or renters insurance policy thoroughly before opting into a policy provided by a storage facility. Consider the total value of what you’re going to be storing and compare that against the level of coverage a policy provides. In some cases, you can add a floater to your existing policy to include more expensive items, but not without a higher cost.

Storage unit protection with Neighbor’s Renter Guarantee

Storage unit insurance is vital to protecting the possessions you store off-site, away from your home. Fortunately, Neighbor provides storage protection with a $25,000 Renter Guarantee at no additional cost. In addition to helping you find the available storage units that fit your needs, location, and price point, Neighbor will protect your possessions or make it easier to replace them without the hassles and fine print you get with typical insurance providers.

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