There are between 45,000 and 52,000 storage facilities in the US. About 9.4% of the American population rents a storage unit.
While most of us aren't going to store our valuable jewelry in a storage unit, there are other valuable items at stake. That's why it's a smart idea to learn about storage unit insurance.
While renters or homeowners insurance does cover some of the risks, neither types of insurance cover everything. We want to help you learn exactly what insurance for storage units does cover.
That way, if something does happen to your stuff, you have a way to recoup your losses. Keep reading to learn all about self-storage rental insurance.
What Storage Unit Insurance Covers Vs Homeowners, Renters or Business Insurance
Your homeowners, renters or business insurance policy protects your belongings no matter where in the world you're keeping them. However, these types of insurance typically only insure up to 10% of your policy limits while you're keeping your stuff in storage.
If the property you're storing in a unit is worth more than 10% of your existing policy's limit, you should consider insurance for storage units. You should also be aware that renters insurance often comes with lower limits than homeowners insurance does.
Storage Insurance Often Has No Deductible
The only time both home or business insurance policies cover the entire value of your belongings is if your home or office is currently unfit to store your items such as during a renovation or repairs.
Also, while filing a claim against your homeowner's or business insurance will always come with a deductible, many storage insurance policies have no deductible.
Certain Items Aren't Covered by Homeowners Insurance
Most vehicles are not covered by homeowners or renters insurance. Typically insurance plans do not cover the following occurrences:
Fire, lightning, smoke
Riot or civil commotion
Vandalism or malicious mischief
Vehicles, which usually means impact with a vehicle
Water or steam that escapes from pipes or air conditions, fire sprinklers, a household appliance like a dishwasher
Weight of snow, ice, or sleet
Windstorm or hail
You would need to insure them separately if you plan to store them in a storage facility.
Exceptions to Insurance Coverage
The only exceptions are:
A car in dead storage
Storing anything used to service your residence such as a vehicle specifically designed to assist disabled people
However, even these exceptions are subject to the 10% coverage limit.
Reasons to Buy Insurance for Storage Units
There are several reasons to buy storage unit rental insurance. If you're storing anything with a lot of sentimental or monetary value, it's worth the peace of mind to ensure they're covered should anything happen.
Especially since items such as furs and jewelry are often not covered under other types of policies.
Protected Against Thieves
Most storage facilities provide their customers with security features that are better than what's found at the average home or apartment. Many have surveillance and control systems provided to customers 24/7.
While it's more difficult for thieves to steal from a storage facility, it does still happen. The more protection you have, the less you have to worry about.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, global warming is causing extreme weather conditions such as heatwaves, storms, and floods. Extreme weather can cause damage to your property.
And most insurance policies don't cover flooding unless you purchase special flood insurance. However, storage unit policies typically cover the following:
Some Storage Facilities Require Storage Insurance
Storage companies are legally allowed to require their customers to get storage insurance. Make sure you're aware of whether your storage facility requires extra insurance or not before you sign a contract.
Storage Unit Insurance Rates
It's not expensive to get renters insurance storage unit. Typically, the rates range between $8 to $38 per month for $10,000 worth of coverage.
Remember that you're not insuring everything you own with this type of insurance. You're only buying insurance for the items you're keeping in storage.
Rates and Policies Will Vary
Rates will also depend on where in the country you're renting a storage unit. Prices may be higher in New York City than in Burlington, Vermont.
It's also not unusual for companies to offer more than one type of policy. And while your storage facility may sell storage insurance, it's being provided by a third-party vendor.
Where to Buy Self-Storage Rental Insurance
Typically, there are three options on where you can buy insurance. As mentioned, the storage facility you rent from may offer it.
You can also buy insurance from an independent self-storage insurer. And your last option is to buy insurance your own insurance company.
How to Research Different Coverage Options
Do some research to ensure you're getting the best coverage for your money. Here's what to look for in a good policy:
Find out if there's a maximum coverage limit. Take inventory of your stored items to discover their value.
This will help you find the best policy based on your needs.
Restrictions on Inventory
Not all policies are the same. Some policies do not cover items such as jewelry or cash.
After doing an inventory, make sure everything you're storing will be covered by your policy. Ask if you need items with high values to be appraised.
Every policy comes with its own set of rules you must follow in order to receive coverage. You may need to submit an updated inventory every time you take something out of storage.
You may also need to include photos of high-end items.
Find Out What's Covered
Make sure your insurance covers the types of property you're keeping in storage. You should also find out what types of damage the policy covers such as natural disasters or theft.
Get a Free Quote
Most insurance companies are happy to provide you with a free storage unit insurance quote. Get at least three quotes so you have an idea of pricing.