Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Items in Storage Units?

Many Americans have used today’s social distancing rules as incentives to do their spring cleaning. Clutter is something that everyone deals with and that few people enjoy. To cut down on clutter in their homes, many people rent storage units to house items they don’t use frequently. If you keep items in a storage unit, that does not mean they don’t have value to you. You will want to protect them and probably replace them if they ever sustain damage. However, you might wonder if your homeowners insurance will cover items in storage?

Lucky for most people, homeowners insurance will cover the possessions inside storage facilities. However, coverage limits and exclusions will apply to these items. Therefore, you’ll have to make sure your coverage can adequately address losses if they occur.

Coverage for Possessions in Storage

Homeowners insurance typically offers possessions insurance. It might cover your electronics, clothing, furniture, appliances and various other belongings. One benefit to homeowners is that the policy will likely apply to items housed both on or off your property.

So, when you place items in a storage unit, they will likely continue to have a degree of protection. This storage unit might be on your own property, or one that you lease from a storage company.

Still, though homeowners insurance might help, it might still not be enough coverage. Once you take an item off your property, possessions coverage might restrict. You’ll have to make accommodations to address these limitations.

Limits on Items in Storage

Commonly, once you take an item to a storage unit, the amount of coverage you have for the possessions will drop. For example, your possessions insurance might include a limit of $50,000. This is the largest amount it will pay for all contents in your home. However, the policy might even pay a lower maximum limit, say 10% ($5,000), for the items in a storage unit. So, if you make a claim for the contents of the storage unit, then your policy might only pay up to $5,000 for these items.

However, there are ways you can address this issue. For example:

  • You might increase your overall possessions insurance limit. This will likewise increase coverage on stored items.
  • Another solution might be to buy a scheduled personal property endorsement for certain items. With these endorsements, you can insure high-value possessions that need special coverage considerations. The endorsement can apply both on your property and in storage units.

While some storage companies offer insurance for clients’ stored belongings, the coverage provided by homeowners insurance is often a better fit for your unique items. However, just make sure that you have the right coverage to address your needs.

FAQ’s About Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Items in Storage Units?

Does homeowners insurance provide coverage for personal items stored in off-site storage units?

Yes, most homeowners insurance policies typically include off-premises coverage, which extends to personal items stored in off-site storage units. However, the coverage limit for off-premises items is usually a percentage of the total personal property coverage and may not be sufficient for all stored belongings.

What percentage of my homeowners insurance personal property coverage applies to items in a storage unit?

The percentage can vary depending on your insurance policy, but it’s common for insurers to provide about 10% of your total personal property coverage for items stored off-premises. Always check your specific policy details to understand your coverage limits.

Are there any types of items that are not covered by homeowners insurance when placed in a storage unit?

Yes, certain items may be excluded from coverage or have limited coverage when stored in a storage unit. High-value items such as jewelry, fine art, and collectibles often require additional coverage. It’s important to review your policy or speak with your insurance agent to understand any exclusions or limitations.

Will my homeowners insurance cover damages to items in a storage unit caused by natural disasters?

Coverage for natural disasters will depend on the specifics of your policy and the type of natural disaster. Standard homeowners insurance policies typically cover damages from events like fires and windstorms, but may not cover floods or earthquakes. For those, you might need separate insurance.

If my storage unit is burglarized, will my homeowners insurance cover the loss?

Homeowners insurance usually covers theft, so if your storage unit is burglarized, your policy should cover the loss, up to your off-premises coverage limit. Be sure to file a police report and an insurance claim promptly.

How do I ensure that my homeowners insurance coverage is adequate for the items in my storage unit?

To ensure adequate coverage, create an inventory of the items in your storage unit, assess their value, and compare it to the off-premises coverage limit in your homeowners policy. If the value exceeds the limit, consider purchasing additional insurance, such as a floater or endorsement.

Is there a difference in coverage between a self-storage unit and a full-service storage facility under my homeowners insurance policy?

Generally, homeowners insurance does not differentiate between self-storage units and full-service storage facilities regarding personal property coverage. However, full-service storage facilities may offer additional security or climate control that could reduce the risk of damage or loss, which could be beneficial for insurance purposes.

Can I purchase additional insurance specifically for items in my storage unit?

Yes, many insurance companies offer storage unit insurance, also known as storage insurance or self-storage insurance, which can provide additional coverage for your stored belongings. This can be particularly useful if your homeowners policy limits are insufficient for the value of your stored items.

What steps should I take if I need to file a claim for items damaged in my storage unit?

If you need to file a claim, document the damage with photos or videos, compile an inventory list of affected items, and gather any receipts or appraisals that prove their value. Then, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to start the claims process.

Will the location of my storage unit affect my homeowners insurance coverage?

The location of your storage unit can affect coverage, especially if it’s in an area prone to certain risks, like flooding or high crime rates. It’s crucial to inform your insurance provider about the location of your storage unit to understand how it might impact your coverage and if additional insurance is necessary.

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