The average American home contains 300,000 items, with over 84% of homeowners seeing their dwelling as disorganized and even chaotic. Old furniture, books, photos, and other valuables — sometimes the emotional attachment is too strong to dump or sell things you no longer need, so you decide to keep them in a storage unit.
There are over 50,000 self-storage facilities and 23 million self-storage units in the United States, and the numbers keep growing. But not everyone knows that the storage unit provider bears no financial responsibility over your contents. Should the unexpected happen, you will have to pay out of pocket for all losses unless you are insured.
Storage unit insurance is crucial for your financial protection and peace of mind. Read on to learn everything you should know about insurance for storage units.
A storage unit is a space for storing valuables and items you deem worth storing. Storage units come in different types – on-site, off-site, indoor, outdoor, for storing cars, boats, wine, etc. – each one serving the purpose of decluttering, storing inventory, or maintaining a business.
Storage facilities are most popular in Texas (over 5,300 storage facilities) and least popular in Hawaii (around 90 storage facilities), but finding a storage unit nearby is rarely a problem.
Storage unit insurance covers your personal possessions from perils like vandalism, theft, inclement weather, and more. It may come as part of your homeowners, renters, or business insurance or as a standalone policy. However, as part of your regular homeowners, renters, or business insurance policy, storage unit coverage will typically be reduced to 10% of your limit for in-house belongings.
But then again, there may be exceptions to the rule. For example, if your home or apartment is being repaired or renovated, you may get full coverage for your belongings.
Storage unit coverage covers damage from perils such as weather conditions (fire, wind, lightning, snow, ice, hail, smoke, etc.), falling objects, explosions, riots, theft, and vandalism. Different policies include coverage for different perils.
The most common exclusions in standard policies are earthquakes, floods, mudslides, mold, insects, water damage, power failure, neglect, wear and tear, and lack of maintenance. To cover these cases, you may have to purchase a separate policy or specifically include coverage for these perils in your policy.
Most storage unit providers will require you to have storage unit coverage. But you don’t necessarily have to buy a new insurance policy, as you may already have personal possessions coverage under your homeowners or renters insurance. But then again, if your standard coverage isn’t enough, you may want to add more coverage as an addendum to your policy or buy a standalone storage unit policy.
Aside from standard storage units, there are mini-storage and mobile storage units. If you need to take valuables with you, you may need a policy for mobile storage. Mini-storage may also be transferable.
An important thing to remember is that the coverage limit for personal possessions in a storage unit is usually only 10% of the limit allocated for possessions stored at home. You may want more coverage if you have valuable belongings like jewelry or expensive electronics.
When choosing your storage unit coverage, you may:
The cost of storage unit insurance varies from around $5 to $30 per month and possibly more depending on the provider, type and amount of coverage, covered perils, and other factors.
Whether purchasing storage unit insurance is worth it in your case depends on how much coverage you have on your current insurance policy, the value of your personal belongings, your budget, and risk tolerance.
Remember, however, that having insurance is the only way to get financial protection from the unexpected, including protecting your business income. On the contrary, if you don’t have storage unit insurance, you won’t be compensated regardless of the scenario. For example, even if the theft was caught on camera, you wouldn’t be compensated for the stolen items should you not have storage unit insurance.
Among the best storage unit insurers in the United States are SafeStor, MiniCo, and SnapNsure, with each one offering different types of coverage. For example, SnapNsure offers the most affordable plans starting at $6.99 per month for $2,000 worth of coverage with a $100 deductible. On top of that, many renowned homeowners insurance companies include some storage unit coverage (usually, 10% of the coverage allocated for in-house possessions) in their policies.
Storage unit insurance is not mandatory in the United States, but you may need it to rent a storage unit and protect your personal belongings, especially if you’re storing jewelry, electronics, pieces of art, or other valuables.
Your homeowners, renters, or business insurance coverage may include storage unit coverage. However, most standard homeowners, renters, and business policies will only cover your belongings for 10% of your policy’s limit, which is why you may want to buy extra coverage.
You can purchase a standalone policy from your storage unit company or their affiliated partner, or you can include storage unit coverage to your homeowners, renters, or business insurance plan.
The type and amount of storage unit coverage you need depend on the value of your personal belongings, your budget, risk tolerance, and whether your homeowners, renters, or business insurance plan includes storage unit coverage (and how much of it).
Basic storage unit insurance starts at $5 per month and goes up to $30 per month and even more depending on the type and amount of coverage needed.
Oleksandr is an expert in deep research. He covers various insurance topics across verticals, adopting to every local law.
Date added: September 19, 2022