When you rent a unit from a storage facility, you should have some sort of insurance coverage to protect your belongings. If you already have a renters insurance policy, you can use that to provide some limited coverage of your stored possessions. There are, however, other options. A popular one is self-storage insurance.
- Renters insurance does cover your belongings that are kept in a storage facility. However, there are limits.
- Self-storage facilities may require you to have insurance of some sort as part of the rental agreement.
- A renters insurance policy usually covers personal property in a storage unit at 10% of your policy's personal property limit.
Does renters insurance cover storage units?
Renters insurance provides coverage for your belongings kept in a storage facility. However, there are limits. Most renters insurance policies have a maximum limit, usually 10% of your policy's personal property coverage. This means that if your renters insurance policy has a limit of $50,000 for personal property, you'll probably only get $5,000 of coverage for your belongings in a storage unit. Homeowners insurance policies have similar limitations for self-storage coverage.
Under your renters insurance policy, your belongings in storage will be covered against the same perils as they would be when in your rental home. By the same token, damage exclusions such as mold, flood and vermin are not covered in your storage unit just like they aren't when in your rental home. The following perils are usually covered by renters insurance:
- Falling objects, including trees or tree limbs
- A sudden, accidental release of water or steam, such as from a burst pipe
If you're looking to get additional coverage, you can increase your personal property coverage limits. This can get you more coverage for items stored in a storage unit. If you have expensive jewelry or artwork, insurance companies may also offer endorsements, which will provide more protection for luxury items. You usually need to provide receipts or appraisals to verify the value of these items.
Claim process for items stored in storage units
The actual payout you get after a claim filed for damaged or destroyed personal property in your storage unit depends on whether your policy pays out at replacement cost or actual cash value.
Replacement cost policies replace damaged or destroyed items regardless of the cost to do so. Actual cash value, or "ACV," policies pay out what the item is worth after factoring in depreciation due to age.
The deductible you pay when filing a storage unit claim is the same as when you file a claim for your rental unit. The most common deductibles in this case are $500 or $1,000. Your deductible amount will be noted in your policy.
To make the claim process go smoothly, you should create an inventory list of the belongings you have in storage. Include the make, model and cost of each item when you can. This will make filing a claim easier, as well as possibly speeding up the payout.
A common alternative to renters insurance coverage for a storage unit is self-storage insurance.
You can get self-storage insurance policies through licensed insurance companies that provide them. Self-storage insurance can cost less than $10 a month. Compared to coverage offered through a renters insurance policy, self-storage insurance policies have more flexible coverage limits.
SnapNsure™ is one company that offers self-storage insurance. It offers $2,000 worth of coverage for a monthly cost of $8.99. At the high end, you can get $25,000 of coverage for $65.99 a month.
Who is responsible if someone breaks into my storage unit?
You bear the ultimate responsibility if your belongings are stolen or damaged in your storage unit. Rental unit facility agreements commonly state that they are not in any way responsible for your property. These facilities carry insurance, but it's limited to damage to the building itself and their liability.
Frequently asked questions
Many self-storage facilities require you to have insurance of some sort as part of their rental agreement.
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