Does homeowners insurance cover contents of a storage unit?
Last updated: August 2023
Even though belongings in a storage unit are not in your home, your homeowners insurance policy may help protect those items from certain perils.
Homeowners insurance typically includes personal property coverage. Personal property coverage helps protect your belongings, which may include clothes, appliances, electronics and furniture, from certain risks up to the coverage limits in your policy. This type of protection may help cover your belongings even while not physically located at your home, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
However, there are some important things to keep in mind.
Insurance coverage for storage unit contents
Insurance coverage for belongings in a storage unit is typically provided by the "off-premises" personal property coverage in a homeowners policy. Covered perils typically include fire, lightning, theft and vandalism, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Check your policy to determine what types of risks may be covered.
Personal property coverage has a limit, the maximum amount your insurer will pay to help repair or replace your belongings after a covered loss. Generally, the coverage limit on personal property coverage is up to 50 percent of the policy's dwelling coverage limit, says the NAIC.
However, many homeowners policies have lower limits for belongings located away from your home. For example, if you have $75,000 in personal property coverage under your homeowners policy, coverage for belongings kept off-premises may be capped at $7,500. Check your policy or contact your insurance provider to learn how much coverage you have for these items.
Additional considerations for items in storage
If the value of your stored items is greater than your off-premises coverage, you may want to consider options that may help further protect your belongings in a storage unit.
- Increased coverage limits: If your off-premises coverage is a fraction of your personal property coverage, you may wish to increase your personal property coverage limit in your homeowners insurance policy. That may result in an increased limit for belongings while those items are away from your home.
- Increased coverage for high-value items: If you intend to place highly valuable items, such as art or jewelry, in a storage unit, the III says you may want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage to specifically protect those items.
- Self-storage insurance: Some storage facilities may offer insurance that may help protect your belongings, either as part of your contract or for an additional cost, the III says.
To help decide whether you may benefit from additional coverage for items in a storage facility, read your policy or talk to your insurance provider to determine how your belongings may or may not be covered while in storage.