A picture showing storage units

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Storage Units?

Updated March 2, 2024 . AmFam Team

Storing personal property in storage units is a great way to protect the things that you don’t have room for where you live. And they’re a good answer for items you use seasonally. From outdoor furniture, to bicycles and other important items, storage lockers can really help declutter your home. And they’re a great option if you need extra space to store your personal property during a move.

But do you know if homeowners insurance covers your storage unit? Your homeowners insurance can act as “storage unit insurance” depending on your coverage — but it may be limited and not cover all the valuables you store off-premises.

Before you sign a self-storage unit rental contract, be sure you’ve got the coverage you need to safely store your belongings. The best way to do that is to reach out to your American Family Insurance agent with a list of the things you’ll be storing and their value. Let’s look at how your homeowners coverage can protect the things you stow away from home.

What is personal property insurance for?
If the things you've worked so hard for were damaged or destroyed, how much would it cost to replace it all?

Will my homeowners insurance cover my storage unit?

Similar to the protection your property has while in your house, your homeowners insurance has “off-premises coverage” that provides protection for your things in the form of personal property coverage Off-premises insurance coverage can extend to items you keep in storage units — but the coverage can vary according to the type of loss and other conditions.

It’s key that you review how you’re protected with your American Family Insurance agent to be sure of your coverage. You’ll get the details you need on how your personal property off-premises coverage protects the things you’ve worked so hard for.

Keep in mind that the limits for property in a storage unit may not be equal to those as the personal property you keep in your house. That’s because some homeowners policies cover “off-premises” personal property in a storage unit differently. They’ll typically offer coverage at a percentage of the total personal property insurance limit available to the items in your house.

Some items such as jewelry, watches, furs, tools, firearms, collectibles and other costly items are also limited in their coverage. For those types of items, you’ll need to pick up scheduled personal property coverage to protect their value.

Does renters insurance cover storage units?

Renters insurance for personal property locked in commercial storage units is typically included in most renters base policies, but again — it may be covered at a lower limit. Much like homeowners insurance, you won’t have as much coverage for stolen or damaged items stored there as you would if the covered loss happened in your rental. Exactly how much coverage you’ll have get can depend on your insurance company and the level of coverage you purchase.

A row of storage unit doors

Do I need homeowners or renters insurance to use a storage unit?

Many storage unit providers will require you to have homeowners or renters insurance before you can rent a storage unit. Generally, you will need to bring along a copy of your insurance policy as proof before you can sign a contract.

Some companies may offer insurance through a separate carrier to protect the value of your belongings. So be sure to ask for the specifics of their policy and compare it to your homeowners or renters coverage. You might find the insurance you already have covers your things, and that can save you some cash.

When are storage units not covered by homeowners or renters insurance?

Whenever your homeowners or renters insurance has an exclusion to a specific kind of damage, loss, or certain kinds of personal property, that exclusion will extend to the items in your storage unit. Issues like rodent infestations, flood damage and theft without proof of a break-in are just a few cases that either policies won’t cover.

And if you only have insurance through the storage company, their policies may not cover natural disasters. It can really pay off to check with your insurance agent to understand exactly how your personal property is covered while in a storage unit. Getting details on coverage before you need it is a great idea.

Additional Considerations for Items in Storage

Prior to renting a storage unit for your belongings, there are a few things you should consider about storage unit safety. Since most homeowners or renters insurance only cover your personal property up to a limited amount, you might want to consider raising your current insurance limit. In addition to boosting the coverage on your personal property stored off-premises, the items in your home will be insured for more when you raise those limits as well.

Some high-value items, like art, antiques and jewelry may be covered by your homeowners or renters insurance, although they may have limited coverage if stored off-premises. Remember to always inspect the storage unit facility and your unit before signing an agreement to rent. And ask if the rental company is contracted with an exterminator — to prevent damage to your belongings from rodents.

Homeowners and renters insurance are valuable coverages for more than your personal belongings at home. Knowing what your insurance policy covers when choosing a storage unit is a smart move. You’ll have more peace of mind when you store your items and protect their value with the right amount of coverage. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent — they’re experts at helping to keep your finances safe.

This information represents only a brief description of coverages, is not part of your policy, and is not a promise or guarantee of coverage. If there is any conflict between this information and your policy, the provisions of the policy will prevail. Insurance policy terms and conditions may apply. Exclusions may apply to policies, endorsements, or riders. Coverage may vary by state and may be subject to change. Some products are not available in every state. Please read your policy and contact your agent for assistance.

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