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Self-Storage Unit Insurance-Reasons NOT to Rely on Your Homeowners Policy

Relying on your homeowners insurance policy or your renters policy to protect the items in your self-storage unit is not your best option.

Relying on your homeowners insurance policy or your renters policy to protect the items in your self-storage unit is not your best option.

You need insurance to safeguard your property. While your valuable items are generally safe in most storage facilities, there is always the possibility that fire, weather events, or criminal actions could put them at risk of damage or loss.

You will find that there are some serious watchouts when it comes to hoping your homeowners insurance will cover items in your self-storage unit.

Homeowners Policies May Not Cover Self-Storage

Homeowners coverage may not extend to items you keep in storage. Read through the fine print of your policy to see if items stored off-premises are covered. If coverage isn’t specified, you can assume you don’t have protection for items in your storage unit.

You can often get an extension of coverage, but you will have to pay for it. A special rider on your homeowner’s policy will specify the specifics on storage unit protection—and the upcharge you will have to pay.

Homeowners Coverage of Storage Units Is Limited

Even if your policy covers your storage unit or you buy a rider, coverage is limited. You might see protection against theft, fire damage, and specific weather disasters, but flooding, earthquake, and destruction caused by mold, mildew or mice may not be included.

Policies may be written in such a way that conditions they can blame on the storage facility invalidate coverage. Some policies further limit coverage to a small percentage of the amount stated in your policy—sometimes as little as 10%.That means that if you have a homeowners policy with $100,000 in coverage, the policy will only cover $10,000 of loss or damage of items in your storage locker. Policies also often place a restriction on such valuables as art, antiques, jewelry and critical documents.

Watch out for Extra Costs

A rider on your homeowners policy may not seem too expensive—until you try to use it. Most policies come with pricey deductibles. They might only reimburse you for losses above a certain amount. That means you could be out-of-pocket $1,000 to $3,000 before insurance covers anything.

And getting reimbursed for true full replacement cost is rare. Many policies put a cap on what an item is worth or pay current value as a used item.

Making a ClaimIs Time Consuming and Complex

The process of going through your homeowners’ insurance to make a claim for things damaged in storage is not straightforward. You may find it is truly frustrating, requiring endless forms, accident and damage reports, and proof of value in the form of receipts.

One option to consider is buying aself-storage policy. You can find independent companies that specialize in this kind of coverage and offer you the best rates. Some storage facilities have deals with insurance brands and offer coverage with rental. Not all policies are alike. It pays to do a little homework to compare coverage, deductibles, and rates.

Relying on your homeowners policy may seem convenient, but it can end up costing you time, aggravation and money in the end.