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Insurance for Your Possessions in Storage

The most common mistake that people make when renting a storage unit is that they assume the storage facility has insurance coverage for their possessions. This is not the case. The owner of the storage facility only has insurance on the building. The owner of the storage facility does not know what possessions each renter may have stored, the appropriate value of those possessions, nor does the owner of the storage facility have the legal right to file a claim for possessions owned by others.

The owner of the possessions is the one who is responsible for maintaining insurance coverage on the possessions regardless of where the possessions are kept.

If you have a homeowners policy or a renters policy, sometimes that policy will include a small amount of coverage for “possessions stored off premises”. In Missouri, the amount of coverage included in the homeowners or renters policy for possessions stored off premises typically ranges from 0% to 10% of the contents coverage on the policy. Additional coverage can be purchased for a reasonable premium amount to appropriately cover the contents kept in your storage unit.

For example, if you have a homeowners policy which insures your house for $100,000.00 and your contents for $50,000.00, then the maximum coverage that you might have for contents at a storage unit would be $5,000.00 (10% of the contents coverage). The actual amount of coverage will vary depending on your specific policy and you can request additional coverage to be added to your policy if needed based on the value of your items.

Also, most policies have restrictions on the type of contents that they will cover in case of a loss that occurs off premises. Items which have a high value or may have a wide range of values based on specific features of that item may be required to be listed individually or they will be excluded from coverage. These would include items such as guns, antiques, jewelry, furs, etc. Also, most homeowners and renters policies will not cover items which are used to earn money –those are considered business or commercial items and must be covered under a different kind of policy which must be purchased separately.

Everyone who rents a storage unit is advised to discuss insurance coverage with their insurance agent to determine if they have coverage for the items in storage and if so, if the amount of coverage they have is appropriate for the possessions stored there. On the Quick Packing Tips page of this site, we recommend that you make a list of the items in your storage unit so that you will know what is there and not spend time searching in various places to locate an item that is in storage. We also recommend that you share the list of items with your insurance agent at the time you rent the storage unit to determine if you have adequate insurance coverage for your possessions.