7 Frequently Asked Questions about Self Storage Tenant Insurance

Andrea Hewitt | Jan 23, 2014 @ 08:49 AM

Everything you should know about tenant insurance.

Some facilities offer tenant insurance policies and some actually require it before move in. If you’re shopping for a storage facility and see these options but don’t know what tenant insurance covers or how much it should cost, we’ve put together these frequently asked questions that you can refer to.

What does tenant insurance cover?

You’ll have to read your coverage contract with a fine-tooth comb, but most policies cover damage to your belongings from burglary, lightning, windstorm, hail, fire, smoke, earthquakes, building collapse, explosion, vandalism, riot, rodent damage and water damage. If your storage unit is in a flood zone, make sure your policy covers flooding because many policies don’t.

Is the cost of tenant insurance worth it?

The cost is actually fairly low. For example, Extra Space Storage offers $2,000 to $10,000 insurance coverage for $9 to $40 a month. If you cared enough to store these belongings instead of throwing them in a dumpster, chances are you care enough to pay the low monthly fee to insure them.

Does my homeowners or renters insurance cover my storage unit?

The good news is that most homeowners and renters insurance policies protect your personal property anywhere, including your self storage unit. The bad news is that your homeowners or renters insurance dedicated to your unit is 10 percent of the policy. So, if you store more than 10 percent of your valuables in a unit, you’ll need to look into tenant insurance.

The best way to find out if and how your self storage unit is covered by your homeowners or renters insurance is to read through your insurance agreement. If you still aren't sure, contact your insurance provider and ask them about your coverage.

Does it cover my car in storage?

Most everything you put in your storage unit would be covered by the tenant insurance with one exception: Your automobile. Most facilities require you to get auto insurance when you store your car and provide proof when you sign your lease or storage agreement.

How do I know what policy is right for me?

This is a fairly simple equation. Determine the value of everything you’re storing, add it up and find a policy for around that amount. You don’t want to be overpaying because chances are, nothing will happen to your storage unit and the money won’t be put to use. You also don’t want to get a policy that’s too small and doesn’t cover everything you’ve stored and end up in the red if something bad happens.

What if my belongings get damaged in transit?

If you’re worried about that, some tenant insurance policies will cover your items during a move up to a 50-mile radius. That is one thing that most likely won’t be covered if you’re relying on your homeowners or renters insurance to cover your stored belongings.

Do I have to make an inventory of what I stored?

Most policies don’t require you to make a list of what you’re storing but it’s definitely a good idea. The easiest way to inventory your stored belongings? Dust off your digital camera and take pictures. This will give you a permanent record of what you own and it will make the claims process go smoothly if something happens to your belongings.

Now that you know the ins and outs of tenant insurance, you can decide if you want a policy! If you have other questions, the manager at your preferred storage facility can answer them and give you insight into what their other tenants do.