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Are belongings in a storage unit covered by homeowners insurance?

Will homeowners insurance / renters insurance cover belongings in a storage unit?

packed storage unit. Are items in a storage unit covered by homeowners insuranc?Storage units are everywhere these days.  Homeowners and renters all around are storing some of their belongings in these storage units.  The question that comes up all of the time is: Are the belongings in the storage unit covered by homeowners insurance?   For renters, is the personal property in the storage unit covers by renters insurance?

Homeowners insurance policy language

The following is the exact wording from the standard ISO form for HO3  (homeowners insurance) and (renters insurance).  This references the coverage of coverage for personal property.  This language has changed in the newest ISO form, but not all companies have adopted the new forms at this time.  We will discuss the change later in this blog.

C. Coverage C – Personal Property

1. Covered Property

We cover personal property owned or used by an “insured” while it is anywhere in the world. After a loss and at your request, we will cover personal property owned by:

a. Others while the property is on the part of the “residence premises” occupied by an “insured”; or
b. A guest or a “residence employee”, while the property is in any residence occupied by an “insured”.

2. Limit For Property At Other Residences

Our limit of liability for personal property usually located at an “insured’s” residence, other than the “residence premises”, is 10% of the limit of liability for Coverage C, or $1,000, whichever is greater. However, this limitation does not apply to personal property:

a. Moved from the “residence premises” because it is being repaired, renovated or rebuilt and is not fit to live in or store property in; or
b. In a newly acquired principal residence for 30 days from the time you begin to move the property there.

How does this apply to belongings in a storage unit?

For a policy with the wording above, the property in the storage unit will be coveres as part of the total personal property limit shown on your declaration page.  The property would not be subject to the 10% of coverage c limitation.  The belongings would still only be insured against the covered perils in the policy form.

There is a misconception that homeowners insurance policies only would cover up to 10% of the value of the total personal property coverage on the policy. But per the above policy language, the 10% limitation applies when the personal property is located at an insured’s residence other than the residence premises listed on the policy.

Unless a storage unit is a residence, the storage unit would not be classified as another insured’s residence.  Therefore, the special 10% limit should not apply to property in a storage unit.

Does this apply to all homeowners insurance policies?

Not all policies are written using the standard ISO form with the policy language above.  Many insurance companies use the ISO form as a guide.  They will use large portions of the form and then make changes to specific areas.

Some company have place the 10% limit on property being kept in a storage unit on their policies.

There is also a newer version of the ISO form that also places the 10% limitation for property in a storage unit.

Sample wording from a Nationwide Insurance policy

b. Self-storage Facilities

Por limit of liability for personal property owned or used by an “insured” and located in a self-storage facility is 10% of the limit of liability for Coverage C or $1,000, whichever is greater.  However, this limitation does not apply to personal property:
(1) Moved from the “residence premises” because it is:
  (a) Being repaired, renovated, or rebuilt; and
(b) Not fir to live in or store property in; or
(2) Usually located in an “insured’s” residence, other than the “residence premises”.


Are belongings in a storage unit covered by homeowners insurance?

There is insurance coverage for property kept in a storage unit.  But, the amount of coverage can vary based on the specific policy form being used by the insurance company.  Whether there is 10% or 100% of coverage c limitation on the property at the storage unit depends on how the specific policy language.

If you have the 10%  limit, you will have to know the value of the property in the storage unit to make sure you have enough coverage.

For example, have $100,000 personal property coverage on your home or renters insurance policy.  With this limit, you would only have coverage for $10,000 worth of property in the storage unit.  This could be enough for your situation.  Or it could not be enough based on the value of the items in storage.

Call Huff Insurance

Not sure of your coverage?  Give us a call at 410-647-1111. If you are a client, we will have access to your policy to see the coverage amounts.  If you are not a client, then we can still talk, but may not be able to give specific answers without see your actual insurance policy.

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