When you rent, your space may not fit all of your belongings. The average size of a new apartment was 941 square feet in 2018, or about 5 percent smaller than 10 years ago.1 But what if you’re not ready to part with your things?

Self-storage is a great option if you want to declutter your apartment and hold onto your personal belongings until you're ready for them again. You don’t want to just store your belongings, though. You want to protect them.

The best way to protect your things – whether they’re in your rental unit or your storage unit – is to make sure you have the right insurance.2

Does renters insurance cover property in storage units?

Most standard renters insurance policies cover personal items in a self-storage unit just like they would be covered if they were in your apartment – this type of coverage is known as off-premises coverage. Off-premises coverage means your stored belongings are covered for the same causes of loss, such as theft or fire, as the belongings in your rental unit.

However, there are a few instances in which your renters insurance might not cover items destroyed or ruined in a public storage unit. For example, your renters policy wouldn’t normally cover damage caused by pests, a flood, mold and mildew, or an earthquake.3 The same applies if your belongings are in a storage unit – they wouldn’t be covered.

Before moving your personal items to a self-storage unit, ask your insurance specialist whether your renters policy includes off-premises coverage.

How much will renters insurance cover for belongings in storage?

Coverage limits vary by insurer, but standard renters insurance policies cover items in a self-storage unit up to 10 percent of your personal property limit.3 If your policy covers $50,000, you would be insured up to $5,000 for the items in your storage unit.

If you plan on storing valuable property, such as art, antiques, jewelry or furs, in self-storage, you should add an endorsement to your renters policy for these items. If the property is scheduled separately, it is not subject to the 10 percent limit and will be covered in full up to the stated limit on the endorsement. Also, be sure to find a storage facility that offers on-site security, such as 24-hour video surveillance cameras, climate control and coded security pads.2

If your renters insurance limits aren’t enough to cover your stored items, purchasing additional coverage from the storage company might be a way to increase your limits.3 Amica recommends preparing a storage inventory, just as you would the belongings in your home, to help you recall and replace what you own.

Even though your belongings in a storage unit are not in your home, your renters insurance policy may help protect them. Before moving your things to a storage unit, thoroughly vet the storage company and verify that it’s clean, well maintained and secure.2 Talk to your insurance specialist about insurance for storage units.

If you are living in a rental unit, there are a lot of benefits of having renters insurance. Learn how to protect your belongings and yourself.