Moving can be stressful enough without discovering that you’re not covered when something’s lost or damaged during your move. Here’s what you need to consider whether you’re moving locally or out-of-state by yourself or with a moving company.
Homeowners or Renters Insurance Coverage
Homeowners or renters insurance policies provide coverage for your personal property in your home and anywhere in the world with some limitations and exclusions. If you have home or renters insurance in place at the time of your move, your policy will likely cover your belongings while they are in transit or in storage. However, if your belongings are stored at another residence (a secondary home, a seasonal home, or a friend or family member’s home that you’re temporarily living at), coverage is usually limited to only 10% of your home or renters insurance personal property limit. In cases where you may be temporarily living somewhere else in between moves, we recommend renters insurance for the new location you’re living at to protect your belongings there, in transit, and in storage. It is important you discuss your coverage with your agent to ensure you’re protected when you move.
Professional movers may provide some protections for your personal items, but read your agreement carefully. The mover estimates the value of your possessions so compare it to a recent home inventory to ensure the maximum value available on the policy meets your needs.
You’ll also want to check if their policy includes premises coverage for damage to your existing and new home. As well, check the time limit for filing a claim since you’ll need time to unpack before you can detect damage and file a claim.
Movers must offer either full value protection or released value protection. Full value liability coverage is more expensive and is the default for most moving companies, however you choose the deductible amount so this may offset the cost. If they lose, destroy, or damage any of your property, they repair or replace the item or offer cash settlement at the current market value.
Movers usually offer released value protection at no additional charge, but it provides minimal protection (normally no more than 60 cents per pound per article). Since the policy bases compensation on weight, a claim for an expensive item such as a piece of costly furniture might pay out next to nothing.
Whichever you choose, ask for a written record of the policy when you buy. It’s always a good idea to show the mover’s policy to your insurance agent, too. They understand insurance and can pinpoint insurance gaps you’ll need to address.
If you choose to move yourself, you won’t have mover’s insurance. However, you can purchase home or renters insurance for your new residence prior to moving. The policy for your new residence will cover your belongings while in transit.
If you don’t have home or renters insurance and you have belongings in a storage facility, you may want to inquire about their insurance options. Storage facilities may offer some coverage, but once again it is important you read your agreement. Coverage is often limited and has many exclusions.
You can also buy a “floater” for additional coverage on high-tickets items such as jewelry, art, and collectibles as most policies offer low limits.
If you’re renting a truck, buy the optional collision damage waiver coverage. The collision and comprehensive coverage on your personal auto policy won’t protect you.
If you’re planning a move, give us a call. Our team is ready to help you protect the life you’ve built today, tomorrow, and in the future.