Are you getting ready to move? Whether you are moving from one house to another or upgrading from an apartment to a house, you need to make sure that you have your ducks in a row when it comes to insurance. Any move requires you to take steps to protect yourself and your possessions while they are in transit.
Here are some pointers to help you make sure that you have the insurance you need.
Homeowner’s and Renter’s Insurance
The first thing you should do is pull out your homeowner’s or renter’s policy and see if there is a provision in there to cover your belongings when they are in transit between locations. Some policies do provide coverage for moving, but many do not.
Whether there is a provision in your policy for moving or not, it is a good idea to follow up with a phone call to your agent. You will need to update your policy and get it switched over to your new address. Some questions to ask include:
- Are my belongings covered while in transit?
- What are the limits of coverage (Value of objects? Replacement value?)
- Can I switch the address on my policy or do I need a new policy?
If your policy does not offer protection while in transit, then you can ask about moving insurance. Keep in mind that your policy will not protect you against damage caused by the moving company.
Any moving company you hire should have a policy in place to provide their clients with protection in the event that something is broken while in transit. Before you commit to a policy limit on moving insurance, check to see what coverage your moving company has in place. You will have several options when it comes to choosing how much coverage to get:
- You can opt for full coverage for the replacement value of what you are moving.
- You can opt to get coverage in excess of what the moving company provides.
- You may want to consider perils coverage that will cover breakage of fragile items.
- Very valuable items will need to be insured separately on a “floaters” policy.
Keep in mind that even when items are carefully packed, they can sometimes be damaged in transit. It is a good idea to protect yourself by getting some form of insurance.
If you are hiring a company to move your car, you need to check to see whether your current auto insurance policy will apply while your vehicle is in transit. Look at your policy, and if it’s not clear, call your agent to check. When you call, it’s a good idea to find out what (if any) notification you need to provide your insurance company to get coverage. For example, you may need to provide them with the dates of your move and the name of the moving company you have chosen.
You should also demand to see an insurance certificate from the moving company. Each company is required to have one. Make sure that you understand what the policy covers and what it doesn’t.
Here are some other insurance considerations to keep in mind when you are moving:
- If you are moving yourself, consider electing the optional collision insurance for your rental truck. You still need to check your homeowner’s policy to see if you have perils or replacement coverage. Anybody can make a mistake and if you have coverage you can rest easy knowing that you can replace anything that breaks.
- Whether you use a moving company or not, have a current inventory of the objects in your home with an up-to-date replacement value. If you do hire someone to move you, make sure they have a copy of the inventory, too.
- Make sure that your moving company’s policy covers damage to the house you are leaving as well as your new home. If someone hits a door frame or wall with a heavy piece of furniture, you don’t want to be left holding the financial reins.
- Be clear about how long you have to file a claim under your moving policy. Most policies have strict limits.
- If you are making an interstate move, be aware that there are two types of insurance your moving company must offer you:
Full Value Protection covers the repair, replacement, or payment for any item that is lost or broken in transit, and the cost will be assessed on top of the price quoted for your move.
Released Value Protection offers a per-pound payment, and is usually included in the price of your move.
You may want to combine Full Value Protection with a personal moving policy to ensure that you will be able to replace anything that is broken or damaged in transit.
- Finally, if you will be temporarily storing items as you move, make sure to get storage insurance to protect your items in the event that they sustain damage.
Moving is stressful, but knowing that you have proper insurance coverage in place can restore some peace of mind and allow you to focus on getting settled into your new home.