movers insurance warning

You probably already pay for a house, auto, and health insurance. Do you really need another type of insurance that covers your move? I’ve moved multiple times across the state and around the world, and moving insurance can be a wise investment. Consider several factors as you decide whether or not you need to buy moving insurance.

It’s Not About Distance

Moving insurance is important whether you move across the country or across town. Your moving company will no doubt securely pack your belongings. Accidents, storms, theft and even rare load shifting happens, however, and can occur during the packing, transporting or unpacking process. To protect your belongings, consider insurance for a move of any distance.

Investigate Insurance from the Moving Company

Local movers don’t need to offer insurance. Interstate movers, however, must offer insurance that covers up to 60 cents per pound, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. If any company you interview doesn’t offer this mandated coverage, move on to a different provider. Likewise, use the interview to discuss any exclusions to coverage like whether or not they cover hazardous materials or boxes you pack yourself.

Check Your Homeowner’s Policy

Moving down the block or across town may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Long-distance moves probably aren’t covered by your homeowner’s insurance, however. Look at your policy or talk to your insurance agent to verify any moving coverage you have.

In some cases, your homeowner’s policy may only cover ten percent of the total value up to a certain dollar limit. For example, I had a policy once that only covered $2500, not nearly enough to replace everything in my home. While you’re looking at your homeowner’s policy, check to see if it covers belongings during transport and once they arrive at the new home. Determine the deductible amount too. If you do have coverage, don’t cancel your policy until the move is complete.

Consider Full Value Replacement Cost

Despite being covered by insurance offered by your moving company, it may not be enough to replace your Grandma’s chipped china or your prized art collection. Consider supplemental coverage that actually gives you enough cash to replace any valuable objects that are damaged during the moving process. Extra insurance coverage pays to replace your valuable and prized possessions. It’s known as Full Value Replacement coverage, and it covers the amount of money the item is worth rather than a percentage of how much it weights. With replacement coverage, you receive enough money to replace any damaged items, including your Grandma’s china.

Purchase Insurance Before the Move

Don’t wait until moving day to decide you need insurance. Whether you stick with the coverage your moving company offers or purchase an additional policy, do so before moving day and ensure your belongings are covered from the beginning to the end of your move.

Update Your Home Inventory

Downsizing before a move is always a good idea so that you aren’t moving stuff you don’t need. Update your home inventory to be sure you have an accurate list of everything you own and its value. If possible, take pictures or video of each item in every room and store those pictures and video in a safe place for reference in case you need to file a claim.

Moving insurance isn’t a requirement. Especially when you hire a reputable moving company, you can rest assured that your possessions will be packed, handled, transported and unpacked with care. The decision to purchase additional insurance can give you peace of mind whether you move to a different home across town or to the other side of the globe. What’s your opinion about purchasing moving insurance?