I’m Moving…Now What?
When preparing for a move, you may be hiring movers, packing, and transferring your homeowners or renters insurance to your new address. But what about getting moving insurance? Let’s talk about the benefits of movers insurance, and if you hire a mover, what does your homeowners, condo, or renters insurance really cover?
Let’s be honest, you don’t want the hassle of transporting your belongings from your kitchen to your car, let alone across the town or country. Your next step is to hire movers; easy, done. But do you know if your belongings are in safe hands?
Moving insurance isn’t technically insurance, it’s a valuation, but it works similar to insurance. Moving companies aren’t legally certified to sell insurance, so this valuation ensures compensation for your belongings in case of damage or loss. Most movers offer services that include two different types of valuation.
Released value protection: this is the most basic coverage. It’s offered at no additional cost but provides minimal protection, only covering 60 cents per pound of an item. For example, if you have a 10 pound item that’s worth $500, you’re only going to receive $6 for that item if it’s damaged or lost.
Full value protection: this policy is just like it says in its name. With this type of valuation, your movers are liable for the total replacement cost of the goods that are lost or damaged. Your mover has the option to either repair the lost or damaged items, replace it, or offer a cash settlement for the cost of the repair or the current replacement value of the item. This, of course, is the better option, but it is more expensive. Prices will vary per company.
Doesn’t My Insurance Already Cover Damage Costs?
Your basic policy for home, condo, or renter’s insurance protects your belongings from common-occurrence damage that can happen during the move, like fire or theft while in the moving process. However, the coverage basically stops there. The coverage from your home insurance is most beneficial if there’s a large loss, involving a lot of items all damaged at one time.
There is an optional coverage that is commonly offered to customers called Special Personal Property coverage, which is available through endorsement. This covers any damage that happens as a result of collision, like being jostled around in the truck or damaged by movers physically picking them up like marring, scratching, etc. It also covers your items if they are damaged in an auto accident or are burned up in transit. The insurance carrier will pay to repair or replace the damaged item, whichever cost is less.
The deductible comes into play for each “incident”, so it’s not reliable coverage if you’re worried about damage that can occur during a move where separate pieces are damaged by the movers all in separate “incidents”. That’s where you would be better served buying the basic insurance coverage offered by the movers. Of course, the released value protection is not always ideal because you are only paid by the weight of the object, which doesn’t help if a lightweight item is damaged but valuable
For a large loss, home insurance will be most helpful, and if you’re worried about damage to smaller items, or multiple things being damaged, the best thing you can do is buy additional coverage through the movers. Remember that your belongings are precious! They are probably worth a lot more than you think. Take some time to tally up an approximate value of your possessions and don’t forget to call your insurance agent to get an estimate.