Should you invest in moving insurance?
Moving insurance is not something many people think about. Many people do not move often enough for it to be on their radar, and even if they are moving it normally comes in a packaged bundle. As someone who helps oversee many moves in a year I personally believe that moving insurance is a vital part of protecting your home and personal belongings as you transition to your new residence. Here is a detailed excerpt from Forbes magazine to help you decide if you should invest in moving insurance.
“Due to the pandemic, one-fifth of Americans have either relocated or know someone who has, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. If you’re one of the millions of Americans packing up their homes, buying insurance might be the last thing on your mind.
Most renters and homeowners insurance policies usually do not cover the cost of damaged or lost possessions due to a move. Because moving leaves your belongings exposed to a variety of potential problems, moving insurance might be worth taking a look at.
What Is Moving Insurance?
Moving insurance covers losses or damage to your possessions during a move. Because moving puts your possessions at risk of damage and theft, a moving insurance policy can help reimburse you for any mishaps during the moving process.
Since there are many different ways to move, there are also various coverage types available to protect your belongings.
Types of Moving Insurance If You Hire Movers
If you decide to hire movers, they are generally responsible for the items you have them transport. However, if you are moving to a different state, moving companies are required by federal law to offer two types of coverage. The type you select will determine the reimbursement you’ll receive if any of your items are lost or damaged.
Full value protection. With full value protection, your mover is liable for the total replacement value of your lost or damaged possessions in your shipment.
If some of your possessions are damaged, destroyed or lost during the move, your mover has the option to either repair the item, replace it or offer a cash settlement for the cost of the repair or the current replacement value of the item. Generally, this type of coverage is more comprehensive but more expensive.
The cost of full value protection coverage can vary by the mover. So, depending on the deducible you select, the price can fluctuate.
Released value protection. This coverage is offered at no additional cost but provides only minimal protection. With released value protection, you’ll receive up to 60 cents per pound for an item. Therefore, if your five-pound computer is valued at $600, you would only receive $3 if your item is lost or damaged (60 cents * 5 pounds).
Separate liability coverage. Some movers also offer separate liability coverage through a third-party insurance company for an additional charge. While your mover is still responsible for the released value protection, which covers only up to 60 cents per pound, this additional insurance policy will cover the rest of the loss up to the policy limits.
If you decide to purchase the extra moving insurance through the movers or from a third party provider, make sure you get the coverage details in writing and understand what’s covered and excluded.
What’s Not Covered Under Moving Insurance Policies
Some circumstances may limit your mover’s liability and make buying moving insurance more attractive. This includes:
- Packing any perishable, dangerous or hazardous materials without informing your movers of these items
- Deciding to pack some of your own items to save money may make it challenging to submit a claim if the items are damaged due to your own packing efforts
- Failing to inform your mover in writing if any items hold significant value
- Damage from natural disasters, such as a tornado
Also noteworthy is that if you’re not moving to a new state, you may want to check with your state, county, or local consumer affairs agency or state moving association to verify local mover rules and regulations. Each state may have a different set of liability and valuation requirements for movers.
Types of Moving Insurance If You Move Yourself
If you decide to move yourself, your renters or homeowners insurance policy may cover your possessions if you’re transporting them in your vehicle or a rental car or truck. Here are coverage options to consider if you’re moving and need to fill in a coverage gap.
Relocation or trip transit insurance. Like a separate liability policy, a moving insurance policy can fill in the coverage gap when you move. If you choose to use your vehicle for the move, you might be responsible for any damage or losses that exceed your policy limits or guidelines. Therefore, a moving insurance policy can ensure your possessions are fully protected. Some coverage offered in third-party moving insurance policies include:
- Natural disasters
- Mechanical and electrical accidents
- Mold and mildew
- High-value items
- Damages to pairs or sets
Moving insurance coverage and exclusions vary by insurer. For example, Relocation Insurance Group offers three moving insurance coverage levels, which include Total Loss, Named Perils, and All Risks. Whereas the Full Replacement Moving Insurance Coverage from Lakeland Insurance determines coverage based on a downloadable inventory list you send in.
It’s important to note, some of these policies may not cover items in storage during a move or high-valued items like collectibles or jewelry. In these cases, storage insurance or extra coverage for valuable items can be purchased.
Rental truck moving coverage. If you rent a truck, the rental company may provide coverage for you, your passengers, the truck and the cargo, depending on the package you select. Some of the coverage types found in these policies include:
- Damage waiver for accident damage to the truck
- Cargo protection
- Medical and life insurance for you and passengers in the truck cab
- Supplemental liability coverage for accidents you cause
- Insurance for towing devices on the truck
For example, U-Haul offers two types of moving coverage: Safemove and Safemove Plus. With Safemove, you receive a damage waiver, cargo protection, and medical and life insurance. With Safemove Plus, you receive supplemental liability coverage up to $1 million and exclusion-free coverage in addition to all of the coverage offered in the Safemove policy.
Some common rental truck moving insurance exclusions include:
- Damage caused by improper packaging
- Normal shifting of cargo
- Theft of cargo
How Much Does Moving Insurance Cost?
The cost of moving insurance will depend on factors such as the value of your possessions and the type of coverage you select. If you choose basic coverage or released value protection from your mover, it’s typically free with your moving agreement. If you select full value protection moving insurance, you can expect to pay about 1% of the total estimate of the value of your personal belongings.
The cost for moving insurance from a third-party insurer may be between 1% and 5% of your valuation estimate. Therefore, if we use the estimate above, the cost would be between $180 and $900 for coverage.
Do You Need Moving Insurance?
Depending on the value of your belongings and how far you’re moving, a moving insurance policy might be worth considering. For example, suppose you’re moving from Florida to Ohio during hurricane season. In that case, the chances of weather conditions damaging your possessions are more likely; a moving insurance policy may give you peace of mind. On the other hand, if you’re moving down the street, you may not be as concerned. “
Full article at: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/homeowners-insurance/moving-insurance/