Are you gearing up for an upcoming move? Is your house or apartment all packed up and ready to go, leaving you eagerly awaiting the transition to your new home? Whether you are moving within your town, to a different city in your state, or clear across the country, the process involves many elements and requires a considerable amount of preparation and planning.
Yet, one of the most important factors of moving is often easily overlooked in the midst of the associated hustle and bustle. Purchasing moving insurance is an essential component to secure your belongings and help ensure a smooth transition to your final destination. If you are just now hearing of moving insurance or are not quite sure why you should bother to choose this kind of coverage, look no further than the following analysis.
WHAT IS MOVING INSURANCE?
A COMPREHENSIVE BREAKDOWN
Much like health insurance, which helps to ensure your physical well-being in the case of an emergency, moving insurance exists to protect your belongings in the event of an unexpected occurrence. Many people purchase health insurance for the innate peace of mind it brings, hoping to never have to use it for more than the occasional wellness visit or appointment. Moving insurance serves to offer you the assurance that you would be protected if something were to happen to your belongings and possessions in transit from Point A to Point B.
By federal mandate, moving companies are obligated to present two different types of moving insurance coverage to customers for cross country or out-of-state relocation endeavors. The first of these two is known as released value protection moving insurance, with the cost coming to about 60 cents per every pound of your belongings. The good news is, whether you are transporting tiny knick-knacks or huge pieces of furniture, you will have liability coverage for all of it at a negligible cost.
The other common type of moving insurance is known as full-value protection. Rather than serving as a small estimation of the worth of your possessions, full-value protection is determined by your estimation of the total worth of what is being moved. The ultimate cost is then valued at about 1 percent of your estimation. For instance, if you were to assess that your belongings were worth approximately $50,000, your full-value protection cost would be around $500. If you choose full-value protection, the mover has a few different ways to approach the loss or destruction of any valuables that may occur during the move. Bear in mind, it is up to the mover to determine what option they choose, not the customer.
With that being said, the moving company may choose to fix the damaged property so it is like new or they can opt to choose a similar item in place of the old one as reimbursement. If you had an appliance that was a few years old which was irreparably damaged during the move, chances are the moving company would offer you the market value of a similar appliance rather than buying you a completely new one.
You should know that the moving company is not obligated to offer you reimbursement for any belongings estimated at a value beyond $100 per every pound. Items that fall above $100 in value for every pound must be carefully stipulated in the shipping documents in order for you to receive reimbursement in the case of an incident.
If you decide that neither the released value protection or full-value protection moving insurance options are sufficient to meet your needs, you can opt to purchase enhanced coverage. This is done in a number of ways. To begin with, you might see if the moving company you have chosen offers any additional insurance coverage options.
This could take the form of increased value assessments, meaning that you can place a higher per-pound estimation on your possessions. Some insurance companies allow you to determine an overarching estimation called assessed value, in which the amount of coverage afforded is determined by value rather than pounds. For example, if you had a significant amount of small, yet costly belongings, assessed value coverage could be a good option for you.
You might also choose to purchase coverage through a third-party insurance company that will provide more comprehensive offerings to protect your possessions.
WHAT IS NOT COVERED
In a general sense, released value and full-value moving insurance serve to cover items while they are in transit from your point of origination to your final destination. There are some elements of your move that will not be covered by this type of insurance. For example, when you have value-based coverage, the company is not liable for belongings that you packed yourself.
If the box containing your belongings does not show much wear and tear, you will not likely receive coverage for any damage to the items inside. Purported “acts of God”, like hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, hail, and windstorms are not covered. Another instance that could forfeit coverage would be in the event your belongings were damaged while being stored outside of the jurisdiction of the moving company. If the moving company is not responsible for your possessions at a given point in time, they are not liable for coverage purposes.
WHY IS MOVING INSURANCE IMPORTANT?
Moving insurance is a key element of the moving process for a number of crucial reasons. This coverage is essential to keep your belongings protected for as long as they are in the moving company’s possessions. Moves are prone to unexpected events, and you never want to find yourself in a situation where irreparable damage has occurred to your belongings and you are without any recourse.
The fact of the matter is, accidents can and do happen during the process of moving, whether it is across town or to a different state entirely. You want to be prepared for these unforeseen circumstances and be able to retain peace of mind in the event that they do occur. If you are moving across the country or even to a different country, it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to have moving insurance coverage.
The greater the distance involved during the moving process, the higher the risk of unexpected issues arising is. If you are going to be moving a considerable distance, you might want to look into all-risk moving insurance options that provide a greater safety net for your belongings.
NEED TO KNOW
It is a common misconception that homeowners policies provide comprehensive coverage for belongings during moves. In actuality, the coverage afforded by homeowners policies vary between carriers, and rarely does it cover in the same way that moving insurance does.
If you are curious as to what your homeowners insurance policy actually covers, be sure to speak with your insurance agent regarding any questions or concerns. You will likely find that, as with many of these types of policies, they do not provide coverage for your belongings while they are being moved between destinations. In addition, a number of homeowners insurance carriers only cover your possessions while they are still being handled by movers in your home. This is where moving insurance comes into play.
HOW TO BUY MOVING INSURANCE
It is important to be aware that the moving insurance options offered by moving companies cover liability only. This means that released value protection and full-value protection encompasses the limits of liability the mover is ready to take on in the event of the damage or destruction of your belongings.
You can speak to your moving company directly to see what coverage options they offer and assess whether they fully meet your needs before purchasing.
ADDITIONAL INSURANCE OPTIONS
While it is not required, it is highly recommended that you purchase third-party moving insurance to serve as comprehensive coverage for your belongings rather than a liability-only offering. In particular, if you are moving a considerable distance, the valuation liability coverage offered by the mover will not likely provide you with full reimbursement should your possessions be destroyed or damaged.
These types of third-party moving insurance offerings are especially helpful to build upon the valuation coverage offered by your mover, typically providing coverage for a period of up to 3 months while your belongings are en route or in storage. Carriers like movinginsurance.com offer some great options, including additional elements you can add on to your policy based on your specific needs, like Electrical and Mechanical Derangement coverage. This could serve to cover your electronics if something happened to damage them while in transit.
You can also check with your homeowners insurance carrier to see what options they could afford you, although it is unlikely they will provide comprehensive coverage for your move. In this case, a combination of valuation liability insurance and third-party moving insurance could be the best route for you.
Moving insurance is an essential aspect of the relocation process. Speak with your moving company regarding the released value and full-value protection options they offer, and determine whether this is sufficient to meet your needs.
If you would prefer more enhanced coverage options, consider purchasing a policy with a third-party carrier that will afford you more comprehensive coverage options in the event of any unexpected occurrences. Whether you are moving locally or will be traveling a long distance, ensuring that your possessions are protected will ease a considerable amount of stress and worry as you make your next transition.