The Basics of Moving Insurance When you prepare for a move, finding a reputable mover is a job in itself. While you shop for the right company, remember that it is impossible to guarantee that all of your property will arrive at its final destination in the same condition it started out in. Damage can occur in transit, in storage, and when it is being carried in or out of the moving truck. Make sure your property is protected by planning ahead and considering a few key details.
How much coverage do I need
How much movers insurance to purchase depends on several factors, including the weight of your shipment and its value. Before your household goods are in the hands of a moving company, it’s your responsibility make sure they are properly covered, choosing from a number of insurance options.
Basic carrier liability insurance
The law requires that moving companies carry basic insurance, but they are only responsible for $0.60 per pound per article when moving items out of state. Local laws vary, so if you’re doing an in-state move you will have to check on its coverage requirements.
Declared value protection
With this type of coverage, your mover is liable for the entire shipment at an amount usually equal to $1.25 per pound times its weight. Any settlement will be based on the depreciated value of the damaged goods.
Assessed or “lump sum” value
Movers are permitted to limit their liability for loss or damage to extremely valuable items, so if your household goods do not weigh a lot, but have a high dollar value, you might want to consider this type of coverage. In this case, you would purchase insurance based on $1000 increments, which must be recorded on a bill of lading, or moving contract.
Full value protection
Customers with this type of moving insurance have the most comprehensive coverage and usually carry a deductible. It covers lost, damaged and destroyed property and the cost to repair or replace them.
Know what you’re moving Be sure to document the entire inventory of the moving shipment. Write down each piece of furniture and the contents of each box with an estimated weight and replacement value. Take photos of all pieces, especially those of sentimental value, to help you track items or make a claim if something goes wrong. If you are moving art or antiques, be sure to inform the moving company that special care is needed.
When you have taken a full inventory, add the number of items, their estimated weight and replacement value. This will help you determine whether or not you are buying enough coverage. When getting estimates from companies, be sure to check their shipment list against yours, get the details on their coverage policies and find out how to submit a claim.
Most homeowner’s and renters insurance policies only protect your items when they’re in your house, but be sure to check on the particulars of your policy to see if transit is covered. If so, have a written statement from the company that confirms the coverage, the dollar amount and other details.
If you are lucky enough to have your employer cover some or all of your moving costs, don’t assume that adequate insurance was part of the deal. Chances are that your employer signed a general agreement with a relocation company who may not have a relationship with your moving company. This means the moving company covers the liability at the minimum coverage possible. Be sure to find out exactly what your company is covering in terms of expenses and speak directly with the movers to find out what coverage you have.
Moving can be stressful enough without worrying about what condition your worldly possessions will arrive in or if they’ll get there at all! When shopping for a mover protect yourself by doing plenty of research, getting references, checking with the Better Business Bureau and making sure you have enough insurance to cover your shipment.