So, you’ve picked out your dream place, figured out the mortgage, and are all packed up! You’re ready to start your new life in your new home! You know that your property is protected by your property insurance policy, and you’ve even told given your broker the information about your new place! Everything is set to roll over when you take possession on moving day.
But before you roll off into the sunset, there are some questions you need to ask:
- Are your belongings still covered in transit from the old house to the new house in the moving truck?
- Does the moving company cover you if something happens?
- Will your insurance policy cover you if your belongings are not at your new house yet?
- Can you afford to replace most (if not all) of your things if something happens to the moving truck?
If you’re not sure, you may need transportation insurance.
What is Transportation Insurance?
Transportation insurance is a separate policy that can be offered by your insurance company or by a moving company that covers your belongings when they are in transit from one permanent location to another. Transportation insurance can apply to personal lines insurance, such as when you’re moving your property into a new house (called moving insurance), but it can also be found in commercial lines for businesses shipping products inland and internationally.
What Does it Cover?
Moving insurance coverage depends on each policy but generally includes damage or theft that may occur during the transportation of property. There are two different types of liability insurance that the movers can apply to your belongings—released value protection and full value protection.
The first type, released value protection insurance, usually comes standard with your move, but it is simply not enough. With this coverage, moving companies are only liable to repair or replace $0.60 per pound per article. This includes everything from thumbtacks to your priceless antique typewriter.
The released value protection coverage may not cover special items such as antiques or high-valued items. The movers may also waive liability for fragile items or furniture like fiberboard or self-assemble items. Additionally, some movers waive liability completely if you pack your property yourself as it cannot be proven who broke or lost the items after they are boxed up.
The second type of liability extension your movers can offer is full value protection coverage. This coverage will either repair or replace items that may have been damaged or lost during the move. There are also options to cover the total value of your items. For example, if you determine your belongings are worth $60,000, they may offer to be held liable for up to that amount. Special limits may apply to particular items of this agreement.
It’s important to note that this is not an insurance policy (movers cannot sell insurance), but an agreement that the movers will be held liable for a certain percentage of your belongings. It is up to the moving company how this repair or replacement is handled. They can dispute the damage if you do not have proof it was damaged in transit.
Who Needs This Coverage?
As mentioned, your home insurance policy will cover your property anywhere in the world. However, if your home insurance deductible is high (say $1000), putting in a claim for $2000 in damages during the move may not be worth taking the increase in premium on your next home insurance renewal. Putting through this claim may cause you to lose your claims-free discount and your premium to sky-rocket. If this is the case for you, it is in your best interest to get separate transportation insurance.
How is the Price Determined?
The cost of transportation insurance is generally determined by three factors: weight, the value of items, and distance traveled. It is similar to how they determine the price of the move in general. They still may not offer coverage on high valued or fragile items even with full value protection coverage.
How Do I Decrease the Chances of Loss ?
Whether you are renting the truck yourself or letting the movers handle it all, you can do the following to make sure your items are protected:
Take an inventory of all your items before the move.
Note the condition of certain items.
Appraise high-valued items before the move and hold on to receipts in case you need to dispute this in a claim.
Call your broker or agent to see if they can offer extended coverage on high-valued items if the movers cannot.
- Always ask your mover what is covered before you agree to a moving contract.
During a move, you’ve got a lot on your mind, but you shouldn’t have to worry if your property will arrive at your new place in one piece. Purchasing the extra insurance coverage will give you the peace of mind you need when starting out your new life in your new place.
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