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Eight Questions to Ask Your Moving Company About Insurance


by: April Dykman
01 Dec 2010

Many people might consider moving insurance to be an unnecessary expense, but no matter how reputable and careful your moving company, there are many things that can happen while your belongings are moving from point A to point B. Loss or damage to your possessions can be a huge financial setback during a time when you probably already have a great deal of other expenses.

Types of Moving Insurance

Professional moving companies are required to carry liability moving insurance, called released value liability, however, coverage is only offered for a long distance move. Moving companies also offer additional insurance called declared value protection, which is coverage based on the dollar amount you declare for the items you're having moved. Another option is full coverage, which is usually more expensive than the declared value protection. Finally, you could find a third party insurer to cover your possessions during the move.

Questions to ask about your moving insurance policy

Moving insurance comes with a variety of options, but here are some good questions to ask your insurer:

  1. What are the fees and what are the terms?
  2. What events does the moving insurance cover? Ask about situations such as: theft, vandalism, fire, water damage, breakage, and shock damage.
  3. Are there any items that can't be covered with additional insurance, such as cash and antiques?
  4. What is the deductible? As with any insurance, the higher the deductible, the cheaper the insurance. Evaluate your risk tolerance and the likelihood of loss or damage to determine the deductible with which you are comfortable.
  5. Is the deductible per item, per claim, or per transit?
  6. What are the exclusions? Many insurance policies don't cover damage due to situations such as war, earthquake, shipping disaster, warehouse fire, nuclear accident, or the shipping company filing for bankruptcy.
  7. Is the moving insurance for actual value (what it is worth today) or replacement value (what you'd need to replace it)? Your five-year-old laptop might only be worth $300, but if you had to replace it with a new laptop, you'd have to pay significantly more. Many moving insurance brokers offer you a choice of actual or replacement value, at different price points.
  8. Are you dealing with the moving insurance company or moving insurance broker? Either is fine, but it's important to know who to contact should you need to file a claim.

Moving is an exciting and hectic time for most people, with a lot of details to consider. Ask the right questions about your moving insurance policy to make sure you are protecting your possessions as they travel to your new home.

Sources:
Understanding Valuation and Insurance Options • http://www.protectyourmove.govhttp://www.protectyourmove.gov/consumer/awareness/valuation/valuation-insurance.htm • Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationLiz Pulliam Weston • What Your Home Insurance Doesn't Cover • http://www.msn.comhttp://moneycentral.msn.com/content/insurance/insureyourhome/p35342.asp • Microsoft