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Moving Insurance: Don't Change Homes Without It


by: Woodrow Aames
01 Dec 2010

Even if you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, and your long distance moving company promises damage coverage, chances are you're still at serious risk of having little protection against loss during a move. Moving companies do not sell moving insurance in most states, and ones that do offer it only if they do the packing. They may only be responsible for around $0.30 per pound per item.

With some 18 million moves in the United States each year (about 30 percent of which are residential), the potential property loss can be staggering. If you're concerned about your furnishings, electronics equipment, heirlooms, and other prized possessions, you should contact moving insurance brokers about buying a relocation insurance policy.

Another thing to remember is that even if your relocation is handled by your private employer or government agency, they are normally not responsible for any breakage or losses incurred during the move. Sadly, most homeowner insurance companies only provide 60 cents on the dollar in protection during moves. What's left can be a significant gap in coverage on your most-valuable possessions and assets.

Moving Insurance Policies

Moving insurance policies offered by brokers, however, can provide coverage up to $500,000. You buy a one-time policy that covers the single event of the move. You'll find a range of options to insure your move. For example, moving insurance brokers may offer relocation insurance in three policy categories:

  • Valued inventory
  • Replacement value
  • Actual cash value.

A valued inventory policy covers 100 percent of the value of each lost or damaged item, less any deductibles you have in your policy. A replacement value policy sets a top price level for the entire value of the moved items for possessions worth $500 or more. An actual cash value policy covers a depreciated value for each item that you itemize. Deductibles can range from $250 to $750.

Check around for rates before settling on the right insurance policy for your move. Insurers may cover both moving company vehicle transportation and the shipping of mobile storage containers. You may also find exclusions in the policies, ruling out coverage for jewelry, historical artifacts, and other high-value items that are typically transported to the new home or apartment by the consumer. If you're moving, you certainly should consider a safe storage facility or bank vault for temporary storage of those items until you're in your new dwelling.

Sources:
Moving Tips--Insurance and Liability • http://www.vanlines.comhttp://www.vanlines.com/moving_tips/insurance.html • VanLines.com LLC