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What types of moving insurance are there?

There are a number of reasons people choose to move from one state to another or one town to another and sometimes one country to the other.

Studies show that in the US about 16% of people relocate to a new or better home, while another 11.5% to establish their own household, 9.9% for a new job or job transfer, and the rest for various other reasons.

Whatever your reason, nothing can settle that feeling of packing all your worldly possessions into a back of a truck and seeing it go, wondering if it will get to its destination in one piece. Having carefully planned everything. Hiring movers and packing everything meticulously, is no feat against one major factor (or lack thereof), for successful execution and a good night’s sleep – Moving Insurance.

Moving insurance or moving valuation’ is exactly what the name implies – it is insurance that will cover all your items should something happen to them whilst in transit, i.e. damage or lost/stolen. The insurance costs usually depend on whether it is an intrastate or out-of- state move.

Before getting into the details of your options, it is important to remember that moving insurance is similar to a valuation rather than an ‘actual’ insurance. Moving companies are not certified to sell insurance to its customers, however this valuation functions in the same way as insurance does.

Let’s consider some important initial things to add to your ‘moving to-do’ list, before we look at our options.

The value of your items

Create a list of all the items moving with you, from the small things like shoes, cutlery, clothes to the bigger items like fridges, stove, flat-screen television, piano, etc it may sound like a hassle but it will a lot less stressful for you in the end.

As you record all your items (pen and paper or video on your mobile) think of how much the market value would be for each of these items i.e. put a dollar amount to your items. If you can weight your items, even better. Once that’s all done and you have that total estimated number for everything, then you can make a calculated decision of whether you should purchase a basic cover or a full replacement cover instead.

Moving companies, are a dime a dozen. So, whether they are full-service movers, a long- distance moving company or professional movers, federal regulations require them to offer customers two types of coverage for out-of-state moves, however not all of them do. So, keep that in mind and ask questions about what they offer. Make sure you are on the same page before making a decision or a move.

What are your options?

Without getting into too much detail, let’s look at the best option for you.

You have 2 choices:

  • Basic Coverage or ‘Released value protection’
  • Full-value protection

Basic coverage (or released value protection) has no extra costs but do have a set price at 60 cents per pound per household item. What this entails is that if you have an item that weighs 50 pounds like a microwave-oven, and it gets damaged or misplaced, the movers will only pay the compensation equivalent to the 60 cents per pound which will be around $30, regardless of it being worth a lot more than that.

Your second option is the full-value protection which means the moving companies are liable for replacement of the full value of your items, with some limitations. So, once you declare what your items are worth, you pay a premium for that amount, typically between $4-$6 per pound per item or some companies calculate it as a certain percentage of the total value of your household items being transported. Some moving companies ask consumers to pay a deductible fee. In addition, full protection does not always cover items of exceptional value like antiques or its worth more than $100 per pound.

Questions to ask

The best piece of advice would be to be absolutely clear on the costs and fine print, before procuring the coverage by making sure you get all the details from the movers on:

  • Whether all or some of your items are covered?
  • If there are any extra costs?
  • How compensation works?