Moving Insurance: What Does it Cover?
By Dermound Becker
Special to VanLines.com
Moving is a huge undertaking. It can be stressful and there is so much to check on, to consider and to take into consideration. It is easy to overlook some things, but when it comes to professional movers, insurance is one thing you should not take for granted! You may think that everything is covered in case of breakage or some other problem, but unless you read the contract very thoroughly, you might get an unfortunate surprise. One way to protect your belongings is by obtaining a moving insurance plan.
Every moving company has its own version of insurance. It may seem as if you would only need to be aware of the types of things that are covered in a mover’s policy when you are moving a long distance away, you really do need to be on top of this when you are just moving a few blocks. Damages can occur anywhere and you need to be sure of what is covered and what is not.
There are three basic types of moving insurance. You really need to know which kind your moving company offers and then you can make informed decisions from there.
1. Declared value based on weight: This type takes the total weight of all your possessions and then multiplies the coverage based on that. So they may say that the weight of your possessions will be multiplied by, say, $2.00 a pound. Now, that is not much money for the protection of your household items. While this may be enough for you, if some of your items are particularly valuable, then this ‘by weight’ may just not be enough in case of a problem. Also, read carefully: is the value of your items depreciated?
2. If your possessions are valuable and do not weigh much, then you might want to consider assessed value protection. With this type, you have the amount of money you think your possessions are worth and then the insurance pays based on that amount. You need to be sure that you are totally satisfied with the amount that your possessions are valued at before agreeing to this type of insurance. Make sure that this type of insurance is openly shown in your contract in order to insure the moving company will honor this.
3. Full or complete value protection: This type of insurance will cover the replacement or repair cost of any type of breakage. Not all companies offer this type of insurance, and there may be deductibles you need to be aware of.
If you are being moved by your employer, you should not assume that the employer has paid for any type of insurance. You need to check into this and then make sure that the insurance that is covering your possessions is clearly stated in the contract, or the moving company may deny the coverage.
Most moving company insurance states that your possessions are not covered during shipping, but only when the truck is being packed or unpacked. You need insurance for the actual shipping as well, so you may need to add additional coverage from your homeowner’s policy. Some homeowners insurance policies will only cover 10 percent of the damage during shipping, so make sure you know what is covered and for how much. Also, the company may not cover items that you packed yourself, only boxes that were packed by them.
While this all may seem confusing and sort of overwhelming, it is much easier to make sure your possessions are covered and that you will be reimbursed in just the way you need than it is to discover that your valuables are not going to be replaced or repaired if there is breakage during the moving!