Do You Need Moving Insurance?
The answer really depends on the value of the goods you are moving.
But even with the best movers, accidents can happen. In fact, 1 in 5 moves has some kind of damage.
Our #1 recommendation when it comes to moving insurance is to book a trustworthy mover that has an insurance policy.
We have put together the most comprehensive list of questions with expert answers that will cover everything you need to know about this topic.
Please use the following list to jump to questions you may have:
- What is Moving Insurance?
- What are the Different Options of Valuation?
- What Doesn’t Valuation Cover?
- How Much Does Moving Insurance Cost?
- Does My Moving Company Offer Moving Insurance?
- What types of coverage does a third-party moving insurance company offer?
- Do most people get this insurance? How recommended is it?
- Does my renter’s insurance include moving insurance?/a>
- Who has the best moving insurance?/a>
- What companies offer moving insurance?/a>
- Can I insure individual valuable items?/a>
- What do I need to file a claim?/a>
- Should I take photographs of everything before it’s moved?/a>
What is Moving Insurance?
Moving insurance provides protection for your personal belongings when in transit. While the person driving your moving truck may be a very safe driver, it’s not possible to control all the other drivers on the road. Accidents happen and moving insurance offers protection for any damage to your things during the move.
Depending on the policy/option chosen, moving insurance may cover your things in the event of a fire or even if a mover drops your expensive TV and it breaks.
While moving companies cannot technically sell you insurance due to federal law, they must provide valuation options.
What are the Different Options of Valuation?
Valuation is the amount of liability coverage your moving company will take on if your belongings are damaged during transit.
The coverage known as valuation is limited compared to third-party insurance. It will likely only refer to how much the moving company is willing to reimburse you on an item if it’s damaged during transit.
There are two different insurance options with one providing basic overage and another offering an upgraded level of coverage.
Released Value Protection
Released value coverage is the basic protection offered by moving companies. This option will give you minimum coverage for intrastate and interstate moves.
You will receive $0.30 per pound per item for intrastate moves and $0.60 per pound per item for interstate moves.
If you have a 100-pound item and it becomes broken during an interstate move, your moving company will give you a $60 reimbursement for this item.
While none of your items will be covered at market value, this type of valuation is included in the basic cost of your move.
When considering the type of coverage you need, it’s important to know what to expect, if something is damaged.
The basic coverage provided by all moving companies may not be enough. For example, if you have a Flat-Screen TV that weighs 40 pounds, you will only get $24 if the TV becomes damaged. It will be hard to find a decent TV for $24.
Full-Value Protection (FVP)
The upgraded option is known as full-value protection or FVP.
This option costs extra and offers more extensive coverage compared to released value protection. While FVP coverage isn’t as comprehensive as moving insurance, it’s better than basic coverage.
With full coverage protection, moving companies will pay you the current market value for any damaged items during the move.
They have three options if something breaks:
- Replace the item with a similar item
- Repair the item
- Provide a cash settlement equal to the current market value of the broken item
With both released value protection and full value protection, it’s important to be aware of any items of extraordinary value. Be extremely detailed on the inventory. You may need to specify the worth of these items before they are moved. Note any pre-existing damage, review the movers’ notes and make sure you both agree.
Also, note to never sign an inventory upon delivery that releases the moving company of all liability.
What Doesn’t Valuation Cover?
While valuation is great for covering damage caused during a move by the movers, it doesn’t’ cover everything. There are several things not covered under either valuation option including:
- Things outside the control of the moving company, such as fires, floods, earthquakes, etc.
- Any item of extraordinary value not stated in writing prior to the move
- Any precarious or dangerous items you packed without notifying your moving company
- If you packed your things yourself instead of hiring your moving company to do the packing
- Anything damaged during the move and not reported as damaged immediately after the move
- Damaged televisions that you wrapped yourself
Moving companies are excellent at weaseling out of claims. This is why you have to make sure that you keep a clear line of communication about the conditions involved in potential claims.
This is also why it’s important to book a reputable moving company. A bad moving company will be a headache to work with in case of a claim. Not to mention, the likelihood of damage happening is higher with an inexperienced mover.
How Much Does Moving Insurance Cost?
The cost of moving insurance is dependent upon the value of the items being moved. Full value protection will cost about 1% of the total value of the items being moved.
If you’re moving $50,000 worth of items, full valuation coverage will cost about $500.
Third-party moving insurance is another step up and will kick in after the released value protection or full-value protection has been issued.
With third-party moving insurance, the cost depends on the policy and can vary greatly. It can range from 1% to 5% of the declared value of your belongings.
Does My Moving Company Offer Moving Insurance?
All licensed moving companies must offer valuation options and released valued protection must be offered in every package. In addition, all moving companies will offer some type of valuation policy, which may vary from one company to another.
What types of coverage does a third-party moving insurance company offer?
Moving insurance policies offered by third-party insurers come in a variety of options including:
- Full Replacement Value: All items and their value stated in the inventory created will be covered under this type of policy.
- Limited Insurance Coverage: Also known as Perils Insurance, this type of coverage provides compensation for any loss based on the specific agreement. This type of moving insurance only covers items during transportation and storage. You won’t be covered during loading and unloading.
- Select Inventory Coverage A moving insurance policy offering coverage for specialized items during transit. The items will need to be named with an assigned value on the inventory list prior to the move.
- Item for Item Coverage An option allowing you to gain additional per weight coverage for the items being moved.
Other options may also be offered, depending on the third-party moving insurance provider chosen.
Do most people get this insurance? How recommended is it?
When you hire a moving company to pack your items, move them, and unpack them, you will be given released value protection as a part of your package. While this type of coverage may not be the best, you may not feel like you need additional coverage.
However, if you’re moving during hurricane season in Florida or you’re worried about another type of weather event, moving insurance offers additional peace of mind. You’ll be covered for water damage and other types of damage caused by weather events or things outside the control of the moving company.
Those moving locally without concerns of unpredictable weather may not need additional coverage.
If you have a specialty item or something very valuable you want to move, it may be wise to purchase moving insurance for that specific item.
In some cases, your home insurance policy will cover your items during a move. Before choosing to buy additional moving insurance coverage, check your homeowner’s insurance policy.
The decision to get moving insurance really depends on the value of your goods compared to the coverage provided by the moving company. It’s handled on a case-by-case basis.
If you believe released value protection isn’t enough coverage for the things you’re moving, full value protection may be a good option. However, when you need more coverage or specialized coverage for specific items, third-party moving insurance may be the right choice.
Remember, you will likely need to pay a deductible if you make a claim. Make sure it makes sense to pay the deductible if something is damaged during the move before you commit to and pay for additional moving insurance.
Does my renter’s insurance policy include moving insurance?
No, most renter’s policies don’t cover household goods damaged during a move.
However, some third-party insurers offer policy “riders” that cover items being packed, moved, and stored temporarily (usually less than 90 days).
Keep in mind that your rider must explicitly cover damaged household goods moved between the old home and new home and/or apartments.
Did You Know?
Renters with loss-of-use provisions in their policies may be reimbursed for moving costs and claims if forced to relocate due to a covered “peril” like a water main break or unsafe structural issues.
How do I get moving insurance?
If you don’t own any extraordinarily high value items like priceless antiques or original works of art, it’s best to purchase moving insurance (valuation) directly from your moving company.
Remember, the free coverage included with all moves is minimal.
However, you’ll have the option of purchasing Full-Value Replacement Coverage with multiple deductible options – usually $0, $250 and $500.
Alternately, your renters or homeowner’s policy may cover your items while they’re in transit or temporary storage, though conditions and restrictions will apply.
If not, adding a rider to cover moving is often as easy as making a phone call and paying a relatively small fee.
Who has the best moving insurance?
There’s no one right answer to this commonly asked question.
That said, when choosing moving insurance, consider –
- The cost of the policy
- How far you’re moving
- If storage will be necessary
- The value of your household goods
- Whether you own items of extraordinary value
- The experience and reputation of your moving company
Purchasing supplemental moving insurance from respected national companies like State Farm or Allstate should make filing claims easy, but your policy may not cover damage without a rider.
Remember, insurance agents are great resources.
Don’t hesitate to call yours to discuss suitable options.
What companies offer moving insurance?
Finding moving insurance isn’t difficult, but vetting prospective companies is key.
The insurance industry has its fair share of nefarious players intent on taking consumer’s money without living up to their commitments.
Below are four of the most well-known moving insurance providers –
- Baker International
- XN Global Moving Insurance
- Gateway Global Moving Insurance
As a disclaimer, we don’t endorse any of them specifically.
Can I insure individual valuable items?
You can insure individual items with some third-party policies, but not with mover’s valuation.
On interstate moves most moving companies have separate high-value inventories reserved for items worth more than $100 per pound.
Here we’re talking about –
- Some antiques
- Historic documents
- Original works of art
- High-dollar electronics
- Jewelry, gems and precious metals
It may seem like additional insurance, but it’s not.
Movers only use high-value inventory forms to keep track of extraordinarily valuable items.
To insure them above and beyond what mover’s valuation insurance covers, you may need to purchase a rider to supplement your renters or homeowners policy.
What do I need to file a claim?
Moving insurance makes everybody feel safe and secure.
But sadly, if things get damaged many policyholders discover that the claims process isn’t as straightforward as they thought it would be.
In nearly every case, homeowners and renters must prove that –
- The movers moved the damaged item(s)
- The movers caused the damage
- The items weren’t already damaged
This is why the driver’s inventory is so important, and why you must read and understand it.
Remember, when inventorying your items drivers use codes similar to shorthand to speed up the process.
Especially for items you’re concerned about, have him or her show you the “exceptions” they’ve written up on their inventory sheet.
If you don’t understand something, get a satisfactory explanation before signing the form.
Did You Know?
Some drivers (especially owner-operators) note non-existent damage on their inventories to protect themselves against being held liable for claims if things actually do get damaged.
Should I take photographs of everything before it’s moved?
Yes, taking photographs is a great way to support claims in the event of moving damage, but don’t waste time photographing everything.
Instead, stick to the items you’re most concerned about and create a separate file on your phone or computer to keep everything together.
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