Does Renters Insurance Cover Moving Damage?

Renters insurance is one of the more affordable types of insurance out there. That’s good news for people who are trying to keep their moving expenses low.

As you’re figuring out how to pack and store your belongings, you may find yourself asking if renter’s insurance can offer peace of mind during your move. Just how far does your coverage go when it comes to damaged or lost items? Should you bother applying for a moving company’s insurance plan?

We’re going to answer all of the above questions and more with our guide below. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a broader perspective on renter’s insurance and more protection for your belongings.

Does renters insurance cover moving damage?

Let’s get the most basic information out of the way first: renters insurance usually doesn’t cover moving damage. The goal of this type of insurance is to protect you while you’re still living in your apartment.

Insurance companies design renters insurance to protect furniture and belongings from what’s known as ‘insurance perils’ or ‘named perils’. These events are commonly known and have unique methods of repair. For example, flooding insurance factors in furniture replacement from water damage, such as water rot or mold. It will not cover anything damaged by fire or wind.

Depending on your coverage, renters insurance focuses on protecting you from damage that targets your unit. There are a few exceptions to this rule, all of which we’ll explore in the following sections.

What is the cost of renters insurance?

Renters insurance is well-known for being less expensive than health insurance and business insurance. According to NerdWallet, the average American will pay around $179 per year for renters insurance.

Monthly costs range from $10 to $30 depending on the extent of your coverage. While there are a few commonalities between renters insurance companies, each plan is individualized to support your needs. When getting a plan, read the fine print and restrictions when it comes to your type of coverage. That way you don’t end up without support when you need it most.

What does renters insurance cover when moving?

While renters insurance won’t cover moving damage, it will cover a few situations while you’re moving. Renters insurance will cover theft of your belongings during your move. For example, if you’re lining up your stuff on the street to load into a truck and someone steals something, your renters insurance will cover that loss.

Renters insurance usually provides the option of personal property coverage. This protection plan gives you possible reimbursement in the event of acts such as fires, floods, or theft. If you hire a moving company to move your belongings and find some of your items missing, your insurance plan may cover you.

Keep in mind that you may not have complete coverage depending on the item. For example, jewelry may have a lower value limit than electronics or fine art. Your company may also recommend you purchase rental car insurance alongside their coverage. Double-checking with your renters insurance plan will go a long way in keeping you prepared.

The most common items renters insurance covers

Before you move, make a list of items you want covered by your renters insurance.

  • Furniture
  • Furnishings
  • Clothes
  • Bedding
  • Knick-knacks

What does renters insurance not cover when moving?

Renters insurance focuses primarily on where you live, so this plan will not cover most incidents when you move. For example, a moving truck that breaks down on the side of the road will not be covered.

The most common items not covered by renters insurance

While you should always double-check the details of your renters insurance plan, it’s common for renters insurance companies to not cover damage by flooding or earthquake.

If you want coverage for those events, you may have to purchase a completely separate policy.

Renters insurance will sometimes not cover the following high-value items due to their unpredictable value:


Since renters insurance doesn’t cover moving damage, it’s a good idea to get third-party moving insurance if you have valuables you want to protect.

Should I get third-party moving insurance?

“Do I need moving insurance?” Nobody wants to see their items damaged or lost in transit, so one option you can consider is third-party moving insurance companies. These businesses are usually relevant to each state to remain in compliance with state laws.

This option is highly appealing to some movers because you get control over your items’ safety. When you inform your moving company of the third-party insurance you’re using, they have an obligation to cover a certain amount. The rest will be paid by your moving insurance depending on the plan you chose and what items are covered.

Always ask your moving company if they accept your moving insurance first. Also, never get your insurance after completing your move — you should look into insurance options early on in the moving process to ensure proper coverage.

The coverage provided by your moving company

Your moving company is eager to give you a positive experience so they can generate more business. While you can always stick with your own insurance plan, your moving company will provide two options for your move: released-value protection and full-value protection.

Released-value protection

Released-value protection is provided free of charge by your moving company of choice. This option is a solid choice if you only have a few items that need coverage or already have your own insurance plan.

The maximum amount released-value protection covers is usually $0.60 per pound of the item protected. For example, a ten-pound piece of furniture that your company damages in transit will only be covered by six dollars. If that doesn’t sound worth your time, full-value protection may be the better option.

Consider released-value protection for common, affordable, and easily replaced items such as:

  • Cheap silverware
  • Bedside lamps
  • Simple chairs
  • Blankets
  • Pillows

Full-value protection

If you have expensive furniture or belongings that need as much protection as possible, go the full-value protection route. While more expensive, this type of moving insurance will give you several options for replacing your item.

Full-value protection gives you the option to replace an item with an equal item based on current market value. Moving companies are often hesitant to cover particularly priceless items, so full-value protection will usually not cover the following:

  • Antiques
  • Expensive jewelry
  • Fine art
  • Rare furs
  • Fine china
  • Collectibles

Alongside moving insurance, how much do movers cost? The answer lies in the distance of your move, the number of items you have, and the insurance policies you sign up for.

While signing up for insurance seems like extra fuss on top of all the packing and moving, you’ll be glad you made the effort. It’s better to be safe than sorry when moving to your new home!

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