Chances are pretty good you have items with significant monetary and sentimental value. Therefore, when you move, it just makes sense to get insurance to cover the value of your belongings just in case something happens during loading and unloading or while transporting your items between locations. However, many people don't know anything about moving insurance and make mistakes that cost them time and money. Here's what you need to know to help you get the best coverage option for you.
Settling for the Free Insurance
Many moving companies offer several types of insurance products, one of which is free. Because it doesn't cost anything extra, people often settle on the free policy without fully researching what it covers, leading to some unpleasant surprises when they file claims for damages. Here's why.
The free insurance offered by the moving companies is called released-value insurance. Instead of reimbursing you for the market value of the item that was broken or lost, the moving company is only responsible for paying a per pound rate per item, usually a maximum of $0.60 per pound. This means the amount of money you receive for your belongings will depend on how much it weighs. So, for example, you would receive a maximum of $3.00 for a damaged 5-pound painting that has a market value of $1,000.
This type of insurance is good if you are moving stuff that doesn't have a lot of monetary value, such as clothing or paperwork. If you have assets that are worth more than you would get under a released-value policy, you should consider paying the extra money for an insurance plan that pays you for the market value of your lost or damaged items.
Not Checking Your Homeowner's Insurance
Another common mistake people make is they don't check their homeowner's insurance policy to see if it covers their belongings during a move. People may be surprised to learn that homeowner's policies will cover your property even if it isn't in the house. For instance, you can file a claim for property damaged while it was in a self-storage unit.
However, some policies go a step further and will cover damage or loss caused by a move. This coverage can save you some money, because you won't have to pay for additional coverage with the movers. Be certain to read the fine print, though. Sometimes the policy won't kick in unless you experience catastrophic damage to your belongings. Other policies may require you to pay a deductible.
Talk to an agent at your insurance company to clarify what your policy covers. If your policy doesn't pay for moving damage, ask about supplementary insurance that might. Your insurance provider may have a rider you can purchase that will cover moving damage and that costs cheaper than the insurance offered by the moving company.
Not Researching the Third-Party Options
As mentioned previously, moving company often offer insurance that provides more comprehensive coverage than you would get if you settled for the free option. Many times these premium policies are offered through third-party providers that aren't affiliated with the moving company.
It's important to take a moment and conduct research on the insurance provider to ensure they have a good reputation. The last thing you want is to get the runaround for weeks or months when trying to file a claim for damages and losses. Additionally, some states don't allow moving companies to sell insurance, so you need to make sure you're getting a valid policy.
Contact a moving company like Walsh Moving & Storage to learn more about potential moving insurance as you prep to hire a moving service.