It’s important to purchase homeowners insurance to protect not just the home you live in, but all your personal belongings, too. When it’s time to move from one place to the next, though, do you know whether or not your homeowners insurance will cover the move?
Your homeowners policy might or might not cover your possessions during a move or when they're in the moving truck. That's why it's essential to ask your insurance provider to find out exactly what your policy covers in this situation.1 Talk with your insurance agent to find out what kind of insurance you can purchase to ensure that all of your belongings are covered during your move, including during transportation with a moving truck.
Moving insurance coverage limitations
While your homeowners policy might cover damage to your belongings if that damage occurs in your home, in many cases it doesn't cover damage that takes place while you're moving items from one place to the next. Carefully read your insurance policy and then check in with your agent if you have questions.
If your policy does indicate that it includes coverage of moving and storage, you need to determine what that coverage means. In many cases, it may only cover catastrophic damage to your possessions. Most policies don’t cover damage to individual items, but if your belongings are in storage and the storage facility has a fire, or the truck carrying all your personal items has an accident that destroys everything, you’d likely be covered. Keep in mind that if some of your personal items are damaged by typical breakage, such as dropping, these likely won't be covered by your policy.
Ask your agent what’s covered during your move
There’s no substitute for making an informed decision, particularly when it comes to making sure that your belongings are taken care of. If you’re not sure about what your coverage levels
are, some of the questions to ask your agent include:
- Under what circumstances are loss or damage to my belongings covered?
- What kind of damage is covered — and what isn’t?
- What kind of deductible do I pay if all of my personal belongings are lost or destroyed?
- Would it be wise for me to buy moving insurance?
Moving insurance: an invaluable tool
If you've hired a moving company, they should offer insurance on any items lost or damaged during the move. That coverage should also include restoration costs for any damage done to your property during the move.
Review the moving company’s insurance policy carefully to make sure you know just how much coverage is available. In some states, movers are only required to provide minimum liability coverage of no more than 60 cents per pound.2 In this case, you may want to consider purchasing additional insurance and look for comprehensive coverage that provides full valuation for lost or damaged items.
It’s important to note that if you’re moving from one state to another, moving companies are legally required — under Federal law — to offer you the option of minimum liability or full valuation.3 Different states also have different regulations on how valuations are calculated if you're moving within your state.4 To learn more about your individual state's mover liability and valuation requirements, get in touch with your state movers association. This contact information is available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Ask questions and make sure you’re confident that all your belongings are covered before signing up for a policy.
Some of the questions to ask about moving insurance are:
- Is the insurance coverage included in the cost of the move, or is there an additional charge?
- What kind of deductible does the coverage plan include?
- How is the valuation calculated?
When you’re settled in your new home, be sure you update your homeowners policy to reflect any changes in the level of coverage you need.