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Everything You Need to Know About Moving Insurance

Published by Chris Townsend

Everything You Need to Know About Moving Insurance

Moving Projects are tricky enough as it is. With all the planning, packing, and moving objects around, sometimes accidents can’t be avoided. This is why it is extremely important to understand what kind of options you have when it comes to moving insurance.

Moving insurance is essential to protect you from the potential financial burden of having to replace one of your items, but not every type of insurance offers the same protection.

We want to make the process of choosing the right decision when it comes to insurance much easier for you, which is why we have written this guide that covers all the important details about it.

Insurance Basics

Before we get into the specifics, it's vital to understand that what we know as moving insurance is not the same as other forms of insurance. What really happens is that household good movers provide what's known as a valuation service. The moving firm assures reimburse you for your valuables in the event of loss or damage through valuation, which works similarly to insurance. The reason for this arrangement is that household goods movers don’t have the permission to provide traditional insurance services nor regulated by the federal institutions that overlook insurance. In the end, valuation works the same as insurance does for all intents and purposes.

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Different Insurance Options

There are two standard insurance options offered by most insurance company. The first of this, released value protection, is required by federal regulations. The second one, full value protection, might not be offered by all movers. You also can insure your belongings through other options. Let’s take a look at each of them:

Released value protection

The basic option offered by moving companies is released value protection. Although this option comes at no cost to you, you must request it and agree to it in writing.

While the option might be free to get, but it only provides limited coverage. Liability is often assumed by the moving firm for only $0.60 per pound for each piece. So, if you something breaks you are reimbursed based on its weight, not its actual value. Items that are lost or damaged aren’t replaced when a claim is filed with this coverage option.

Full value protection

Full value protection is another option for safeguarding your valuables. This option provides more coverage than the basic option, but it comes at a cost. Deductibles are also common in full value protection insurance.

Selecting full value protection means your moving firm is responsible for the entire replacement of the things they are moving, with some caveats. As a consumer, you will specify the estimated value of your items based on their weight and then pay for the coverage to cover that amount.

Moving companies might have different policies when it comes to FVP, and most will need you to claim a minimum value on your belongings. In addition, there are rules in several states specifying the minimum level of coverage. For home items, it’s usually between $4 and $6 per pound. This means that if you're relocating 10,000 pounds and report a minimum value of $6 per pound on your belongings, the total value of your household items will be $60,000. This is the maximum amount you'll get if the entire shipment is lost or destroyed.

When you make a full value protection claim, your moving firm has three alternatives for completing the claim:

  • Replacing the item with one of similar value.
  • Repairing the item (if possible)
  • Making a payment for the cost of the repair or the item's current market value.

If an expensive item is damaged during the move to an extent that can’t be repaired, the moving company's claims department will either replace it a similar, or comparable, item or reimburse you according to the item's current market worth. However, you will be required to pay a deductible before the moving firm can honor your claim. The cost of the deductible can range from $250 to $1000.

Moving firms have the opportunity to limit their liability for high-value objects under full value protection. These are referred regarded as "exceptional value" items. A high-value item is often anything costing $100 or more per pound, such as antiques. Before you move, be sure you and your moving company are on the same page about whether or not these goods are covered.

For these high-value valuables, most moving firms will provide the option of purchasing additional coverage. The more valuable your possessions are, the higher your premium or deductible will be.

Other Options

You might be asking if you need get additional insurance to protect your valuables during a relocation if moving insurance isn't really insurance. Though that's a good question, it all relies on the value of your possessions. Furthermore, you should not assume that your homeowners or renters insurance would cover your items during a relocation, as it very well may not.

Your homeowners or renters insurance policy will not cover the transfer to a new house if you violate it. However, if you're moving locally and keeping the same insurance policy you had before, your things may be covered while they're in transit. But, as we've said before, you should double-check because this isn't always the case.

In addition, homeowners and renters insurance contracts frequently include exclusions. Your belongings, for example, may only be protected while they are in transit. This means that if something breaks while being carried from the van to your new home, the insurance policy will not cover it.

Always double-check with your insurance carrier to be sure you're covered. You don't want to find out too late that some of your most valuable belongings aren't covered by your insurance coverage!

Moving Insurance Cost

Make sure you're not paying for more coverage than you need or desire when calculating your moving costs. You won't need to pay for additional full value protection if your homeowners or renters insurance policy covers your move. If your homeowners or renters insurance won't cover the cost of your move, you'll have to choose between released value protection and full value protection. Your decision will be influenced by your personal circumstances as well as the worth of your possessions. Just make sure you're comfortable with the coverage you select.

Keep in note that the cost of additional coverage, such as full value coverage, will vary depending on the moving company you select. The cost of full value protection is often determined as a percentage of your shipment's total value. If your shipment is worth $60,000, for example, your premium could be $600, or 1% of the total.

When filing a claim, you may be required to pay a deductible in addition to the premium, depending on the moving business. Just make sure you're entirely aware of the fees associated with any type of insurance.

Choosing the Right Insurance Option

Calculate the cost of your items

Make a detailed list of all your items being shipped. Make sure to include important facts, such as existing damage. Taking inventory of your stuff like this may be a headache, but it will help you avoid stress and save money in the long run.

During the inventory process, ask yourself:

  • Is your couch the same beer-stained one you had in college, or do you have a lot of rare art or antiques?
  • What do you think your living room chairs, dining set, and shoe collection are worth?

Estimate the weight of your household goods after determining the cash value of your belongings, and consider the difference between released and full value protection.

Determine if the insurance coverage is enough

Once you know the entire weight and cost of your belongings you can use that information to see if the insurance option you are considering will be good enough pounds. If you have 1000 pounds of goods, that would be about $600 worth of reimbursement with released value protection.

Insurance Reminders

Ultimately, it's entirely up to you how you want to safeguard your possessions. Keep in mind the following when choosing your insurance coverage:

  • The type of insurance you get should be determined by how much you value your belongings.
  • Released value protection is given free of charge, but the coverage is limited to 60 cents per pound for each object.
  • Moving insurance is not truly insurance, but it functions in the same way for all intents and purposes. This is referred to as coverage valuation.
  • Some items that exceed a certain cost threshold (Those worth $100 or more per pound) are not automatically covered by full value protection; You will have to pay extra for these.
  • Full value protection is a comprehensive policy that comes with a one-time payment (typically 1 percent of the total value)

Final Thoughts

Now you know all the important details you need about moving insurance. Remember, released value protection comes free of cost but you must request it, and full value protection reimburses you based on the item’s value and not its weight.

If you still need help figuring out which one is best for you, or just with moving projects in general, don’t hesitate and contact us.

household goods moving insurance

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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