During a long distance move, it is often beneficial to hire a moving company to assist you with the process. Many people believe that by hiring a professional moving company, they do not need to insure their belongings, but moving insurance does offer a significant amount of protection in the event of an unexpected accident or unforeseen event.
Do You Need Moving Insurance?
If you currently have homeowners or renter’s insurance, it may cover the cost of your possessions while they are being moved, so check with your insurance company before buying a secondary policy for your move. One problem that many homeowners or renters experience with this type of coverage is that they only cover a small percentage of the value (10% or less), which is not typically a suitable amount of coverage. When evaluating whether you should purchase moving insurance, ask your insurance company for full disclosure on what they will cover if your belongings incur damage in transit.
Should You Purchase Moving Insurance from Your Moving Company?
While you may want to purchase secondary moving insurance from the company that you choose to handle the move, you should ask how the company determines valuation of your items. In many cases, the moving company will only be liable based on the weight of the item and not on the value. It is often best to have a proper estimate of the value of all of your household items performed before the move so that you can purchase moving insurance that will provide sufficient coverage in the event of an accident.
Full Value Protection vs. Released Value
There are two basic liability options that interstate movers are obligated to offer by law. Full Value Protection is the most comprehensive plan available and insures all of your possessions up to the replacement value of those items. If any items are lost or damaged during transit, your mover will opt to replace the item, repair the item, or provide the cash value of the item. The released value option is a more economical protection plan and is normally offered at no additional cost to consumers. As discussed above, the mover will only pay $0.60 per pound of any item that is damaged or lost in the move. If a lamp that weighs 5 lbs. is destroyed, the moving company will only be held liable for $3.00 irrespective of the actual value of the lamp.
If you opt for the released value option, a moving company may also be able to offer you additional coverage through a third party insurance company. If you choose this coverage, the insurance company will be liable for the damages once the moving company has paid $0.60 per pound.
There are also certain actions that may alter the moving company’s liability and make it difficult for you to file a claim to recover damages. This is why it is essential to abide by the rules set forth by the company which include notifying the company of items that are considered to be of extraordinary value, disposing of perishable or hazardous items, etc. Consult with your mover for a full list of actions that may limit the liability of the mover or insurance company.