One of the more important aspects of moving and using a professional moving company is getting moving insurance to cover the loss or damage of your things. Insurance will ensure that you have financial recourse should something get lost or damaged and need repair as a result of handling by the movers. While the reasoning behind it may seem straightforward though, choosing the right moving insurance for your needs might be more complex than you imagined in the beginning. That’s why you should be aware of the types of moving insurance before you finalize on one type over another. Remember, you can never be sure of when your goods might be dropped or if the movers might accidentally bump into a wall or cause other damage. Having some form of insurance, preferably the type that fits your needs the best, will help you weather the storm and reduce the overall stress associated with relocating to your new home.
Full Value Insurance
The most expensive insurance option, especially when you’re first looking at your moving quotes, is full value insurance. This type of insurance covers just what it says it covers, the full value of your goods that are being shipped. Because the full value of your goods are insured, the movers will often take the best care of things when they know you have taken out a full value insurance policy with their company. Since they will ultimately be liable for any damages or breakages, which they must offer to repair or replace, they will do what they can to avoid finding themselves in that situation. Be sure to ask about the limitations of this policy though. Some companies will only pay for items that are worth less than a hundred dollars without having a special rider or addition to the policy. If you have certain expensive items, be sure to pay extra to make sure they arrive at your new home in one piece.
Released Value Insurance
On the other end of the spectrum, as the most affordable option, is a type of insurance known as released value insurance. Movers who are bound by this insurance policy are only liable for a set amount of money per pound of your things. This can often work against you, especially in this day in age where expensive things are getting lighter and lighter. No matter what breaks, when you have released value insurance coverage, you will only get paid for the weight of the goods rather than their replacement costs. While many movers include this free with their services, be careful. Generally you will have to specify this type of coverage to avoid automatically being assigned full value.
Third party insurance coverage is an insurance policy that is obtained from a company that is not the movers who are working with your goods. Generally you can purchase an additional policy if you are moving and you have chosen to go with the released value insurance through your movers. Some homeowner’s policies already contain coverage for people who are moving, so if you are considering opting for third party insurance, be sure that you check the policy you already have to see if something similar is included. If it isn’t, compare coverage and costs with various different companies before you settle on one policy and make the purchase. Always get proof as well.
Insurance Policy Limitations
Regardless of which type of insurance you choose to purchase for your upcoming move, make sure that you are aware of any circumstances that may render your policy ineffective. There are some situations where the mover’s liability is limited, so keep these things in mind and take precautions necessary to avoid them.
- Packing illegal or hazardous items – There are laws governing what can be moved and what cannot. Make sure that you follow these rules. If it is found later that you packed a chemical, and then your goods get damaged, the mover or insurance policy may not have to pay the claim.
- Packing your own boxes – Some moving companies will not insure anything they did not pack themselves. This is one way they protect themselves from financial loss as they can be sure things are well protected rather than going on the word of a potentially inexperienced person who is moving.
- Contract language and stipulations – Reading the contract is vital no matter what kind of insurance you choose. Make sure that you don’t sign something that will later render your insurance policy useless.
- Filing claims after the deadline – Make sure to file any claims that you might have as soon as you can following your move. This will prevent the movers from saying you waited beyond the statute of limitations for filing claims against damage they caused.
- Released value coverage – Remember that released value insurance coverage will only pay for a set amount of money per pound of damaged goods. This can severely limit how much you are paid when you file a claim if you don’t have a third party policy as well.