Moving Insurance Guide | Real estate

Planning a big move? Moving insurance helps cover loss or repairs to your belongings while in transit.

“Whether or not you need moving insurance really depends on your situation,” says Rupa Mehta, home expert at Angi. “If you’re just moving a few things around your town, you probably don’t need to buy insurance. However, if you are traveling long distances with all your valuables, you should make this a priority to find good cover.

It is not necessary to purchase moving insurance, but renters and homeowners insurance policies generally do not cover items damaged during a move. If you are transporting expensive items, transferring insurance from a third-party provider can be a wise investment.

  • What is moving insurance?
  • Types of moving insurance.
  • What is not covered by a moving company?
  • Moving insurance for do-it-yourself moves.
  • How much does moving insurance cost?
  • Should I take out moving insurance?

What is moving insurance?

“You’ll be moving your home or renter’s insurance to a new address and you may have some downtime during the move,” says Janet Ruiz, director of strategic communications at the Insurance Information Institute. “It’s important to consider moving insurance to protect your belongings during transport and storage.”

Moving insurance protects your belongings during a move, but the exact details depend on your policy. Moving insurance is also not usually offered by moving companies, but according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, they are required to provide two different rating options under federal law. The appraisal is the amount of liability and protection a moving company offers if your items are damaged in transit. Although it is much more limited than moving insurance, you can be reimbursed for the repair or replacement of property.

Types of moving insurance

There are three forms of appraisal and moving insurance: paid-up value coverage (basic carrier liability), total value protection (full replacement value), and third-party or separate liability insurance.

  • Paid-up value coverage: This option is required by federal law and is the most basic coverage available. Ruiz says this liability coverage is free but the protection is based on weight. However, this type of coverage does not cover the full market value of your belongings. It also does not cover repair or replacement.
  • Integral protection: Moving companies are also required by federal law to offer this, but it must be purchased. Full value protection is generally recommended by experts, says Ruiz, because it provides comprehensive coverage based on the calculated value of your possessions and what you want to insure. It pays either the current market value of replacing an item, replacing it with a similar item, or repairing the item. While this provides full coverage, it won’t cover anything worth more than $100 per book.
  • Liability or separate liability insurance: This is optional and generally governed by state law. Separate liability insurance is used to protect high value items or for damage from certain events not covered by full value protection. This pays for the amount of insurance taken out, excluding the carrier’s basic liability amount covered by the moving company.

What is not covered by a moving company?

Moving companies will only take responsibility if they are directly involved with the damaged items. This does not include:

  • Natural disasters that damage your property.
  • Items that the movers did not pack.
  • Damage in storage that is not related to the removal company.

However, third party insurance companies may provide coverage in these circumstances. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to see what is covered under your policy.

Moving insurance for do-it-yourself removals

If you plan to move items in your personal vehicle or in a rental, your home or auto insurance policy may provide limited protection. “Truck rental companies typically offer insurance that protects the rental vehicle, but also the driver, passengers and your cargo, depending on the type of coverage you choose,” Ruiz explains.

For example, U-Haul offers Safemove and Safemove Plus to customers. Safemove covers loss or damage to property due to collision, fire, windstorm or if the vehicle rolls over. Safemove Plus provides additional liability coverage up to $1 million, coverage without exclusions, and all coverage offered in the Safemove policy.

How much does moving insurance cost?

“The total cost of your moving insurance will depend on the type of coverage you purchase,” says Mehta.

If you choose full value protection coverage, you can expect to pay about 1% of the total estimated value of your belongings, Mehta says. Liability insurance comes with a higher price, which can range from 1% to 5% of the total shipment value.

“If you don’t select full value coverage or third-party coverage, your moving company will default to paid-up value protection,” Mehta adds. “This type of coverage is free to the owner and typically covers around $0.60 per book per item.”

Should I take out moving insurance?

“If you’re on the fence about moving insurance, I recommend playing it safe by taking out some form of coverage,” advises Mehta. “Moving can be stressful enough without worrying about your belongings, especially when it comes to valuables. Protect your belongings and your peace of mind by choosing the right moving coverage.

When evaluating coverage options, be sure to speak to your moving company or third-party insurers to gather quotes and see what’s best for you.

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