What You Need To Know About Moving Insurance

Sponsored by Ann Anderson Insurance

Whether you’re moving to Frisco, within Frisco, or (gasp) out of Frisco.. moving is tough on you and on your stuff.

The stress of a move is amplified when things get broken or lost during the move. While minor damage is commonplace during a move, it’s the big things that will keep you up at night. Many people don’t realize that moving insurance is an option or they only take the basic coverage (Released Value Coverage) that is mandated by federal law.

Protecting yourself during a move is more than checking the box to accept the blanket coverage. Know your options, who covers what, and what the limitations of liability are before handing over your material possessions.

Many moving companies provide great service, but no one is perfect. Moving almost always comes with its bumps-and-bruises, so let’s make sure you’re covered.

Do I Need to Purchase Moving Insurance?

While extended coverage is not required, it’s advisable to purchase moving insurance. Even the best moving companies and most careful packers run into the unexpected. Auto accidents, fire, weather, theft, and natural disasters are just a few of the events that can cause damage to your worldly possessions while in transit. Moving insurance is the best way to protect yourself in the event of a loss.

Insurance will also help decrease the stress of putting everything you own on a truck and waving goodbye. Complaints and bad reviews are filed all the time against moving companies because movers don’t understand their own limitations of liability. As the owner of those items, it’s your responsibility to know what is covered and what is not.

What Are the Types of Moving Insurance?

Options vary from company to company, but federal law requires that two types of moving insurance are offered. They are:

Released value coverage: The most basic coverage, released value coverage is free and based on weight, up to 60 cents per pound per item. For example, if your $1000, 40-pound television is damaged during a move, the moving company is liable for $24 ($.60*40lbs). In other words, it’s coverage but it’s not much.

Full value protection (full replacement value coverage): While full replacement value coverage has to be purchased, it’s recommended. Your items will be replaced with the current market replacement or a similar item, or the repair of the item. It’s important to keep in mind that the specifics of how your moving company determines replacement value may vary so ask the details and read the fine print. Some situations may limit the moving company’s liability (e.g. if you packed it, or failure to disclose high-value items) so make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities. If an item is valued at more than $100 per pound and is not specifically listed, the moving company is not liable in the event the item is lost, damaged, or destroyed.

Separate liability insurance: Separate liability coverage is not mandated by federal law but may be offered by some movers or through your insurance agent. Separate liability insurance will also allow you to protect against situations that may not otherwise be covered. Consider where you are moving to, so circumstances like flood, fire, or hurricane don’t leave you without appropriate protection.

What Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Let’s not have to worry about this

Homeowners insurance may not cover items once they leave your home. Even if it does, it’s not going to be the full value of everything on the truck. Your best bet is to contact your insurance agent to understand the specifics of your policy and find out what your options are. Don’t assume that your homeowner’s policy will cover items in transit and not in your possession.

What If I Move Myself?

If you’re moving to (or within) Texas in the summer, call a moving company! As for moving insurance, you’ll still need separate coverage. In most cases, your homeowner’s policy won’t cover your items while in transit or in a personal or rental vehicle.

How Much Does Moving Insurance Cost?

Moving insurance is free for Released Value Coverage, but as mentioned above, doesn’t pay anywhere close to the value of many items. For paid coverage, the amount is based on the replacement value of the items. Keep in mind, most household items depreciate once you own them and the replacement value is less (sometimes substantially) than what you paid for a new replacement. Further, be sure to declare items of high value (defined as exceeding $100 per pound) to make sure they qualify for coverage (think jewelry, art, antiques, etc…).

From there, the cost of moving insurance will depend on the amount of coverage you need and for how long you need it.

Where Should I Get My Moving Insurance?

As mentioned, moving companies are federally mandated to provide you with two options. Some will provide additional options.

It’s recommended to contact your insurance agent to discuss your homeowner’s policy and to determine what coverage you already have. Your agent will also be able to provide clarity around what level of coverage you need in addition to providing the best rate for your particular circumstance.

What Other Tips Do You Have For Protecting My Move?

No matter what kind of coverage you choose, it’s wise to create an inventory list of everything in the move. Yeah, we know that sounds like a pain, but it will save you a lot of headaches (and money) later in the event you need to file a claim. You may not want to list every sock in your drawer, but for any item of value, or for which the loss of is financially or emotionally burdensome, make sure it’s documented.

ProTip: Take pictures of your items as well. Photos make it far easier to make your case when an item is damaged beyond recognition or lost. Before and after photos are powerful. Photos are also a good way for your teenager to help with the move since they’re always on their phone anyway.

With so many variables it’s hard to know what coverage is right for you. So contact your insurance agent to make sure you have a clear picture of what coverage you have, what coverage you need, and what the costs will be.

If you have questions contact Ann Anderson. She’ll get you sorted out and on your way.