Before You Move
Homeowners and renters policies provide coverage for your belongings up to the limits of your policy while your personal property is at your residence. However, your home insurance will not pay for any damage done to personal property while in the care of movers (i.e. the physical movement of belongings by movers). You can purchase trip transit insurance to cover your personal property for perils including theft, disappearance or fire while in transit or storage, but it does not provide coverage for breakage. Trip transit insurance can be written for the full value of your property, or as excess coverage over and above that provided by the moving company.
Ask your insurance professional the following four questions before you move:
- What kind of coverage does my homeowners/renters policy provide for my personal belongings when moving from one home to another? Your homeowners or renters policy typically covers personal property in transit and in storage facilities on an actual cash value basis. There is optional special perils contents coverage that will cover breakage of all but fragile items (collectibles, china, vases, fine arts, etc.). Fragile itemsof high value can be appraised and scheduled on a Fine Arts floater with optional breakage coverage added.
- What types of disasters are covered under a trip transit policy? Typically the same perils that are covered under your homeowners or renters policy are covered by a transit policy. This does not include breakage or damage done to your possessions by the moving company. Nor does the policy cover flooding at a storage facility.
- Do I have special coverage for my expensive jewelry or art work? If not, consider getting a special “floater” policy that will fully cover your luxury items no matter where they are located when the loss occurs and will even pay if the item is lost. In addition there is no deductible on a floater.
- If I am shipping a car, do I need additional insurance coverage? Before you settle on which auto shipping company to use, ask the companies you are considering for their insurance certificate—they are required by law to have one. It is possible that your auto insurance will also cover the vehicle so check with your insurance company: Is the coverage the same while the automobile is being shipped? Do you have to provide the company with any notification?