Spring and summer are the most popular times to buy and sell a home and so when you see the flowers bloom and the trees bud you can be sure that one other rite of spring has begun in earnest; that’s right: moving season. But before you move, do you know who is covering all your stuff while it is in the moving van, the storage unit, or uncle Jim’s pickup truck? No? Take a moment to review this quick moving insurance checklist before you lift the first box!
ITEMS IN TRANSIT: Most home or renters insurance policies cover your personal property while it is being moved but ONLY from the same perils for which it is covered while at your home. That means that breakage, overturn, spills, and damage from movers may not be covered. Before you move you should check with your agent to see how your policy covers items in transit. Both home and renters policies can be issued or endorsed to include all of the above coverages with not too much extra cost so if you do not have the right coverage now, ask how much additional cost you will encounter to upgrade. It may be worth it.
ITEMS IN STORAGE: This one can be tricky. Most policies cover your personal property off premises but there are a few limitations. Usually there is a cap or sub-limit for items at another residence and many companies have also begun using a cap of either a specific dollar limit or 10% of your contents insurance limit for items that are kept in a self-storage unit. This sub-limit can almost always be increased for an additional premium so check with your agent to see what that cost would be. Keep in mind that if you will only have items in storage for a short time you can remove the coverage increase after your items are out of storage.
OTHER INSURANCE: If you are using a professional moving firm they will likely be able to offer you insurance for all of the belongings they are moving. Review the coverage points above and if coverage gaps are identified you may wish to buy coverage through the mover. Be sure to ask for their coverage terms in writing when you accept their insurance.
As always, be cautious to heed the time-tested adage that “you don’t know what you don’t know.” It is always best to make a quick call to your insurance agent before you start your move and if you don’t have one, or if they don’t have the answers you expect, this is a great season to move your insurance too!