The moving truck has pulled away with all your worldly possessions. Do you know what happens if your things are destroyed enroute to its destination? When you signed the contract with the moving company, did you read the fine print about insurance?
It is a federal requirement that moving services offer consumers two types of moving coverage.
- Released value protection. For every pound of your belongings, this protection covers sixty cents. Think you’re valuables are worth more than that? Of course they are!
- Protection at full value is offered by long distance movers because they understand that for every pound of your things, sixty cents isn’t near enough protection. Full-value protection is based on the value of the items in the truck. The cost to obtain this type of protection is based on approximately one percent of the total value. For example, if you feel your belongings are worth $100,000, getting protection at full value would cost you about $1000.
If you purchase full-value protection from your movers, they get to decide how to make reparations should there be a claim. For example, if your TV is damaged enroute and it is a few years old, the mover is not required to give you a new TV. They will probably give you what the TV is worth in today’s market.
Also note the fine print of the mover’s replacement policy — if the destroyed item’s value is greater than $100 per pound – it will only be covered if it has been specifically listed on the shipping forms. This is especially important if you have smaller items of value that do not weigh much but are valued at more than $100 per pound. If you choose this type of coverage, be sure to have a detailed list of your valuables.
Your mover cannot legally sell you insurance. What you are purchasing are stated limits in your moving company’s liability if something happens to your belongings.
The moving company’s agent should explain all coverage options. They should also explain what is protected by their coverage and what is not protected. Movers are not responsible for damage in boxes that you packed. Unless the box is significantly damaged on the outside, the moving company will not likely cover damage for things inside the box. If there is a natural disaster such as fire, tornado, hurricane, etc., be aware you are not covered.
Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it offers any coverage for your move. If you need advice on protection and what policies are available to fully cover your belongings while they are on the truck, contact your moving company. Insurance agents can talk to you about specific moving insurance in addition to what the policy you currently have will cover.
You may be interested in a relocation insurance policy. This may be a good option your choices of moving companies do not offer sufficient coverage for your belongings.
Total loss coverage is also available. This kicks in if there is a natural catastrophe, truck accident or theft. You are not reimbursed for individual items and only comes into play in the event your belongings are totally destroyed or lost.
Knowing where you stand when the truck leaves carrying everything you own can be more comforting than worrying about all the ‘what ifs?’ going through your mind until the truck pulls up to your new home.