Answer for "Is moving insurance worth it?"

Gaby Gadah real estate agent
  Charles Rutenberg Realty

Any move is stressful, no doubt about it. And it can put a lot of pressure on you, even financially. Like everybody else, you have a few expensive items that you want to make sure that will arrive safe and sound at the destination so in order to cover for unexpected events and to move without stress, why not get moving insurance?

Homeowners or renters insurance might not protect your possessions while in transit. You have to verify this aspect by calling your agent. If there is no clause about moving insurance in your policy, you might be able to obtain it after paying a special premium. If you happen to have all-inclusive insurance coverage, chances are that your compensation will be low and the coverage will be extremely limited.   

If you work with a moving company, you get some basic coverage, especially for out-of-state moves. Ask about released value protection and full-value protection. The first is required by federal law and offers very low compensations for damaged goods ($0.6/pound/article). For the latter, you will pay about 1% of the valuation, so if you decide that your goods are worth $50,000, you will have to pay $500 on insurance. In case any of your goods will arrive damaged, the company may choose to take it to a service and have it repaired or replace it with another one with the same technical specifications.

Keep in mind that moving companies are not allowed to sell insurance. They are more likely to offer valuation coverage. When you opt for a declared value valuation, you have to specify a per-pound amount for your goods. For example, if you say that your belongings are worth $5 per pound, and the weight of the cargo is 5,000 pounds, then you will receive a maximum of $25,000 if all your goods were lost or destroyed. Consider this option if you packed many clothes. The same coverage you get when you choose assessed value coverage or lump sum value coverage, and it is best if you have many small but precious items.

Most moving companies offer compensation only for the damaged items packed by the company. Additionally, failure to issue a written claim within 9 months will release the mover from liability.

If you sign for separate liability insurance or third-party insurance, then you get the insurance amount you purchased minus the basic carrier liability (usually $0.6/pound).

For certain types of moving insurance, you can also specify the events you want the insurance to cover. In other words, the insurance company covers named perils only instead of all mishaps.

Total Loss Only (TLO) is a type of moving insurance that protects your goods only against a catastrophe such as fire, truck accident or an event that causes total loss of the shipment. If you do everything by yourself (you will load and drive), then this type of insurance may be the only one available for you.  

The moving insurance with the best coverage is the All Risk insurance - for interstate moves, intrastate moves, and international shipments. However, you will have to prepare a list of all your items valued at $500 or more if you want to receive fair compensation.

If you have only a few expensive items that you can handle loading and moving safely yourself, there is no need for moving insurance. But if you load all your goods in the truck/van of a moving company, simply cumulate the cost of insurance to the cost of moving and you will see that it is worth it in the end. You pay insurance and forget your worries.


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