All About Moving Insurance

Generally speaking, we recommend insurance. Insurance may seem like another expense at an already pricey and stressful time, but purchasing additional insurance for your move can save headaches after the move is over in the event something goes wrong. Things do happen in moving that are outside of your control (and the movers’), from a piece of furniture getting scratched to a truck catching on fire. Unfortunately the standard liability coverage (the federally mandated 60 cents/lb) that movers are required to carry by law doesn’t even come close to being helpful if there’s damage or a catastrophe.

That said, before buying insurance, you should check other insurance policies you may have (renter’s, home-owner’s insurance) to see if they cover your stuff while it’s being moved. Many do.

Let’s start with an example of how they work:

Numbers to know

There are 3 numbers to pay attention to in an insurance policy:

1) Policy amount.

For example, $20,000 full replacement value. The next 2 numbers are always based on the policy amount; the higher the policy amount, the higher the price you pay for it.

Replacement value means that you’re declaring that the items covered under the policy (the aggregate of all your stuff) could be replaced for $20,000. This is a number that the insurance company can help you set based on your inventory and an assessment of the value of your items. Most people have a lot of stuff that is not particularly valuable (clothes, books, etc) and a few items of higher value (artwork or an antique piece).

2) Deductible amount

This is the amount you’d pay out of pocket in the event of damage before the insurer pays any reimbursement.

3) Premium cost

This is the cost for the policy you pay now. The lower the deductible (your liability), they higher the price you pay for the insurance.

Filing claims for damages

Most policies cover incidental damages (ex: scratches, dents, loss, broken items) and catastrophic damages (ex: the truck falls through a bridge and your stuff gets flooded).

It’s important to note that most insurance policies only cover the movers’ work, not yours. It does NOT cover items you pack yourself (PBO = Packed By Owner). That means that even if the movers load your boxes, if you packed them and something gets damaged, you’re unlikely to see a claim payout. The exception to this is if the boxes have visible external damage (crushed, severely damaged, etc.), which causes damage to the contents of the box.

In submitting a claim, the burden of proof is on the policy holder (you) to provide evidence of the damage and the value of the item. For example, if the movers pack your TV and it’s damaged, the item would be covered under the policy, but would still be your responsibility to confirm that the TV worked before the move, but not after, and that the TV is of $XX value (through an appraisal or a receipt). The insurance would pay out the replacement (depreciated) value of the TV, not the purchase value of the TV (what you paid for it when it was new).

Where to shop for insurance

To make the moving process even easier and more seamless, Moveline now offers insurance (provided through a few third-party insurance companies) that you can arrange and purchase directly through us. Once you’ve booked your move, your Move Captain will contact you to discuss what policy options you have for insuring your move and will recommend a policy that is best suited for your needs. Of course, you can always contact us earlier on in the process with questions about moving insurance, or if you would like to investigate what options you have for insurance before booking.

We’re here to help.

As with any insurance policy, moving insurance can be tricky and often confusing. Contact your Move Captain or find us at [email protected] if you have any questions or need some help sorting out the details.