Your moving company strives to be as careful as possible when it comes to transporting your belongings. Nevertheless, accidents can and do happen. While you can't prevent accidents from happening, you can make sure you're compensated for any losses or damage caused to your personal property. The following looks at several insurance coverage options you can take advantage of while moving.
Coverage Offered by the Moving Company
Under most circumstances, your moving company will offer its own liability coverage options that help protect your belongings if the unexpected happens. The two most common coverage options offered by most movers are Full Value Protection and Released Value Protection. The former is considered the more comprehensive of the two coverage options, since it holds your mover liable for the replacement value of your lost or damaged belongings.
If your belongings are lost or damaged while in the care of your moving company, the company may decide to repair or replace the items in question. If these two options are not available, your mover may offer a cash settlement for the current market replacement value of your belongings or the cost to repair said belongings.
With Released Value Protection, the amount of coverage you'll get is much more limited in nature, although the trade-off is a significantly lower fee for using this liability coverage. In many cases, your moving company may offer this coverage at no extra cost. Instead of being liable for the current market replacement value of your belongings, the moving company may only offer 60 cents per pound as compensation for your losses or damages. This means that if a particular belonging that weighs 10 pounds is damaged or lost during the move, you may only receive $6 in compensation even if the replacement value is far greater.
Other Types of Coverage
In addition to the above coverage options, your moving company may offer other forms of liability coverage for your belongings during your move. These options include Named Perils insurance, which covers your belongings during transit. As the name implies, this type of coverage only covers losses that are explicitly named in the fine print of the insurance contract. With this coverage, you can choose to insure your entire shipment by placing a total value on all of your goods, or you can selectively insure certain items that are being moved.
Total Loss Only or TLO insurance provides total compensation for any losses or damages that occur due to a truck accident, truck theft, fire, or any other catastrophic event that occurs during transit. However, this coverage comes into effect only if there is a complete and total loss of all of your belongings. TLO does not cover partially damaged or missing items.
Using Your Homeowner's Insurance Coverage
Instead of using the liability coverage offered by your moving company, you may be able to use your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy as a way to protect your belongings throughout the move. Some homeowners and renters may find it easier to go through their own insurers instead of filing a claim with a third-party entity. In addition, most policies offer coverage for moving at no extra cost.
The amount of coverage you can expect may depend on the particulars of your insurance policy, including the covered perils named in the fine print. A typical homeowner's or renter's insurance policy may cover around 10 percent of the value of your belongings during the move.
If you plan on using your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy when moving from one home to another, you may want to ask yourself the following questions before the day of the actual move:
- How much coverage can you expect from your homeowner's or renter's insurance?
- Are your belongings covered during transit or only when they're inside your residence?
- Does your insurance policy cover your personal property while you're moving out of state?
- Does your personal property remain covered while it's away from your primary residence?
These questions can help you decide whether using homeowner's or renter's insurance is a smart move during your move.
For more information on your options, contact a moving service like Bekins Van Lines Inc.