If you are preparing to move, you are probably thinking about whether to buy moving insurance or not. Accidents can happen even to the most careful people or most experienced moving companies. Water damage, broken dishes, cracks, dents, and scrapes on your furniture. Luckily, there are numerous ways to protect your belongings during the move. Make sure to research available moving insurance options and educate yourself on valuation coverage. Below, we will explain what moving insurance is, why you need it, and how to claim it.

What is moving insurance?

Moving companies offer a few types of coverage for your items. However, this is not the actual insurance but valuation coverage. Movers don’t have to reimburse you for the full value of damaged or lost items. They simply ensure compensation for your belongings which isn’t related to the actual value of your goods. Valuation coverage is a predetermined limit stated in the moving contract offered at no extra cost. This is the amount of liability that the company will accept and cover in case they damage or lose your belongings during the move. There are two different types of valuation:

  • Released value protection
  • Full value protection
Movers transport fragile boxes
Research moving insurance options protect your belongings during the move

Released value protection

This is the most basic moving insurance that moving companies offer. Released value coverage is included in the original cost but provides only minimal coverage. It is usually set at 60 cents per pound per article. That means that this pre-determined compensation doesn’t cover the actual value of your belongings. In other words, if movers damage your gadgets that are probably worth thousands of dollars during the move, they will weigh them and you will probably receive just a small part of its value. For example, for your 2-pound tablet worth around $1,000, you will receive only $1.20 of compensation. The minimal coverage amount varies from state to state so make sure to check with the moving company your state’s specific minimum.

Full value protection

The other moving insurance option available for home movers is full value protection. This means that the moving company is liable for the full value of your items but it costs extra to obtain it. If movers damage, ruin or lose your possessions in transit, the company has three options. They can repair the item so it’s in the same conditions as it was, replace it with a similar or same item or compensate for its current dollar value.

Moving insurance will protect your valuable possessions
Protect your valuable possessions with a third-party insurance

However, if you bought something a couple of years ago and its market value has changed, the moving company will compensate for the current value, even if it’s much less. Also, the moving company is not responsible for the protection of items of extraordinary value. These are items with a value of more than $100 per pound, such as jewelry or fine china. The cost of this moving insurance varies by a mover, so make sure to check this information with your moving company.

Third-party moving insurance

If you want to protect some valuable belongings during a move, you might need additional insurance. You should check the worth of your possessions and check the moving insurance policy for a particular company. Third-party moving insurance is usually priced at 1-2% of the value of your belongings. If you decide to purchase insurance from a specialized moving insurance company, you can have full coverage. However, beware of fraudulent moving insurance companies. Check reviews on reliable websites, ask for a recommendation if you know somebody who moved recently. Moving scams and frauds are common, fraudulent insurance companies will sell you insurance but never process your claim.

How to decide which moving insurance to choose?

The first step would be to make a moving inventory list and take photos of all the pieces. Once you make a list of all your belongings, try to find out the market value of those items. Keep in mind that the current value depends on their condition, existing damage and age factor. Ask yourself whether you have some extremely valuable possessions – artwork, antique furniture, jewelry. Determine the worth and weight of your belongings, calculate your expenses and check how much coverage the moving company offers. Once you have this information you can decide whether you want released value protection or full value protection.

How to calculate the value of your possessions?

It’s highly important to calculate the approximate value of the items that you want to transport to your new place. The estimate should be as accurate as possible. If it’s too high you will pay more than necessary for your moving insurance. On the other hand, if it’s too low you will receive less than the value of your possessions in case of damage. Make sure to include all your belongings, everything except the fixtures and fittings.

Photograph possessions before buying moving insurance
Make an inventory list and take photos

Calculate either the value of a particular item or of another item of similar quality, same material and purpose, which can replace the original one. If you are not sure, go online and check the cost of a similar item. Now add up the total value of all items and make sure to take photos, in case you need to file a compensation claim later. The value of rare and collectible items can increase over time. You should ask for a revaluation of your items from time to time so that you have the up-to-date valuation.

Be prepared and do the research

Moving has a bad reputation for being unpredictable and frustrating. If you want to move stress and hassle-free, you will need to be prepared. Calculate your budget, learn about each step of the relocation process, research moving companies, and check moving insurance options. Find a licensed reliable company, whose experienced movers will facilitate and accelerate the process. If you are worried about the safety of your belongings – protect them properly. Whether it’s a basic valuation, full-value protection or third-party insurance, this has to be an informed decision. Move worry-free and without having to think about the hassle of replacing broken or damaged items.

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