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Moving Insurance: Is This Really Necessary?

General Expertise
By on Apr 15, 2016
Moving Insurance: Is This Really Necessary?

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If you’re getting ready to move, chances are you’ve got a lot to think about. A successful move is an organized one. With all the things you need to take care of, it’s important not to leave moving insurance off your list.

There are several different types of insurance to choose from, depending on how far away your new residence is. Here’s what you should know before purchasing moving insurance, so you’ll know which policy is best for you.

Moving Boxes-2

Local Moving Insurance

If you’re relocating to a home that isn’t too far from where you currently live, local moving insurance is your best option. When you hire full-service movers to pack and move your belongings, you’ll receive default moving insurance as a result of being a customer. This type of insurance comes at no additional cost to you and it’s typically $0.30 or $0.60/Ib. for each item that is damaged or lost.

You can also get full value replacement protection, or FVRP, insurance. This isn’t automatically included in the cost of your moving service and must be purchased separately. You can buy a policy through the moving company or get your policy through a verified third party. If you decide to get your local moving insurance policy from your moving company, ask how the company will valuate your items. In many cases, the company will cover your items based on weight and not monetary value, so make sure you know the details before agreeing to a policy.

Interstate Moving Insurance

Interstate moving insurance is necessary if you’re moving from one state to another as explained by the FMCSA. You have two liability choices when you purchase an interstate movers policy: full value protection and released value.

With full value protection, you’ll get comprehensive coverage for all your belongings for up to the replacement value of your items. If any of your furniture or items are damaged or lost in transit, the mover can replace the item or provide cash for the value of your damaged belongings.

A released value interstate moving insurance plan is more affordable since the moving companies offer this insurance to customers at no additional charge. If your items are damaged while in the care of the moving company, the movers are obligated to pay $0.60/Ib. for the affected items. With this policy, the moving company may also provide you with extra coverage through a third party company. If you select this option, the insurance company will be responsible for the remaining costs after the moving company pays their required $0.60/Ib.

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International Moving Insurance

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If you’re moving overseas, you’ll need insurance for your belongings. When you’re choosing full-service movers, there are three main types of policies to consider.

1. Legal Liability Insurance

If you choose legal liability insurance, you’ll be getting basic coverage for your furniture as it travels overseas. The standard for this type of insurance is determined by the transportation industry and should be part of the quote you receive from the moving company. With this type of insurance, you’ll get the monetary value that the ocean carrier is responsible for when it comes to your belongings on a per-package basis.

Keep in mind that different relocation companies have different definitions when it comes to “packages,” and the liability for shipped items is determined based on the weight of the item. Partial loss is not covered, so if your items are damaged but not destroyed, you won’t receive compensation.

2. Total Loss Coverage

With total loss coverage, you’ll be covered based on the value of your furniture in the event that your belongings are destroyed, lost or damaged. You’ll have to detail the cost of your furniture to the moving company, which means you’re probably going to have to do a lot of paperwork initially. Partial loss is generally not covered under this policy.

3. All-Risk Cargo Insurance

You also have the option of getting all-risk cargo insurance. This is the most comprehensive international move insurance, which means it will cost you the most. When you purchase this policy, your belongings will be covered in the event of fire or water damage. All-risk cargo insurance also covers full or partial damage to your belongings, as well as theft. You’ll also be covered in case your items are not delivered to your new residence for any reason. This is an ideal policy if you’re shipping large household items or automobiles to your new international residence.

Right Side Up


As you can see, no matter how far you’re moving, moving insurance is a wise option. It’s also important to keep in mind that there are factors that can limit the liability of the moving company. For instance, if you pack perishable goods or substances that are hazardous without telling the movers, the stipulations of your policy could change. You’ll also be limited in your coverage if you pack your own boxes before the movers arrive. While this may be a way for you to reduce the cost of moving services, you may not be able to file a reputable claim against the moving company if your items are damaged during the move.

Also, be sure to notify your moving company, in writing about any items you have that are really valuable. And remember, don’t sign the delivery receipt for any of your furniture items if the receipt mentions discharging the moving company from liability.

Finally, if any of your items are lost or damaged, be sure to report it right away. You typically have nine months to file a report from the day of delivery or the day that the shipment should have arrived.

Are you planning a move? Read Pre-Move Expenses To Plan and see what else you should expect in the moving process.

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