How to Protect My Personal Effects When Moving
When preparing for a move, you’ll probably consider transferring your homeowners or renters insurance to your new address. But what about getting moving insurance for when your precious items are being taken from point A to point B?
Arguably it is at this time that your items are most vulnerable and could suffer damage of some kind. Also, most people don’t realise that homeowners or renters insurance may not cover loss or damage to your possessions while in transit.
As moving puts your belongings at risk for all kinds of unforeseeable mishaps, having insurance will help protect them while they’re being transported. This is even more important if you are moving internationally.
As well as standard human error when it comes to the packing and handling of your items, there are several things that could happen when your goods are being delivered by air, freight or truck across borders.
Here are a few things to help protect your personal effects for your next move.
Types of Moving Insurance
First, make sure you understand the different types of moving insurance you can get and take out the cover that is most appropriate for your possessions and the level of cover you feel comfortable taking out.
For homeowners who want complete cover, they may opt for full value protection of their possessions. This will cover the full replacement of all items for the stated value of the items. You will still need to check the policy of each insurer in terms of whether you are covered for the current market value of the item, or if you will receive money for an item of a similar kind purchased at the time of loss.
If an expensive, irreplaceable item is damaged in transit, you may be able to get cover for the cost of repairs. However, to some extent, all of these costs will need to be proven with receipts or agreed criteria. It won’t be good enough to just claim that a certain item cost X amount of money.
This is one of the main reasons it’s good to keep sentimental items with high personal importance with you in person or stored away separately to keep them extra safe.
Some insurers will offer insurance up to a certain amount. So even if your entire container is damaged, you will only receive a set amount of money. Other policies might cover specific items on your inventory list. When arranging your insurance, make sure you decide what is important to you and how much cover you will need before taking out any specific premium with an insurance provider.
How Do I File A Claim?
To file a claim of loss or damage, you will need to prove that the lost or damaged item was actually moved by the movers and not damaged beforehand. This is a very important part of the process and making sure it goes smoothly can make all the difference and save you time arguing with your moving company about the details.
The simplest way to do this is to create an accurate and comprehensive inventory for all your items and personal effects. This should certainly take into account all extremely expensive items like furniture and jewelry, as well as standard items from your home. Agreeing on the final list will help to avoid problems down the line for everyone and will give you a clear picture about what is being transported.
One good tip is to take before and after photos of your most valued items. This can prove that any damage has taken place during the transit phase, and wasn’t already there.
What If I Move Things By Myself?
You may have limited coverage offer my Motor Insurance for your possessions if you transport them in your personal vehicle or in a rental vehicle. Moving or Cargo Insurance will not cover you for items moved by yourself.
The obvious practical barrier to all this is that if you are moving abroad, it’s going to be impossible to drive the whole way, hence you’ll need to rely on a professional moving company to handle the process for you.
Pack Items Using the Right Boxes
First and foremost, make sure you’ve got the proper boxes for packing your stuff. This can seriously help to protect your items. Don’t just look for cheap. Consider how items will hold up when travelling thousands of miles and potentially being shoved and moved into various different vehicles before it reaches your new home. A moving company should handle this aspect for you, but it’s worth checking the kind of boxes and packing materials they use, as well as the methods they use to pack them. Moving or Cargo Insurance will not cover you for damage for items packed by yourself.
What Might Moving Insurance Not Cover?
As with all types of insurance, there will be tangible limitations on what it covers. The details of this should be laid out in your policy document and contract, so make sure you always check this with care before insuring anything automatically. For example, a few things that standard transit insurance cover does not include are:
- Fraudulent conduct by the insured party
- Negligence on the part of the transport operator
- Insufficient or improper packaging
- Inherent vice
- Loss, damage or expenses caused by delay