What Sort Of Insurance Should You Have When Moving Overseas?
If you are moving overseas, one of the most important things to do is to give yourself plenty of time to do it. This is definitely not something that you want to do in a rush because there is a lot of planning to do in order to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Even moving across town or to another part of the UK is known to be one of the most stressful things that we ever undertake, but moving abroad is another matter entirely, especially if you are going to a country that you don’t know or perhaps even speak the language.
Apart from any other consideration, there is the matter of getting your belongings to wherever you are going. You have two choices – either shipping them by sea or by air. Air is by far the quickest, and also by far the most expensive. According to the World Bank, air freight is between 12 and 16 times as much as sea freight. Certainly, air freight is a lot faster. Depending upon the airline that you choose, it can take between 20 and 24 hours, including a stop-over for three or four hours, to get to Australia from the UK, whereas going by sea takes approximately 40 days!
This is just one reason why you need to plan ahead. If you don’t and you send your belongings by sea, you will arrive wherever you are going a long time before they catch up with you. In fact, you need to start to contact shipping companies three to four months before your planned moving date. Obviously, you need to compare quotes, and you need to know exactly what you are getting, because shipping companies can offer a range of services including professional packing and unpacking, and door to door pickup and delivery.
You also need to arrange for insurance of your goods. Many people labour under the impression that the shipping company is responsible for your goods, but the fact is that they only offer a minimal amount of cover, and almost certainly nothing like what the value of your goods is. They simply cannot cover you for everything because they would have to charge a small fortune. If, for example, you have a prized painting that is worth a lot of money, and another customer does not, the shipping company cannot possibly be in a position to know what one of their customers’ goods is worth compared with another.
This means that when you are moving overseas you need separate insurance to cover the amount that your goods are worth. Not only that, but there are different types of cover that you can get. So, for example, you can have total loss cover which is relatively inexpensive but only covers you if the goods are lost. Named perils is another type of cover but will only include items that you name specifically. All risk is another form of cover but doesn’t actually cover all risks (!) such as war or volcanic eruption.
You also need general average cover. This is an odd one, but it covers you if someone else’s goods are lost or destroyed. If this should occur, the cost is spread between all of those who are shipping goods on the ship.
Best of all is warehouse to warehouse cover. With other policies your goods are only covered while on the ship. What that means is that if someone drops your expensive painting as it is carried off the ship that’s tough. But with warehouse to warehouse insurance you are fully covered.
Yes, sorting out the insurance can be complex, but at The Insurance Broker, as marine insurance specialists we can help you through the maze.