When it comes to moving, there are certain liabilities that you may want to consider covering with an insurance policy. Technically, the type of liability coverage offered by your moving company for damage or breakage is not insurance and, therefore, is not governed by state insurance laws. However, under federal law, all interstate moving companies must offer two different liability options: protection against full value and protection against value released. Most moving companies also offer both options for in-state moves.
Moving companies can offer several different levels of liability as part of their “valuation coverage”.Appraisal coverage is the amount of liability that your moving company is willing to accept if your belongings are damaged or lost during the move. Each level of liability determines how much moving companies will reimburse you if your goods are lost or damaged while in their hands. All of these liability options offer limited coverage. Keep in mind that valuation coverage is not insurance. What most people consider moving insurance is actually valuation coverage.
In general, moving insurance covers any damage caused to household items during transportation (and possibly during storage). The cost of moving insurance will depend on key factors, such as the value of your belongings and the type of coverage you choose. Don't just assume that your homeowners insurance (or renters insurance) will cover every item in the household during the move. If you decide to purchase additional moving insurance through the moving company or a third-party provider, be sure to get the details of the coverage in writing and that you understand what it covers and what it doesn't. Some people prefer to have their belongings insured by a third party if the moving company they use doesn't offer this type of valuation coverage.
You can read about both types of liability below or in the brochure Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, under federal regulations, that moving companies must provide when moving from one state to another. Full protection allows the moving company two options in the event of loss, destruction or damage to any item during the move. When deciding whether or not to purchase a moving insurance policy, it's important to consider key factors such as the value of your belongings and how far away you are moving. Weather conditions can also play a role in whether or not you should purchase additional coverage. A standard home insurance policy covers personal property and will reimburse you between 50 and 70% of the value of your belongings if they are damaged in a disaster, but many home insurance policies don't cover assets that are in transit. The moving company will maintain limited liability and the company's recovery may also be limited by the type of insurance the company has.
Federal laws require all moving companies to offer a minimum amount of liability coverage for their belongings when they move. Some circumstances may limit the liability of the moving company and make buying moving insurance more attractive. When it comes to protecting your belongings during a move, it's important to understand what liabilities can be covered by a moving insurance policy. Valuation coverage is offered by most moving companies as part of their services, but this type of coverage is limited and does not provide full protection for your items. Homeowners or renters insurance may cover some items during a move, but it's important to check with your provider before assuming that all items are covered.
Third-party providers may also offer additional coverage for items that are in transit. It's important to understand what type of coverage is offered and what it covers before making a decision on whether or not to purchase additional insurance.