What Insurance Do I Need when Moving?
For all the excitement a move can create, it also brings stress and anxiety. With so many things to think about—and all of your possessions to account for—it is natural to feel anxious until you, your family and your belongings are safe and sound at your new location. Comfort, however, rests in having your property covered by sufficient coverage. Begin by making sure the following policies are active and adequate.
Homeowner policies can cover everything from fire damage to issues with the house’s structure or other outbuildings like a detached garage. Destruction from wind, hail and snow (but not flood) usually falls under this coverage. Normally, these policies also protect the holder against theft of personal property. Additionally, homeowner insurance provides liability protection to the owners against the costs of a lawsuit related to personal injury or loss occurring on the property.
As long as the house you are vacating is in your name, you should keep the homeowners policy active. The same goes for the house you purchase: a policy should be in place on the date of settlement.
Renting a home or apartment does not require an extensive homeowners policy. Your landlord is responsible for the structure. But what about your stuff? Renters insurance covers most of your personal property in the event of fire or theft: clothing, furniture, computers, etc.
High-end luxury items like expensive jewelry may call for additional coverage above and beyond a standard renters policy. If damage incurred renders the unit uninhabitable, renters policies may offer reimbursement for hotel stays. As with homeowners insurance, this type of plan also affords liability coverage.
While auto insurance might not seem significant when moving from one place to another, it is actually a very important detail to address. Auto insurance provides liability coverage in the event of a car accident that you cause. It will compensate the other driver(s) who suffered loss. Damage to your own vehicle are not covered by your liability policy. Additional coverage may be advisable:
Comprehensive coverage – includes damage not related to collision
Collision coverage – for repairs/replacement when accident was your fault
Uninsured driver – if struck by a driver with no liability insurance
Collectors insurance – for antique vehicles
Different states issue different rules regarding auto insurance, so find out before the move and have the correct coverage in place when you cross the state line. Also advisable when moving is to notify the insurance carrier of changes in address and in variables that affect risk, e.g. where the car is garaged and commuting distance.
When your personal property and valuables are in transit, away from a dwelling place, they may be more at risk than usual. This is why U.S. law mandates that moving companies offer insurance to their customers. Ordinarily, two options are available.
The moving company can, on the one hand, pay you according to total weight for damaged property, i.e. “Release Value Protection.” Alternatively, you can appraise your freight and pay the movers one percent of the total value for “Full Value Protection.” Each customer must decide which policy best applies to the worth of their goods.
Another option for moving insurance is a third party company. If you want extra peace of mind knowing that your belongings are being taken care of, this may be an option to consider. Instead of dealing with the movers in the case of damage, you could work with an outside company that is on your side.