Even if you're living a rather simple or minimalist lifestyle, you likely still have belongings it might be financially disappointing to fix or replace if they're lost or damaged during a move. Insurance can protect you from these expenses. You need to compare your options and read the fine print, however, to be sure you get the coverage that's a good fit for you.
Consider the following available insurance options when you start planning the move.
As Allstate explains, your current landlord's insurance can cover expenses like medical fees if you or someone else is hurt on the property, "acts of God" like bad weather, and equipment the landlord uses to maintain the property. It does not cover your belongings. What belongs to you, in essence, is your responsibility to insure.
Renter's and homeowner's insurance is designed to fully cover you and your personal belongings no matter where you live. It is not designed to cover you and your possessions during a move. That said, some companies will offer policies that do provide moving coverage. Others will allow you to add moving to your policy for a fee.
Even if you are covered through your renter's insurance, your company might have wording in the policy that requires you to submit paperwork within a certain timeframe before you move. Others will transfer coverage to your new home automatically. If you're not sure what's in your policy, review it or call your agent and ask.
Just as renter's and homeowner's insurance policies don't necessarily cover your belongings during a move, moving companies have varying rules, too. One important point to remember is that, for local moves, movers often assume liability only for damages that happen as the workers pack your items.
Similarly, if the company allows you to do partial packing services, where they pack only your fragile or valuable items, then they might assume liability only for what they pack. You sometimes can purchase minimal moving damage protection in the range of $0.45-$0.65 per pound, however, and companies also can offer complete coverage, as well.
In some instances, you might be covered by your renter's or homeowner's insurance for a move, but when you do the math, the coverage still might not be satisfactory. Usually, this happens because a policyholder has failed to update their policy regularly to reflect the accurate value of what they currently own. If this is the case for you, then it might be worth it to see if you can pay to update the policy. Alternately, you can make up the difference you need by buying the coverage from the movers.
As you try to determine whether the coverage you have or are considering will be good enough, understand that there's a difference between replacement cost value and actual cash value. As Homesite Home Insurance explains, replacement cost value means that the insurance company or movers will offer you whatever it would cost to replace the item at current market value - that is, they'll give you whatever a new version currently costs.
Actual cash value means the insurance company or movers will offer you whatever it would cost to replace the item based on what you'd get if you sold the item as it was before getting damaged. It takes depreciation into account. As a result, you might have to shell out some extra cash if you want to get a new version of the item. The benefit of actual cash value, however, is lower premiums.
As you now can see, your landlord can't help you with insurance during a move. But you can use renter's or homeowner's insurance or insurance from the movers, alone or together, to make sure that damages don't set you back financially. The worst mistake you can make is to go into a move with no insurance at all.
Even if you're just moving across town, accidents can and do happen - professional movers are still human beings that make mistakes, and other people, such as a driver who runs a light in front of your truck, might bring trouble, too. Shop around, but don't skip this cost.Written by Margarita Hakobyan
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