When you hire a moving company to help you relocate, it’s important to acknowledge that no matter how experienced the movers are, there’s always a risk for item damage or loss. That’s why optional moving insurance exists — to reimburse you in the event that your belongings suffer an accident or somehow wander off.
But if you’re not legally required to purchase insurance from your moving company, should you opt to buy it? Is it really necessary or just another superfluous expense? Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about moving insurance, the various types available to you, and how this type of coverage can benefit you during your upcoming relocation.
What Exactly Is Moving Company Insurance?
First and foremost, let’s get this out of the way: Moving “insurance” isn’t really insurance at all because moving companies aren’t certified to sell insurance policies. So what is it? The type of coverage you get from a moving company is something called valuation, which functions just like insurance. When you have valuation coverage, it compensates you for a percentage of the assessed value of your belongings if they get damaged or lost during your move.
For all intents and purposes, valuation coverage might as well be the same thing as having insurance coverage. However, because moving companies aren’t regulated by the same federal guidelines that apply to actual insurance, the coverage they offer is referred to by another name.
Various Types of Moving Insurance.
When you work with professional movers, you automatically get a very basic type of coverage called released value protection. This level of coverage is provided by the moving company — it’s required by law — and does not cost you any additional money over and above the cost of hiring your movers.
Released value protection will reimburse you $0.60 per pound for any item that sustains damage or gets lost during your move. For example, if you own a television that weighs 30 pounds and it gets destroyed during your relocation, released value protection will compensate you $18 for that item. But if that item is worth thousands of dollars (TVs are expensive!), $18 probably isn’t even worth filing a claim — right?
That’s why many, many people opt to purchase higher-level coverage that will compensate them more fairly for their pricey belongings. In addition to released value protection, the following types of moving insurance (valuation coverage) are available to you:
● Full value protection. This level of coverage requires payment of a premium upfront because it’s more comprehensive than released value protection. But when you purchase full value protection, the moving company becomes liable for compensating you for the full replacement value of any items that get damaged or lost during your move. The company can choose to replace or repair an item or provide you with a cash settlement for the cost of repairing a damaged item or for the current replacement value of that item.
● Third-party liability insurance. Not all moving companies offer separate third-party liability coverage, but many do because it helps fill in gaps in the company-provided coverage for very high-value items. When you purchase third-party insurance, it’ll provide reimbursement over and above what the moving company provides. The moving company will still be responsible for compensating the amount required under released value protection. Then, the third-party coverage will kick in and compensate for the remainder of the value up to coverage limits.
● Insurance options for DIY movers. Even if you’re not planning to work with a moving company, you can still insure your belongings against damage or loss. Many homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies offer some degree of coverage for moving, so check your policy to see what you have. If you don’t have a policy or your policy’s coverage is inadequate for your needs, there are also third-party insurers from which you can purchase coverage.
Cost of Moving Insurance: What to Expect
If you decide you’d like more coverage than released value protection can provide, be aware that you’ll need to pay a premium for the additional coverage. So how much does that cost? It varies depending on the moving company and the value and weight of your belongings.
Generally, you should expect to pay at least a 1% premium on the total value of your shipment. For example, if the value of all the belongings in the moving truck is approximately $75,000, you should expect to pay an upfront fee of about $750. You may also need to pay a deductible if you end up needing to file a claim, and that number also varies by moving company.
If you’re transporting items of extraordinary value (things that are worth more than $100 per pound), there will also be additional premiums involved given these items’ high value. When you’re considering your coverage options, be sure to ask about all expenses involved, including those for your priciest and most breakable belongings.
Determining Whether You Need More Moving Insurance
Do you own lots of expensive stuff? Are your electronics worth several thousand dollars? What about pricey clothing, artwork, antiques, or recreational equipment? Even with the additional expense of the premium (and possibly a deductible) for full value protection, when you work the numbers, purchasing additional moving insurance is typically worth it.
You never know what could happen during loading and unloading or while your movers are on the road, and replacing pricey items can get remarkably expensive, remarkably quickly. When you only get reimbursed $0.60 per pound per article (with standard released value protection) you’ll be financially responsible for covering the cost of all repairs and replacements beyond the meager compensation basic coverage provides.
Need a Moving Company in Minneapolis?
Planning a move within the Minneapolis/St. Paul area? Perhaps you’re moving outside the metro? Wherever you’re relocating in Minnesota, our team at Hedberg Moving Solutions is here to help! For over a decade, we’ve specialized in a wide variety of professional moving services for residential and commercial customers, including full packing, storage solutions, senior moving, and much more. We’d love to help you make your upcoming relocation as easy as possible, so don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free estimate!
To learn more, give us a call today at 763-434-6683 or request a free estimate online, and we’ll be in touch right away!
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