Do I Need to Request a Certificate of Insurance for My Move?

Apartment Building MovingIt’s not uncommon that Olympia Moving & Storage has to provide a Certificate of Insurance (COI) for our clients’ moves. But what exactly is a certificate of insurance, and do you need one for your move?

Do I need a Certificate of Insurance?

This is a document that usually applies to moves in an urban city, so it comes up a lot in our hometowns of Boston, MA and Washington, DC. If you are moving in or out of an apartment building, high rise, or a property with building managers, there’s a good chance that the managers of the property require a certificate of insurance for any moving company that works on the premises. Simply ask your building’s management if this is a document they require from moving companies, and don’t forget to ask the management of the property you’re moving into as well!

What exactly is a Certificate of Insurance?

This is a document from the moving company’s insurance company. The document a) verifies that the moving company is insured and b) specifies conditions that the insurance will be used. In other words, the building management wants this document because they know that it is the nature of moving that sometimes property damage occurs. Therefore, if the moving company does damage the building, the management already has documentation to know that the moving company is insured and can pay for the damages if necessary.

How do I get a Certificate of Insurance from Olympia Moving & Storage?

All you have to do is ask! Your sales rep or moving coordinator will ask for the contact information for your building management. We’ll coordinate directly with them, and you don’t have to worry about a thing! Basically, Olympia needs to ask the building management for their fax number, the certificate holder and certificate holder address, and the additionally insured that the building wants on the document. Olympia then asks our insurance company to produce a Certificate of Insurance with this information and the insurance company faxes it over to your building’s management.

What happens if I don’t request a necessary certificate of insurance when I book my move?

You should always ask your building management whether a moving company certificate of insurance is needed at least several days before the move. Ideally, Olympia should know whether a certificate of insurance is needed at the time of booking, that way they can square away all your move details right away, and you’ll have nothing to worry about leading up to move day!

If Olympia is not made aware that a certificate of insurance is necessary, the consequences can be costly. The crew may show up on move day and your building management will not let us in! The crew then has to wait around for the building, moving company, and insurance company to sort out the certificate of insurance so they can come inside and begin the work. Not only does this delay your move, but all this wasted time is included in the crew’s chargeable hours, which are charged to you.

Extra moving tip

Even if you don’t actually need a certificate of insurance, it’s not a bad idea to ask moving companies whether they can provide one. If a moving company can’t provide a certificate of insurance, that means that they’re not insured! That would definitely be a red flag that you are not dealing with a professional moving company!

Also check out:
Olympia Apartment Moving
Moving in Apartment Buildings
Liability Information

Moving in Apartment Buildings

After 20 years of moving in metro areas, our moving crews have a lot of experience moving in and out of apartment buildings.  Unlike a single family home, apartment building management often have rules in place to ensure that moves in and out of the premises are smooth and successful.  Following is a checklist to make sure that you’re cooperating with the management of your new (or soon to be former) home.

  • Talk to your building management.  This is the first step to ensuring you know what needs to be done before your move.  It’s best to check the rules with both your origin and destination apartment buildings even before you call the moving company.  This helps move along the planning of your move.  Ask reception, the sales office, and management company of your building what they need from you and your moving company before move day, as well as any moving advice.  After all, they see residents make moves in their building almost every month, so they’re experts!
  • Make an elevator reservation.  Most buildings require an elevator reservation for moving day.  This gives the building notice to prep an elevator for moving, and ensure that multiple companies are not booked for the elevator at once.  Ask your moving company for the crew’s arrival time well in advance so that you know which time slot to reserve.  Even if you don’t need the elevator for your move, some buildings still require a reservation for the moving company.
  • Get details on the loading dock.  Many buildings in urban areas have a loading dock for moves and deliveries.  Check what size truck will fit in the loading dock and whether you will need a reservation to use it.
  • Check if you need a parking permit.  If you live in an urban area and your building does not have a loading dock, you will likely need a parking permit for the moving truck.  Ask your moving company to obtain one for you (they typically need at least a week’s notice), or learn how to obtain one yourself here.
  • Ask your moving company for a certificate of insurance (COI).  All professional moving companies will be able to provide your building with a certificate of insurance.   This document proves to your building that your moving company is insured, and will be able to pay if any damage to the building were to occur.  Be sure you’re asking your moving company to provide this document at least a few days before the move, since the moving company will need to get the template from the apartment building, request the document from their insurance company, then return it to the building.
  • Give your moving company the access details.  Usually, loading or unloading the truck takes longer in an apartment buildings versus a single family home.  Be sure to tell your moving company which floor you are located on, the distance of the elevator from the loading dock, and the distance of the elevator to your front door.  This will help  your moving company give you a more accurate estimate and prepare the crew on moving day.