Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Moving Damage or Loss?

_KES4753_resizedOne of the most stressful parts of moving is worrying about damage or loss to your items during the relocation. At Olympia Moving & Storage, we want to be sure that you’re confident in the coverage of your belongings in case of loss or damage during the move. That’s why we’re sure to have a discussion with each of our clients about their coverage options before moving day. Often our clients will tell us that they’re all set because their homeowners insurance cover moving damages.

However, we were surprised when some of these same clients came back to us for help with their moving claim. That made us wonder, does homeowners insurance cover moving? It turned out that their homeowners’s insurance did not cover their belongings the way they thought. In the interest of protecting our clients and guiding them through the many decisions they have to make during their relocation, we decided to reach out to some insurance companies to find out what the real deal is with homeowners’ insurance moving coverage. Here’s what we learned:

Ask your company – does homeowners insurance cover moving?

Even if you’re confident that your homeowners’ insurance policy includes moving and storage coverage – that’s not enough. Call a representative at your insurance company to double check exactly what is covered. The insurance may not work in the way that you expect. During the call, be sure to ask these questions:

Will the homeowners insurance cover moving damage, marring, or scratches that happened to my belongings during the move?

You’d be surprised – usually the answer is no! Though there are a few homeowners’ policies that cover routine moving damage, the vast majority do not. Minor damages are common during a relocation, even when you’re moving with professionals. However, you cannot assume that your homeowners’ insurance will repair, replace, or reimburse broken items.

Is your moving insurance coverage for catastrophic damage or loss only?

Many homeowners’s insurance policies that advertise moving and storage coverage do not cover damage to a few of your belongings – what they actually cover is catastrophic damage to your belongings only. In other words, they have you covered on the extremely rare occasion that the truck carrying all your possessions catches on fire or drives into the lake. For any damage or loss less than that, you’re on your own.

Does your insurance company cover items damaged or lost while in transit for moving?

Here’s another gray area of homeowners’ insurance that we discovered: Some policies will cover damage to belongings while they are in your home. However, they will not cover damage that occurs while the belongings are in the possession of the moving company or in transit. So basically, your belongings are not covered during the move.

What is the deductible if I were to report a moving claim?

This is very important: most of what needs to be repaired or reimbursed after a move is worth only a few hundred dollars – an amount that is much less than the deductible you would be required to pay if you submitted a claim for damage during your move. Be sure to check that the minimum claim you would foresee submitting exceeds the deductible.

How would a moving claim affect my claims history?

As we all know, the more claims you submit to an insurance company, the more you risk a increase in your insurance premium. Make sure you understand how submitting a claim for, say, a scratched dining room table would affect your insurance costs.

Full Value Replacement Valuation – The Peace of Mind Solution

Here’s the good news: even if your homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover moving loss or damage the way you expect, there is a solution that will! Be sure to ask your moving company about their full value replacement valuation options. All reputable movers will have an option available for purchase that will give you peace of mind.

Olympia Moving & Storage offers full value replacement valuation for both local and interstate moving at any coverage amount you need. If any of your belongings are lost, damaged, scratched, or broken during the move, or if any property damage is caused by the movers, everything will be fully repaired, replaced, or you will be reimbursed for the full value under full value replacement valuation. Additionally, you would be working directly with our claims department for fast and personalized resolution. We know that’s the kind of moving coverage you were looking for! Click here for pricing and more information on our valuation options.

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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!

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Olympia Apartment Moving
Moving in Apartment Buildings
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