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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Moving Liability and Valuation

Protect your belongings

Placing value on your possessions

When the moving crew arrives on move day, they will ask you to place a value on your possessions. Olympia’s liability for loss or damage varies depending on how you release the shipment. Your goods are not automatically fully covered for loss or damage during the move. You must select the type of protection you desire and indicate your choice, in writing, on the Bill of Lading. The Bill of Lading is the moving contract between Olympia Moving & Storage and you. The purpose of this information is to help you clearly understand the two choices available to you. A selection must be made prior to the start of any packing or moving services.

Valuation programs

Option 1: Replacement Cost Valuation (Recommended). This option covers repairs, replacement, or full reimbursement with no depreciation, minus the deductible you have selected. The mover will pay for the full cost of repairs if damage occurs while in our care and custody, up to the dollar amount of valuation selected. If the item cannot be repaired, we will replace it or replace it with a like item if the exact item is no longer available. If the item cannot be repaired or replaced we will pay you the cash value based on the current replacement cost (pending proof of value).

Option 2: 60 cents per pound per article. This is the minimum coverage required by the government and is provided free of charge. If your goods are damaged or lost, the mover’s maximum liability is 60 cents per pound per article. If your goods are damaged or lost, you will be entitled to recover the depreciated value of the item damaged or lost, or 60 cents multiplied by the weight of the damaged or lost article (whichever is less).

Example: A 10-pound chair is damaged or lost. You would be entitled to: 10 (lbs.) x 0.60 (cents per lb.) = $6.00. You would be allowed a maximum of $6.00 for that particular chair.

For more information, please download our valuation program brochure (.pdf).