Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Moving Damage?
Homeowners Insurance policies vary completely so the first thing you need to do to see if your homeowners insurance covers moving damage is confirm with your agent. There is a huge disconnect between homeowners agents we have spoken to and the “google answer” as you will see below. We have also added a section below on how to completely protect yourself from loss during moving.
While homeowners does typically cover your personal possessions during a move there is often some ambiguous terms relating to when, where and if your items will be covered. Jeff Johnson, an Arbella agent states moving damage or loss is covered if it is related to a peril listed in your contract.” In other words, there has to be a catastrophe to be covered. These terms conflict with the google answer:
“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”
which we found google’s answer to be incorrect. In fact, homeowners insurance seems to be effective while your goods are in transit if there is a major catastrophe – fire, theft – that is when your homeowners insurance is activated.
Johnson has also stated “If the moving truck is in an accident or there is a fire/theft while transporting your belongings and your property is damaged, you’d most likely be covered by your homeowners policy. ”
You are not covered if your moving company damages your furniture during moving. For example, if the legs of a table are damaged and the table cannot go back together, your homeowner’s insurance will not compensate you – you will have to file a claim with your moving company which you will find specific instructions below.
Another consideration will be your deductible. Most homeowners insurance policies include a $1000 deductible. If you claim a computer or TV is stolen from your move – you may not be covered due to the fact that the item with depreciation subtracted may not even be worth the $1000.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM MOVING DAMAGE?
Moving companies are liable for $.60/lb/article for any moving damage. Therefore if a table breaks while moving and it weighs 100 lbs. The amount a moving company is responsible for is $60! Moving companies are not liable for damage to an actual residence ( i.e. walls, doors, etc.). Moving companies are not liable for any items they don’t pack. There are a few movers that offer full replacement value coverage for a move- here is a quick rundown of what you should do to keep yourself protected from moving damage during your move:
- Of course, talk to your homeowner’s insurance – and get all of the details. What, when, and how much they cover.
- Find a moving companies that offer full replacement coverage for the instances that your insurance agency will not cover moving damage. There are only a handful of moving companies that offer full replacement moving coverage. And only a few of those offer coverage at a reasonable rate.
- Compare moving estimates including coverage rates. Many van lines full replacement value coverage rates are so high – over $1000 for an interstate move which is usually what their deductible is! In which case there would have to be a major issue in which your homeowner’s insurance would kick in.
- The best moving companies will allow you to choose coverage when they arrive at your place- not beforehand. The movers that make you choose beforehand will most definitely have two types of moving crews – the customers who choose coverage will get the good crew. The ones who don’t opt for coverage will be be covered only at the $.60/lb so you can only hope for the best.
- Always check moving company reviews from verified sources – they can shed light on how moving companies are handling damage.
If there is damage during a move, your moving company will most likely send you through their claims company which is a lengthy process – you won’t see any compensation for 3 months or so. Your best bet is to offer a reasonable amount for your moving company to credit back to you – it can save a lot of time on both ends.