Moving insurance is probably a phrase you’ve happened across at one point. But what does it mean exactly and how much do you have to pay for it?
Here’s a knowledge bomb that will probably take you aback: movers insurance is not insurance per se.
That’s right. You see, moving companies, by law, are not licensed to sell insurance. That’s the work of insurance companies. What movers offer you as “insurance” is in a real sense what should be called valuation.
That’s not to mean they are lying. Valuation, in every practical sense, functions just like insurance: the mover ensures compensation for your possessions should you incur any damage or loss.
In this article, we will be using the two terms interchangeably.
Do I need Valuation Coverage?
Now, you are not obligated by law to buy movers insurance.
However, if you’ve come across the bad reviews and complaints meted out on moving companies each year touching on damages done to people’s items during a move, you will know that having your belongings protected is a good idea.
That’s especially the case when it comes to sensitive items like artwork, paintings, antiques, jewelry collections, and so on.
The whole essence of having your items “insured” is to get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your belongings are being taken care of during the moving process, as well as having that surety that there is a backup plan should anything happen. Stuff does happen, you know.
Any mover certified by the Department of Transportation should be able to offer basic cover for inexpensive or replaceable items, so typically you should have enough insurance as is.
However, a full-value protection policy begins to make sense when you are dealing with your more expensive items.
Three Types of Coverage Offered by Movers
Before we can talk about the cost of mover’s insurance, it is important to give mention the three types of valuation coverage available.
Released-value Protection (Basic Moving Insurance)
This form of cover does not require you to pay any additional fees. It is offered by the mover for free. All you need to do is request this coverage and activate it by signing a contract.
This cover compensates you a paltry 60 cents for every pound of damaged items, so it’s best to opt for another form of protection if you are worried about the possibility of damage or loss.
Full-value Protection (Upgraded Moving Insurance)
Full-value protection works just like a regular insurance policy. Typically, it costs 1-2 percent of your property’s value. So, if you’re moving stuff worth $20,000, you’ll have to pay $200-$400 and coverage will not exceed $20,000 worth of damage.
Full-value protection does not cover very costly items (items worth more than $100 per pound) – for example, antiques and jewelry.
A form of liability insurance, you can purchase third-party insurance to supplement your mover’s insurance.
The cost of third-party mover’s insurance is usually calculated based on the amount of stuff you’re moving and the distance to be covered. Each company has a different way of computing it, but you can always guesstimate your inventory as you pack to get a rough idea.
So, What Does Moving Insurance Cost?
As you can probably gather, the cost of mover’s insurance will ultimately depend on your chosen form of protection – whether you have opted for released-value protection, prefer full-value protection, or would rather get your coverage from a third party.
Plus, regardless of what you end up settling for, the cost will vary from one individual case to the next. But this is generally the low-down of what you can expect.