Moving? Don't forget to adjust your insurance coverage for your new life

Stephanie Taylor Christensen

Whether you're relocating down the street or across the world, making sure you have the right insurance coverage can make for a smoother transition.

Taking your home insurance with you

As soon as you know your new address, inform your auto, renter's and home insurance providers of your moving plans and new location. If you're moving to another state, your insurance agent or company may not be authorized to do business there, and you'll need to seek a new provider, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners NAIC). Even if you're moving within the state, your insurance companies still need to know because premiums can vary greatly based on where you live.

Hiring movers

If you hire professional movers, be sure you understand your insurance options. Your existing renter's or home insurance policies will likely provide some coverage for your belongings while they're in transit, according to the NAIC. Familiarize yourself with your policy and deductible amounts, so that you're aware of potential out-of-pocket costs you'll have to pay for damaged belongings.

Moving companies are required have insurance that covers the items they are moving on your behalf, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA):

  • Basic "released value" coverage: The most basic coverage, which is provided for no additional charge, is called released-value coverage. The moving company compensates the customer for up to 60 cents per pound for a lost or damaged item.
  • Depreciated value coverage: This type of coverage will involve paying the moving company an extra fee. If an item is lost or damaged, your mover will replace it for its market value the cost, minus depreciation) or for a pre-determined amount per pound, according to the Ohio Public Utilities Commission.
  • Replacement value: For an additional fee, you can be compensated fully for the cost of replacing any damaged or lost belongings.

As soon as your items have been unloaded, NAIC recommends inspecting furniture and the contents of boxes. Require the movers to stay onsite until you've taken inventory of all goods. If you notice damage, obtain a written signature from the mover acknowledging which items are not to your satisfaction so that you can file a formal claim.

Renting a moving van

If you rent a moving van and handle the move yourself, confirm that your existing auto insurance covers the rental truck. Many do not or may exclude trucks of certain sizes, according to NAIC. However, most truck rental companies let you buy two kinds of insurance coverage for protection during the actual move:

  • Supplemental liability insurance SLI) protects the truck renter and rental truck company if the driver injuries someone or damages property.
Limited damage waiver insurance LDW) protects the driver from having to pay for damage to the rental truck.

See how much you could save today on your home insurance. Get your free home insurance quotes today!