What is third-party insurance?
Third-party insurance providers handle moving insurance for moving companies, since moving companies aren’t authorized to sell insurance themselves. With third-party insurance, you can still purchase full coverage—just from a separate provider.
For example, if you’ve chosen basic (or released) value protection to cover your move but want additional coverage, third-party insurance lets you pull this off. Since basic protection covers only up to $0.60 per pound, third-party insurance can help make up the $0.40 difference to the dollar.
Before getting third-party insurance to cover what your moving company’s insurance does not cover, you may want to see if your homeowners or renters insurance policy already covers you. It is uncommon but not impossible!
So do I need moving insurance?
This all depends on how pricey and valuable your goods are—and if you want insurance over valuation. For instance, if you live in Florida and are moving during prime hurricane season, it might make more sense to go with insurance, since it protects against water damage.
But if you’re moving locally and your concern is less about unpredictable weather and more about a mover shattering your favorite Martha Stewart plate set, you’re probably better off going with a valuation option.
But doesn’t my homeowners policy cover the move?
It’s all case-by-case, but generally speaking, most homeowners insurance policies do not cover household goods in a move—or their coverage is extremely limited. Homeowners insurance policies cover your belongings while movers are packing them in your home, but your belongings won’t be covered in transit, which is the whole point of having moving insurance in the first place.
If the thought of this worries you, and valuation doesn’t seem like enough protection, moving company insurance can be a good solution. But remember, moving companies aren’t authorized to sell insurance themselves, so you’ll have to get it from a third party.
How much does moving insurance cost?
The out-of-pocket cost for moving insurance will vary depending on the value of your belongings. Full-value protection (offered by your moving company) will cost between 1-2% of the overall value of your property, while released value protection is provided for free. Third-party insurance will generally cost about $1.25 per pound, but these costs can vary from company to company.
For example, if you are shipping a 400-pound table worth $1000, your moving company will charge you between $10-20 to cover with full replacement value, while a third-party insurance company will charge $500.
How can I figure out the value of my household goods?
Figuring out the value of your household goods prior to a move is important in estimating and preparing for the replacement cost—so be sure to study up on how to perform a home inventory.
To start, we recommend looking at the quoted weight of your load per room, provided by your salesperson. Knowing this can help you gauge the general cost of a room so you can know what to expect in compensation or replacement costs. Your mahogany, Ron Burgundy-inspired office, for example, will probably be worth more than your kids’ plastic-filled playroom.
If you’re worried about how much a particular item costs, we recommend doing some online research. For example, you could look up similar items on Amazon or eBay to get a rough estimate.
Taking photos is helpful for damage claims
It can be helpful to take photos of your belongings before the movers arrive. That way, you can submit before and after photos when you file damage claims, which will strengthen your claim and make it easier for you to receive an immediate response from your moving company.