I’m going to be moving in the near future, and I’m curious about what protections, if any, I have under my homeowners policy. What happens if my house or personal property gets damaged during the move, or my stuff gets stolen directly out of the moving truck? Would I have to pay out of pocket for the losses? What I’m really asking is, do standard homeowners insurance policies cover moving?
Well, that depends. Most likely, in the way that most people are probably curious about this topic, the answer would be no. Homeowners insurance generally does not provide coverage for moving. If a moving company damages your personal property in the process of moving it from your old home to the truck or from the truck into your new home, a homeowners policy most likely would not cover you. Same thing goes for property damaged while on the moving truck.
However, I initially said the answer depends, because there are a couple of circumstances when you’d have coverage under your homeowners policy. Under traditional homeowners policies, you have something called loss of use coverage built in. This doesn’t apply to moving in the way that most people think of it, though, like moving between homes. We’ll explore this further in the next section.
As far as the type of moving most people are probably talking about, when you’re changing homes, your homeowners insurance wouldn’t offer much if any coverage for your personal property while it’s being handled by professional movers. You may have coverage in the event that your property is stolen from the moving truck, but that’s iffy. You’d have to consult your specific policy to be sure. Even if it’s covered, there’s likely to be a strict limit on the amount.
Now what standard homeowners insurance policies do offer is something called loss of use coverage. This coverage protects the homeowner in the event that the home suffers extreme damage or destruction to the point that it becomes temporarily uninhabitable. In such a case, the homeowner would have to seek temporary residence elsewhere.
Loss of use coverage would not only pay the fees for the temporary residence, such as a hotel room, but would also cover fees associated with moving your property out of your home so repairs can be done. Loss of use coverage would also provide reimbursement for storage units to temporarily house your belongings. Your loss of use coverage seeks to help preserve your property from further damage while you await home repairs.
Well, if you hire a reputable moving company to handle your stuff, they’re required to have their own insurance coverage to protect both themselves and their customers. Moving companies typically carry insurance that protects against damage to your home during the process of moving your belongings to the truck, damage to your property while they’re handling it, and damage to your property while it’s in the truck.
In order for your home and property to be covered under the movers’ insurance policy, damage would almost definitely have to have been unavoidable and unquestionably their fault. If you have loose steps and the movers drop your dresser and it gets damaged because of your unsteady staircase, you might not be able to file a successful claim in that instance.
You’ll want to work with your independent insurance agent to closely review your homeowners policy to find out if you have any coverage for mishaps with professional movers. In the event you’re temporarily displaced from your home and have to move your stuff, however, you’ll be covered under the loss of use section of your homeowners policy, often up to 20% of the total value of your home insurance.
Even reputable professional movers with their own insurance may not be required to reimburse you for the full replacement value of your belongings if they damage or destroy them, though. In many cases, movers are only required to refund a specific amount for the damaged or destroyed item, often $0.60 per pound. Obviously, a lot your personal property would be worth much more than this.
To get better protection for your belongings during a move, you’d want to look into a special moving insurance policy. Moving insurance protects your belongings in the process of the move, including loading and unloading and its journey on the moving truck. Moving insurance policies typically offer depreciated value coverage for your items, but full replacement coverage is also available. An independent insurance agent can help you get set up with the right policy for you.
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