The short answer is: Yes, you certainly can buy moving insurance. The more complicated answer is that insurance obtained through a professional moving company will be different than that provided by traditional insurance companies, but both are available.
Typically you cannot buy moving insurance directly from a moving company per se, since they operate in a completely different industry than insurance companies do. But you can buy it in the form of better valuation coverage from the moving company.
You have two choices when it comes to valuation coverage from a moving company; basic coverage with released value protection and full value protection. Choosing either type of valuation is usually a good choice if you are not moving a lot of belongings or if the belongings are fairly easy to replace.
There are a lot of options in front of you when it comes to third-party moving insurance, and oftentimes making a decision on a third-party insurer is a longer process than what kind of valuation options you have when hiring cross country movers.
Before exploring the difference between these two, there is one more thing that you can do to protect your belongings: You can insure them yourself by taking some of them with you.
Protect Your Own Belongings
Even if you have made the decision to hire a moving company to take your belongings and move them to wherever you need them to be, you’ll still need to drive or fly to your new location.
Although you may not be able to take as many belongings as you might like to if you’re flying, you can certainly take smaller items that you know will be safe in your possession. If you have decided to drive, you have more space for transporting possessions that should stay with you for safekeeping.
Doing this leaves belongings that are important to you under your watch and you’ll be able to protect them by yourself.
Something you should do before you entrust all of your belongings to professional movers is to see which kinds of belongings you know that you can take with you so that you can protect them yourself.
Although you may not be able to protect your own appliances or anything else that might be too big for you to move by yourself, you can certainly bring smaller items like valuable art, silverware or small antiques so that you can protect them yourself.
When it comes to belongings that you know that you need to entrust to a moving company, valuation coverage from your movers is the first option that you should explore as it is a little more cost-effective than purchasing insurance through a third party.
What is Valuation?
Just like you would think, insurance covers your possessions when you move by either reimbursing you completely for the belongings or in most cases replacing the belongings themselves.
Valuation is different in that it is a specific amount of liability that a moving company agrees to take if something happens to your belongings under their watch.
There are two major variations of this that most moving companies are familiar with: released value protection and full-value protection.
Released value protection (RVP)
The best thing about RVP is that it is supposed to be included in the cost of your move. You can use this to determine which moving company you should be doing business with by asking them if RVP is included with their fees. If the company does not, you should move on.
Generally speaking, RVP covers $.30 per pound per item during intrastate moves (usually considered as “local” moves) and $.60 per pound per item during interstate moves (“long-distance” or “cross-country” moves). This amount is reimbursed to you directly after the move is finished.
For instance, if your 300 pound refrigerator happens to get damaged by your out of state movers , $180 would be reimbursed to you.
This represents a potential pitfall in RVP. Sure, you’ll get reimbursed if something expensive gets damaged, but would the reimbursement cover that damaged item?
If you know that you will be leaving your most important belongings with your moving company, you’ll want to take full value protection instead of RVP.
Full value protection (FVP)
Different from RVP (released value protection), FVP costs a little extra but it also offers much more comprehensive coverage. You can think of FVP as the closest thing to being moving insurance without actually being moving insurance.
Moving companies are liable for the market value of the belongings that you leave with them. They will offer three different solutions if one of your belongings gets damaged during your move:
- Offer a cash settlement that is equivalent to the market value of the damaged item
- Repair the item if possible
- Replace the item with a similar one
Issues to be aware of with valuation
Valuation coverage from a local or long-distance moving company is in no way a replacement for physical moving insurance from a traditional insurance company. There are a few aspects about valuation that you should be aware of.
\You need to understand that insured movers who use valuation are typically not liable for items that have extraordinary value that you know is worth more than $100 per pound. Keep this in mind if you have decided to entrust anything that you would consider extraordinary with your moving company.
Also, neither released value nor full value protection options cover natural disasters.
Third Party Insurance
The role of third-party insurance is to provide absolutely full coverage on your belongings from a completely different provider than the movers you’ve hired.
For example, when you get reimbursed $.60 per pound per item under a moving company’s RVP, the insurance company will reimburse the additional $.40 per pound.
Additionally, unlike a mover’s valuation coverage, third-party insurance will also cover natural disasters, making it a decent choice if you know that the place you are moving to has a good chance of experiencing tropical storms, blizzards or other natural disasters.
There is also a chance that your homeowner’s or renters’ insurance will cover your belongings when moving. You should certainly check to see if it does.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does full value protection valuation cost?
This all depends on the moving company, but you can expect full value protection valuation (FVP) to cost a little less than insurance would cost. If the full value protection valuation happens to cost more than insurance, you should ask the moving company why this is. In some cases, moving companies might add a feature to their full value protection valuation, such as being able to cover items that are worth more than $100 per pound.
How much does third party moving insurance cost?
Because third party moving insurance companies are able to price their services in different ways, this price will vary. However, you should traditional moving insurance to cost somewhere around $1.25 per pound when it comes to the overall weight of all your belongings. If their prices are higher than this, there is a chance that they might include additional coverage or something similar.
Can homeowners or renters insurance cover my move?
The answer to this obviously depends on what your homeowner’s or renters’ insurance actually covers. In most cases, it won’t in any regard. But some policies will cover certain items, especially if that item is still under warranty or if it has its own protection plan. Some homeowners and renters insurance policies will see that and agree to cover some of these belongings.
The Final Word on Moving Insurance: Know What Needs to be Covered
All things considered, it is indeed possible to purchase moving insurance. You can do this either through the basic valuation coverage that should be included in the cost of hiring long distance moving company, you can purchase full value protection valuation, or you can purchase third party insurance.
Those are your options. In order to make the most of these options, you need to know what needs to be covered definitively. You probably won’t need full value protection valuation or third-party insurance if you aren’t moving too many belongings that have a lot of value. It just isn’t worth it.
Getting third-party insurance or full value protection is worth it, however, if you are moving a lot of belongings that have a lot of value.