As a homeowner, you’ve probably made sure that you have appropriate home insurance for your possessions. But let’s say you’re planning to move. Have you thought about what needs to happen to insure your belongings while they are in transit?

As the weather gets warmer, many people decide to move residences. In regards to insurance, many homeowners are curious to know what happens to their belongings when they are placed in the care of another party, such as a moving company.

Are you covered if a moving company breaks any of your belongings while in transit? 

If something happens to your belongings while they are in transit, you want to make sure you have appropriate coverage so that replacements or damages are dealt with accordingly.

Many companies that move your items have basic coverage for transporting goods. The coverage allotted is usually based on weight instead of the value of the items. In the event of a loss, this will be a drawback when assessing the value of loss or damages, seeing as weight does not always equal value. 

Specific coverage for goods in transit may make sense for you. Especially if you have high-value goods that will be in transit. 

If you are in between houses, how does the policy apply to items in transit?

The short answer is, that it depends on the policy. Generally speaking, your items are probably covered; however, the exact coverage could vary. 

A moving company accepts responsibility for getting items from point A to point B. Suppose the moving company drives in bad road conditions and has an accident, resulting in damage to your property. There would likely be some liability put on the moving company, and there would also be some coverage from your home insurance company. But the specific details of that coverage will depend on the respective policies. 

There are also exclusions for particular circumstances. For example, let’s say the mover refuses to take your items off their truck because of a payment dispute. If they hold onto your items, that would not be an insurable loss. A situation like that would be outside of the purview of transit insurance. 

If the loss or damage was caused by the mover—for example, someone dropping your flat-screen TV and damaging it—that may not be covered by your policy. Or, if your flat screen TV was not properly secured in the truck and the driver had to slam on the brakes, in that case, your home policy may not cover the damage. 

The most important thing you can do as a homeowner is to get in touch with your broker to explain your situation, and to find out exactly what you are covered for. Your broker can outline the necessary steps and what coverage is required for every step in your move. 

What about high-value items in transit?

You should reach out to your insurance broker to find the specific coverage limit for your items. It could be that your goods are covered for breakage in transit for up to a certain amount, but you should know your policy limits in case your belongings surpass that coverage amount. 

There is transport insurance depending on the amount of the high-value items. If the value of an item is more than the policy limit, you might need to buy additional coverage that doesn’t fall under the purview of your home insurance policy. That extra coverage will need to be transactional to the timeframe that you need it.

So what’s the best approach?

It’s good to ask questions of your broker before your move. What items are covered or not covered? What are the exclusions? Exactly what items fall under the purview of your existing coverage? What are the details and exceptions of coverage for items in transit?

Keep in mind that there’s no way that you can account for every possible scenario, but having these questions answered will clarify what will happen in many of them. You should know the details of your coverage at every step of your move, ideally before you book the truck. 

In other words, if you’re planning to move, you should plan to connect with your broker to go over the details. 

We at Benson Kearley are here to answer any questions you have if you’re planning a move, or if you’re looking to find out the details of your existing home insurance policy.