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Does renters insurance cover moving?

May 31st, 2017 - 2:20 PM

Check renter’s insurance coverage before moving

Renter’s insurance covers your personal property while it’s inside your house or apartment — but does it cover it during a move? In most cases, the answer is yes. But, all policies are unique, and there are several variables to consider. The best way to verify coverage is to review your current renter’s insurance policy and ask your insurance agent/company questions. With that information, you can determine whether you have the coverage you need or if additional coverage is necessary.

Renter's insurance may cover moving, but it's important to check with your agent.

Things to look for in a renter’s insurance policy

While reading through your policy, look for exclusions and limitations and make sure you understand the specific terms and conditions. Some things to look for on your policy are:  

  • Transit policy. If this section is included, it will normally include information about coverage for personal property while it’s in transit — meaning while it’s moved from one location to another.  Oftentimes with renter’s insurance, personal property is covered only while it’s in your care. This means coverage may not apply while it’s traveling with a moving company. It’s also important to note whether there is a limit on the number of days your property is covered in transit (a 30-day limit is common).
     
  • Named perils. Almost all renter’s insurance policies include a “named perils” section. This is the section that describes the risks covered and excluded by the policy. While policies differ, some common covered perils are fire, theft and smoke, and some common exclusions are flood from water moving along the ground and earthquake. If you’re hiring movers to pack, load and unload, it’s important to note that renter’s insurance normally doesn’t cover your belongings if they break something.  
     
  • Percentage of coverage when away from primary residence. Some policies cover personal property while they are away from the home, but only at a percentage of the coverage.   
     
  • Limits for different categories. Be familiar with any category limits stated in the policy. For example, the policy could cover personal property at $30,000 but include a limit of $1,000 for jewelry. If the value of an item exceeds the coverage amount, an endorsement (often called a “rider” or “floater”) may be necessary.
     
  • Actual Cash Value (ACV) or Replacement Cost Coverage Value (RCV). When you took your renter’s insurance policy out, chances are you selected either an Actual Cash Value or a Replacement Cost Value policy. With RCV, if your personal property is damaged by a covered peril you can replace lost or damaged items with similar items at current market value. If it’s ACV, it will take into account depreciated value and the payout would be less than the market value. 

Things to ask an insurance agent

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the details of the policy, it’s time to ask questions. Your insurance agent (or insurance company if you don’t have a local agent) should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Is my personal property covered while I’m moving? What if I’m moving out of state?
  • Does coverage apply while the belongings are inside the moving truck, in transit (or only if they are inside the home)?
  • Is there a limit to the number of days it’s covered while in transit?
  • Does the amount of coverage change while my belongings are in transit?
  • What if I hire movers or a moving company?
  • What losses (perils) are covered while my personal property is away from my residence?
  • What losses (perils) are not covered?

Do I need to add additional coverage to protect my belongings during my move?

If you’re planning to stay with the same insurance company, ask about the steps you need to take to transfer coverage to your new home. If the company provides renter’s insurance in your new location, it may just mean changing the address (premiums may increase or decrease based on the location). Make sure to ask about additional coverage you may need at the new location (e.g. earthquake or flood insurance). If your current insurance company doesn’t provide coverage in your new state, you’ll need to find a company that does.

Selecting a reputable moving service

Making sure your personal property is covered while it’s traveling to your new home is important, and so is selecting a reputable moving service. U-Pack is a great option. You take control of your move (and how your belongings are packed, loaded and unloaded) and U-Pack does the driving. Like other self-moving services, U-Pack doesn’t offer moving insurance, but your belongings are covered with limited liability coverage. Read more about U-Pack liability coverage.

Have questions about renter’s insurance or moving with U-Pack? Leave a comment below. We’re happy to help!

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