You’ve decided to move to another country. It’s a huge change, but you’re confident it’s the right decision. Now it’s time to figure out the details, including how to move all your stuff, and how to get the best international moving insurance. You don’t want to risk losing everything you own, after all.
But you have questions—so many questions. Don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place.
Q: Why can’t I use my homeowners insurance?
A: Some homeowners insurance policies cover damage to belongings during a move. However, this is not something that should be assumed. Many policies exclude or limit damage for valuables while they are in transit and away from your home. When you’re moving to another country, the situation is even more complicated. Homeowners insurance rarely covers valuables outside of the country. You can double check your policy, but most likely, you’ll need to get moving insurance from your mover or a third-party moving insurance provider.
Q: My moving company offers international moving insurance. Should I just take that?
A: It’s always a good idea to compare quotes first. Compare coverage limits, terms and rates with a third party moving insurance policy before making any decisions. It’s important to read and understand the terms and conditions. If it’s confusing, talk to a customer service representative with the company. Make sure the insurance you’re being offered is the coverage you actually need. Usually, that means All Risk Insurance with an amount that’s high enough to replace all your belongings if something happens.
Also beware of confusing valuation (also known as “released value”). Valuation is the amount of liability a moving company will accept for the value of your goods if they are damaged or lost during the move. In all cases, this amount is much lower than what actual insurance would pay you and insufficient to replace your valuables.
Q: I want to save money by packing my own stuff. Why does my insurer say I can’t?
A: If you want All Risk Insurance, which covers loss and damage to individual items, you need to pay for professional packers to keep those items safe. You may do a good job packing your glassware and vases, but the insurer doesn’t want to be held responsible for any mistakes that you may make. Professional packers know the tricks of the trade and how to minimize the chance of damage to your belongings. Put that expertise to use!
There’s another reason to avoid low balling: The coinsurance (under-insuring) clause. Very simply, the coinsurance clause penalizes you for under-insurance, and limits payments to the extent that you purchased coverage. So, if you insure your load with a $5,000 value, but the shipment is really worth $10,000, you have a 50% coinsurance factor. That means coverage could be limited to 50% of the damaged items value less the deductible.
Q: Which type of international moving insurance provides the most protection for my valuables?
A: If you want the best coverage available, choose All Risk moving insurance. This coverage typically requires you to have your belongings packed by professionals to minimize the chance of any damage during shipment. This added cost is well worth the investment. All Risk coverage protects your entire shipment against total loss or partial damage. Unless the terms of your policy exclude a specific item or cause of loss, you have complete protection against anything that could go wrong. All Risk is the most comprehensive form of moving insurance coverage, and can even include protection against mold and mildew – a common international moving exposure.
Gadi Binness is the CEO of Moving Insurance LLC, dba: Relocation Insurance Group, LLC. For more information about the company, visit www.RelocationInsurance.com or call 888-893-8835.