Three Ways To Insure Your Move

Posted on: 16 June 2016

If you are like most people who are engaged in a move, you would like to assume that everything that leaves your old residence will arrive at your new residence in the same shape it started out in. Unfortunately, even when you secure the services of a professional moving company, things can sometimes happen that can cause your items to be damaged. But whose responsibility is it to repair or replace your items? The answer to this often boils down to how you have insured your move.

The Moving Company's Liability Insurance

All reputable moving companies are required to be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can check your mover's registration by asking them for their FMCSA number and plugging it into the website at As a part of being a registered carrier, they agree to abide by FMCSA's rules and regulations that have been designed to protect you as the consumer.

One of these regulations requires the company to carry liability insurance that will cover the value of any goods they are transporting. The extent of this liability is broken down into two basic levels. These are:

Full (Replacement) Value Protection - While this is the most comprehensive level of coverage offered by a mover, it comes with a cost that will increase the cost of your move. Fortunately, if your mover has already provided you with a binding estimate, this cost may already be calculated in unless you have waived this level of protection.

With this coverage, if something were to happen to one or more of your items while they were under the care and control of the movers, the moving company would have three options. They are:

  • Repair the item to the condition it was in when they received it
  • Replace the item with a comparable item
  • Reimburse you for the value of the item

If you choose this coverage, any items that have a value of over $100 must be listed out separately on your shipping documents for them to be fully covered. The cost of this insurance will vary based on the company and may even be subject to deductibles. 

Released Value Protection - This is the minimum amount of insurance a moving company is required to offer, and unlike full value protection, this coverage is offered at no additional charge to you. Unfortunately, this only offers you .60 cents per pound of protection per article that is included in your move.

For example: Even if your antique mahogany dining room table, weighing 100 pounds, was dropped and destroyed during the move, the moving company would only be responsible for reimbursing you $60 (100 x .60). 

Third Party Coverage

You are also able to purchase third party insurance that will cover your move. While there may be third party insurance companies associated with your moving company, you may be able to find better coverage at better prices by shopping around. This type of coverage is usually sold based on the declared value of your items. It could also be subject to various levels of deductibles that will affect the amount that you pay for coverage. Just remember that if you agree to a $500 deductible, you will be responsible for paying this amount before the policy will kick in and pay anything more. 

Homeowner's Insurance

Coverage under your homeowner's or renter's policy will probably be very limited. Your policy will probably only pay for items that are damaged due to some type of peril. An example of this would be if the moving truck was involved in a traffic accident during your move.

Even with this in mind, your insurance agent may be a great resource when looking for moving coverage. They may even have riders or add-ons to your existing policy that will help to cover you while you are in transit. While the cost of these riders will vary based on their terms and conditions, they may be cheaper than any other coverage that you may be able to find. No one wants to have to replace lost or damaged items when they arrive at their new location, but it is much easier to do so if your items are insured. 

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