A Guide to Moving Insurance

Posted on April 25, 2019

A good Mover will take every possible precaution to minimise the risk of damage, however the fact remains that there is still a risk when transporting fragile items, be it across the street or across international borders – for this reason it is strongly advised to buy additional transit insurance. Here we try to give you a guide to moving insurance.

An International Mover’s liability for loss or damage is limited, this is because there are factors out of our control that could cause damage. Transit insurance is optional, but recommended to protect yourself against financial losses if items do get damaged whilst in transit. Like most insurance there is wide range for cover available and the pricing varies accordingly, but the simple fact is the more you pay the more cover you likely to get. So we will start with the lowest levels of cover, and work our way up:

  • Total Loss Cover gives you the bare minimum, and here’s how it works. You calculate a total replacement value for your entire collection of household goods and personal effects, and in the event of a complete write-off ( for example your container ends up the sea, or the truck gets stolen), the insurers will pay out based on your total replacement value. The advantage of this type of insurance is that its very cheap, and its cheap because the chance of total loss is very unlikely. The disadvantage is that it only pays-out based on total loss, and it wont cover you if individual items are lost or damaged during the transit.
  • Selective Itemised Cover is the next step up, and it does provide cover for each item that you chose to insure. You will need to take some time to prepare a list of every item that you want to insure, the list needs to be as detailed as possible, you may be asked to provide photos, and purchase and receipts. You must declare the true value of all the items that you are insuring, its is critical not to under-value items as there is a “co-insurance” clause that can negatively impact any claim that you want to make. The advantage of this type of cover is that you can select only items that you are most worried about (family heirlooms, special art work for example), but the disadvantage is items that you haven’t listed on the valued inventory are not insured therefore you cannot make a claim if they are damaged or lost.
  • Full Itemised Replacement Cover is what most Movers will recommend. You will be required to make a full and detailed list with replacement values of ALL the items that you are transporting to your new home. You will be charged a premium based on the total replacement value of the contents of your home. That premium fluctuates based on the “deductible” which is an amount that you agree to absorb before the insurer pays out. A “zero” deductible means you agree to absorb nothing, however a $500 deductible means that if you make a claim for $1000 of damaged items the insurer will only pay out $500 maximum. The advantage of accepting a deductible is that the premium cost will be lower. Full itemised replacement gives you a good cover in the event of damage or loss, and you can be confident that you will receive a satisfactory reimbursement. A couple of extra points to check if they are included in your policy would be “Mechanical derangement Clause” which covers an event where a TV for example appears un-damaged from the exterior, but when you switch it on its not working. And “Pairs & Sets Clause” which covers the entire set if only one piece is damaged (for example a set of 6 crystal glasses).
  • Lump Sum Cover is the top of the heap but of course the most expensive. The insurers basically decide the value of your consignment using a calculation based on volume. This means that you do not need to provide an itemised inventory (except for items of very high value). His cover means that you need to do very little in terms of preparation, and it should mean that you are a high priority claimant in the event that you need to make a claim, and there is little that insurer can do to dispute any claim. Of course I don’t need to tell you that this is a very expensive policy

I hope that this piece has been of some help to you. You may also be interested in my next piece which is about making a claim