The biggest life events often require extensive planning. This is especially true if you’re planning on moving. One day you’re wondering what to take and what to leave behind, and before you know it, all your items are packed and it’s time to move on.
Amid the flurry of things to consider when you’re moving, it’s easy to forget how this will impact your insurance. You may have to drive to work now, which will directly affect your auto insurance. Your new home may have fewer exposures now that you’ve moved away from the coast, for example, and so your homeowners’ insurance will now reflect that.
May is National Moving Month and there are many questions that will pop up if you’re planning on moving soon. Jason Hargraves, managing editor at insuranceQuotes.com, shared some key insights on the subject.
To hire or not to hire
This is often the quintessential question at the heart of moving: Should I hire movers or do it myself? Some do a bit of both and rent a U-Haul for the bigger items while packing smaller items in a car to save time.
“With hiring movers, you have some built-in insurance that comes with that. Most moving companies are required to have some sort of insurance, either by federal law or state law. They have to offer that to you,” says Hargraves. “And so that would be the easy way to do it. If you were moving by yourself with your friends, your coverage may be a little more complicated.”
If you’re moving your stuff on your own, get in a car accident and your stuff catches on fire, your homeowners’ insurance may cover it. But if your stuff just gets damaged in an accident on the road, it wouldn’t necessarily pay for it.
“You have to remember that your stuff is only gonna be covered during the move normally for the kind of coverage you have inside your home,” says Hargraves, adding that it is mainly is for fire and theft.
But there is some gray area where you might have some coverage. If you’re going to move yourself, Hargraves advises talking to your agent first and explain what you’re moving, how much your stuff is valued at and work with them to find out exactly kind of coverage you have. Additionally, don’t be afraid to shop around if you don’t feel your homeowners’ insurance isn’t up to snuff.
Where you’re moving to matters
If you hire movers, do they cover 100% of the costs in the case of an accident? Hargraves says it depends if you’re moving to a new state or relocating within a state.
“If you’re moving from one state to another state, the federal government gets involved and they mandate what insurance the moving company has to offer you,” says Hargraves. If you’re moving from New York to New Jersey, for example, a moving company has to offer you one of two types of insurance: a released value policy or a full value policy.
If you’re moving within the state, whether it be down the street or across town, that’s where it gets a little tricky because each state has its own rules when it comes to moving, moving companies and what insurance they have to offer. Along with contacting your agent about a state’s rules, you can also shop between movers based on what kind of insurance they offer.
Moving is often seen as the start of a new beginning. Things change, your lifestyle changes, and your coverage needs change as well.
“It’s a change of life scenario, much like getting married, so I think people should look at the time to evaluate all your insurance coverage and see if it’s meeting your needs,” says Hargraves.