Does homeowners insurance cover damage to my belongings while moving?
Last updated: January 1
When you're moving, you likely have a lot of belongings that are going with you to your new home. So, you may be wondering, does your homeowners insurance protect your things if something happens to them during the move?
The answer is, not necessarily. While homeowners insurance generally does help cover your personal possessions, the loss has to be related to a peril that's listed in your policy.
Covered perils generally include risks like fire and theft. So, if there's a theft out of the moving truck, you may find that homeowners insurance helps cover the loss.
Your homeowners insurance policy may provide coverage for belongings damaged during a move in certain situations. For instance, if the moving truck is in an accident while transporting your belongings and your property is damaged, you'd likely be covered by your homeowners policy. In some cases, though, you may see that your coverage limits are lower while your belongings are being transported during a move. Your agent can help answer any questions about your specific policy.
Know Your Deductible
The deductible your personal property coverage will still apply. That's the amount you'll pay before your insurance coverage kicks in. So, for instance, if you have a $1,000 deductible and $5,000 worth of furniture is stolen from the moving truck, you'll typically find that your policy will reimburse you $4,000, as long as it's within the limits of your policy.
Know your limits
It's also important to know that, whether it's during a move or not, any property covered by homeowners insurance will only be protected up to the limits on your policy. Your policy may also include a lower limit for your personal property while it's away from your home. Talk to your agent to find out how your own policy may help protect your belongings during your move.
In addition, there are different standard limits depending on the category of property. For instance, your policy may state maximum coverage amounts for valuables such as jewelry or baseball cards.
You may be able to purchase additional protection, called scheduled personal property coverage, for specific, high-value items.
Understand theft vs. breakage
While your homeowners policy will likely cover theft, when it comes to damaged property, it isn't likely to provide coverage for items that break during your move.
Suppose your movers drop a table and the legs break off, or if they tear the canvas on that expensive oil painting. A typical homeowners insurance policy won't cover breakage, but you may find that a moving company offers its own insurance for that type of risk.
Once again, scheduling items of significant value may offer greater coverage, for example an expensive oil painting — and the scheduled item will typically be covered no matter where the loss or damage occurs.
Talk to your agent
By contacting your agent a month or two before your move, you can learn what type of coverage your current policy may provide for your move, go over your change of address and review coverage options and limits for your new place.
It's also an opportunity to go over any expected changes to your premiums with the new home.
Talking with your agent well in advance of your move is an opportunity to ensure that you have all the coverages you want when you move to your new home. Then, with the protections you need solidly in place, you can focus on getting settled in your new home and enjoying the days ahead.