Updated: November 2016
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 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.
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.
The deductible on 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.
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 residence premises. 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 items such as jewelry or baseball cards.
You may be able to purchase additional protection, called scheduled personal property coverage, for specific, high-value items.
While your homeowners policy will likely cover theft, when it comes to damaged property, it isn't likely to provide coverage for move-related damage.
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.
There are other reasons to reach out to your agent before your move, of course. By contacting your agent a month or two before your move, you can go over the change of address and any coverages you may want for the new home.
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.