Moving? Make Sure You’re Covered
Protect your possessions before, during and after a change of locations.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 40 million Americans moved between 2012 and 2013. Whether it’s across town or across the country, moving can be exciting – and sometimes stressful.
To avoid an unexpected financial loss, ask yourself these questions:
- Are my possessions covered during the move?
- Is my new home insured before I move in?
- Is my old home insured until it’s sold?
- Is my car insured for my new location?
Before the move
Before you pack the first box, here are some tips to make sure you’re covered.
- Create a home inventory to list your possessions in the event of a loss. American Family’s DreamVault is a free, easy-to-use, mobile-accessible tool that lets you upload pictures and descriptions of your belongings and access them from anywhere in the world.
- Check if your homeowners, condo or renters insurance protects your property in transit. If not, ask your agent about transit insurance.
- Verify that the moving company’s insurance covers any damage to your home – both the one you’re leaving and the one you’re moving into.
- If you put your property in temporary storage, make sure it’s covered. If not, talk to your agent about additional coverage.
- If a mover is moving your car, make sure it’s covered against damage.
During the move
Under federal law, interstate movers must offer two different insurance options for your property in transit – full value or released value protection.
Under full value protection, the mover is responsible for the replacement value of any property lost or damaged in transit. With released value protection, the mover is only responsible for a set amount per pound per item. For example, if your mover loses or damages a 50 pound flat-screen TV, you would receive compensation based on its weight, not value.
Federal regulations also require movers to provide you with a booklet called Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, which explains your rights and responsibilities as the shipper.
If you move yourself, make sure your homeowners insurance covers your property while in transit and your auto insurance covers a rental truck. If not, talk to your agent about additional coverage.
After the move
At your destination, don’t sign a delivery receipt if it contains language about releasing or discharging the mover from liability. By law, you have nine months to file a written claim for damages. If you do have a loss, report it promptly.
Once settled in your new home, change your insurance to show your new location.
- Auto insurance: If your move is within the same city or state, you may be able to keep your current coverage. If you move to a new state, you may need to change agents and possibly companies. Don’t cancel your old auto insurance policy until your new one is in force.
- Home insurance: If you own a home, keep insurance in force until the house sells. Acquire homeowner's insurance for your new home before you move in. If you need an apartment until your new home is ready, you may need to get renters insurance.
- Recreational vehicles: If you own a recreational vehicle such as an ATV, boat or camper, change the coverage to your new location before you use the vehicle.
If a new location is in your future, make sure you’re protected against a loss before, during and after your move. Contact your American Family Insurance agent for information about protecting your piece of the American dream.