Homeowners insurance covers your personal belongings from property damage and theft both inside and outside of the home, but that protection typically doesn’t extend to breakage during a move. If your belongings are stolen from your residence, a moving vehicle, or a storage unit, you may be covered by homeowners insurance, but any damage or theft of your property while in the possession of movers generally isn’t covered.
In order for any moving-related losses to be covered, the loss must be caused by a covered peril, like a storage unit fire or theft from your moving van. If someone steals your packed belongings out of your car, homeowners insurance will likely help pay to replace the stolen items, but if your TV screen cracks because it wasn’t securely packed, you wouldn’t be covered.
If you hire a moving company, they may have their own insurance policy that provides some amount of protection for your belongings, however this coverage is usually limited. If you rent a moving truck, the truck rental company may have insurance included in their rates or additional coverage options for enhanced protection.
Does homeowners insurance cover moving damage?
Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover your personal property if it’s damaged or broken during a move, unless the damage was caused by a covered peril.
For example, if you didn’t properly bubble wrap your dishware and it shatters during the move, home insurance wouldn’t help cover the loss. If you drop your couch and the legs break off, you also wouldn’t be covered. Homeowners insurance also won’t reimburse you for any belongings that you misplace during the move.
But if the damage is caused by a covered peril, such as a car or storage facility fire while your personal property is inside, home insurance may help cover the cost of new items (and auto insurance would cover the damage to the car). If your car was broken into and your packed belongings were stolen, home insurance would also cover the loss, up to your policy’s limit.
Bear in mind that the maximum amount your insurance company will pay out for personal property loss outside of your home is usually 10% of your personal property coverage limit. That means if you have $300,000 worth of personal property coverage, the maximum you’d be paid out for a claim if your belongings were damaged or stolen off-premises would be $30,000.
Additional coverage for a move
Although homeowners insurance typically don’t cover breakage during a move, some insurers may offer additional moving protection that you can purchase for your policy. One such coverage option is trip transit insurance, a policy that covers items lost during a move or in storage. Your insurer may also offer special perils content coverage to cover breakage of all but fragile items. Check with your insurance company about these options.
If you have items of high value, consider adding a scheduled personal property endorsement to your home policy. A scheduled property endorsement will increase coverage limits for valuable items, like jewelry or an art collection, in the event that they’re damaged by a covered peril both on or off your property.
Does homeowners insurance cover damage caused by movers?
No, home insurance doesn’t cover damage or theft of your personal belongings while being handled by moving professionals.
For example, if your moving company drops your computer, home insurance wouldn’t cover the loss. If a moving company’s truck was broken into and your stuff was stolen, homeowners insurance likely wouldn’t pay to replace your stolen belongings.
Licensed movers are required to have their own insurance. A moving company may include personal property coverage costs in their daily rates and may offer additional coverage options for a higher rate. If you rent a moving truck, the truck rental company may similarly include insurance in their rates, and they may also have additional coverage options or upgrades.
Can I get moving insurance?
All licensed moving companies are required to have a minimum amount of coverage to protect their liability. If a moving company drops your dining room table or shatters your glassware, they’ll have coverage to help pay for the damage to your belongings, however, this coverage likely isn’t enough to cover the full value of your personal property. If you’re curious about adding more coverage, ask the moving company their insurance options.
There are two common types of coverage offered by moving companies:
Released value coverage - Pays for 60 cents per pound for each damaged or lost item. Released value coverage is usually included in a mover’s rates.
Full value coverage - Reimburses you for an item’s market value if it’s damaged or lost during a move. Full value coverage costs more but typically offers more coverage than released value coverage. Make sure to read the fine print, as there may be exclusions or reimbursement limits for items of higher value.
You can also move without a moving company, especially if take advantage of government assistance programs that help cover moving costs. If you rent a moving truck, the truck rental company typically offers coverage options to protect the vehicle, the passengers, and the belongings inside the truck. If you want more coverage than a moving company offers, consider purchasing moving insurance from a third party carrier.