Are Your Belongings Covered When Using a Moving Company?

The Importance of Insurance While Moving

Moving can be one of the most stressful times in your life. You typically have a large list of items to keep track of in order to ensure that your new property is ready when you finally move in. Not only do you have to worry about the paperwork, you also have to make sure your personal items are ready for the move. To help make things easier, many people ensure that they aren't moving alone, and have friends or family assist them, while others hire professional movers.

A moving service can take out a lot of the grunt work when moving. Professional movers can make things much more manageable if you have large items to move. Even though the risk of something terrible happening is much lower than if you choose to move your possessions yourself, there is still a chance your belongings will be damaged. With that said, how do you properly insure your household goods to ensure you're covered if something happens when moving?

Does Home Insurance Cover Personal Belongings When They Are Being Moved By A Moving Company?

It depends. Your home insurance policy does provide coverage for items and belongings against loss when you are moving from one address to another as part of its default coverage. This is true whether you have homeowners insurance or tenants insurance  when you move from one address to another. However, a couple of conditions must be met for your items to maintain their state of being covered during this time.

The first condition you must meet for your insurance policy to kick in is that the move must be from one Canadian address to another. Insurance on an international level is complicated, and Canadian home insurance or renters insurance will not cover you when moving abroad. 

The other condition is that the move must be from one principal address to another. This is true regardless of if you're a homeowner or a renter. Moving your personal property to or from a place you will not be living in means your belongings will not be covered, leaving you at risk.

What is The Best Way to Keep Track of My Belongings While Moving?

One of the most effective ways to track your belongings is using a home inventory list. Not only does this provide some extra protection for your belongings, it is also a great way to keep track of everything you own. While creating one can certainly sound intimidating, it's certainly worth the extra work to do so.

Does The Moving Company I Use Impact My Insurance?

This one can be complicated. Although some people who file an insurance claim do so through their moving company, it's best to contact your insurance broker before doing so as they are trained to answer any questions or concerns you may have. If you go through your insurance company and open a claim, this can affect your claims free discount and rates moving forward. Your insurance broker serves you; in this situation, it is their job to make sure you fully understand coverages and how the claims process works. Regardless of the route you chose to take, the claim will be handled and you can rest assured it will be settled in a timely manner.

Are My Belongings Covered If It Takes More Than One Day To Move?

Moving is unpredictable, and there is always a chance something could delay you. Maybe you run into traffic. Maybe the weather slows you down. Maybe something personal happens in the middle of the day, interrupting your move. This can even make a move across town last a few days if things go far enough south. In addition to this, if you're moving to another province or somewhere similarly far away, the combination of transportation and logistics can easily last a long time. In the case of long-distance moves, you'll likely want to ensure you're insured for the entire time.

Luckily, your belongings will be covered if you require more than one day to move. However, not all insurance companies are created equal in this regard, as they cover you for different lengths of time. The time your personal property is covered can be as low as 30 days and as high as 90 days. While these numbers may seem high, these longer times allow you to be prepared in the case of a long delay.

If you're concerned that the move will take long enough for this to be an issue, you'll want to double-check. Luckily, your broker will know the length of time your company will cover you, so you should consult with them to ensure that you will be covered for the length of time you require to move appropriately.

Are My Belongings Covered If They Are In Storage?

With the right home, condo, or tenants insurance policy in place, your items will be covered if they are in storage up to a certain timeframe which will vary depending on your insurance carrier. Due to this, if your move takes a while, keeping your belongings at a temporary storage facility for a short time is a viable solution. Added storage protection is worth the extra cost. Additionally, items in storage are generally safe. However, they are not immune to anything going wrong. What happens if, on the off chance, something does happen? 

Whether you are storing your stuff because of a prolonged move, or for some other reason, your insurance can provide coverage for you.  The one condition is that your insurance company has approved the location. Storage facilities, and any storage locations you own are the most likely to be approved. The amount of time your contents in storage are covered ranges between 30 and 90 days. For this reason, it is recommended that you consult with your broker to see if the facility you plan on using is acceptable, and to know the amount of time you are covered for in your current policy. This will help you plan accordingly. 

Please also note that after the term is over, your belongings in storage are not covered for theft or attempted theft. Things such as damage will not be insured, so it is best to understand what you are covered for when leaving your stuff in storage for over 30 days.

Are My Belongings Covered If I'm Moving To Another Province?

Unlike when you move internationally, moving to a different province within Canada allows you to retain your coverage during the move. Remember that, as with other issues mentioned in this article, different insurance companies will cover you for different lengths of time. Since moving such a long distance will be time-consuming, you must understand your coverage plan before doing this. Doing so ensures that you are covered. Your broker has access to this information, so if you are currently unsure of your coverage, it is best that you speak with them to know how long you are covered for.

What Do I Do If The Moving Company breaks, loses or steals something during the move?

As much as you hope this doesn't happen, this is possible. There may be some accidental damage and, in rare cases, theft. In such an event of loss, the onus is on you to provide valid proof that the moving company is at fault for any losses they caused you during the move. You need to prepare in advance to ensure coverage for your belongings.

Before the move, take photographs of everything you are moving to show the condition it was in beforehand. Another big step is to list the items being moved and the rooms they are in. Also, ensure that you have on hand the signed contract with the moving company, as the terms of this will be important during any claims. 

Make sure that you can provide your insurance broker with relevant photos and paperwork, including the contract and any contact info the moving company may have in case there is a loss. They will need this information for your claim

How Can I Minimize My Insurance Risk While Moving?

As mentioned several times in this article, you must prepare beforehand. The tips mentioned above, such as photographing all valuables and knowing their value, making and maintaining an inventory list, as well as keeping a signed copy of the moving contract, are all big steps in keeping risks to a minimum and making sure that you're covered if something goes wrong. 

However, you can take extra steps while moving to keep the risks even lower. If any high-value items require extra special care, it's best that you take the time to handle them yourself. 

Individual items with a high replacement cost, such as a computer, television or other high-tech gadgets, expensive jewelry, silverware, fine china and other fragile items, collectable items, or other property with sentimental value, should be given extra attention. If any of these can be given a value, it's best to let your broker know the value of these items, as insurance companies can struggle with things such as collectibles and jewelry. Extra steps to protect your items before and during the move may include doing things such as giving them special wrapping or other steps to provide damage protection. You may also want to transport them separately. This is especially true for items that have value that's purely sentimental, such as something handmade or a gift from a late friend or family member. Consider moving these items yourself to ensure that the personal items that mean the most to you are given the special care they need.

Ask Your Moving Company For Proof Of Insurance

Your moving company may have their own insurance. If a moving company does, it shows good initiative and preparation on their part. A company that prepared itself for something going wrong offers a certain degree of trust. It is best to hire a moving company that is fully insured instead of one that isn't, as it does provide extra coverage.

Is There Anything Else I Should Keep in Mind While Moving?

You can certainly take some additional steps while moving to ensure a smooth move. Ensure that if you require rental vehicles, such as a truck the day of the move, they are booked in advance to ensure you can get them. Also, if you are having friends or family help you move, let them know in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts. 

Another tip would be that if you hire a moving company to assist you with your stuff, you hire a company you are comfortable with. Most moving companies are reputable, but it's always best to play it safe. If a company comes recommended to you by a friend or family member you trust, that would be a great place to start. If you have no such leads, it's easy to find online reviews for most companies these days. Both satisfied and disgruntled customers leave reviews online for many companies they use. Websites for specific companies, google, and social media are often the best places to find reviews for moving companies. 

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.

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