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Does my home insurance cover my stuff while moving?

Are you moving to accommodate a growing family? Or moving across the country for a job? No matter the reason moving is a process – even if you hire movers. One question you might have is does your home insurance cover your stuff while moving?

The answer depends on your coverage and how you move.

Call your broker if you’re moving.

First you need to inform your insurance company and insurance broker that you’re moving. You should contact them for a few reasons:

  • To ensure you’re covered during your move (or understand the limits of your protection).
  • Not all insurance brokers are licensed to provide insurance advice across the country. You may need to change your insurance broker if you’re moving to a new province.
  • You’ll need to inform your insurance broker you’re moving and either set a date to cancel the policy (if you’ve sold it) mark it as vacant (if the home will sit empty) or if you’ve got renters moving in.
  • You’ll need a policy for wherever you’re moving (whether that’s condo home or renter’s insurance).

Your broker will be able to help you deal with all of the above.

You should provide a timeline for your move and update them if it changes. This will help ensure you’re stuff is covered from point A to point B without interruption.

If you are moving yourself is your stuff protected?

Your stuff will likely have some protection if you’re moving yourself but this isn’t always the case. There may be limitations on your coverage. That’s why it’s critical to talk to your insurance broker before you move. Keep in mind you’ll still need to pay the deductible on your policy.

Keep in mind that your personal car insurance won’t cover a rented moving van as the van is considered a commercial vehicle. To protect yourself call your independent insurance broker as you may have a few options. You may be able to add an extra rider to your current policy or you may want to talk to the rental truck company as they may offer insurance coverage.

If you are moving with a moving company is your stuff protected?

If you hire a moving company to transport your belongings be prepared to discuss insurance. While most homeowner and renter policies will provide coverage this is limited at best and doesn’t cover all situations that can arise during a move. For instance your homeowner policy will cover a situation like boxes being stolen off of the truck during the actual transit of your goods but it won’t necessarily cover damage done to an item during the moving process by a mover. Also any claim made on your homeowner policy will mean forking out your deductible before your insurance provider covers the rest.

To bridge the gap many moving companies will offer basic insurance coverage. Typically  coverage limits are based on the weight of your items so a moving company may offer $0.10 per kilogram for inter-city moves and $0.30 per kilogram for province to province moves. The good news is if you do need to make a claim because an item was damaged or broken you won’t have to pay a deductible and it won’t be considered a claim against your homeowner insurance policy history. To appreciate how much coverage you will actually get read your moving contract thoroughly. Also ask questions before signing anything. Some moving companies will use codes to identify damage and add these codes to your final contract—the contract you must sign before they leave you to unpack. If you sign you are acknowledging this damage and that effectively denies you the ability to go back to the moving company and claim for damage. By asking what the codes mean you can alleviate stress later should you need to make a claim against your moving company for damage to your personal belongings.