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Does renters insurance cover moving?

Certain renters insurance policies cover moving, but even the ones that do might not give you all of the coverage you want. When you purchase a liability-only policy, or only buy the minimum coverage that your landlord requires, your belongings may not have any coverage at all.

Often, renters insurance covers your move for the same types of incidents that would be covered if you were not moving. This usually includes things like theft, fire, or if a visitor slips and falls in your home. Remember to check your policy to see exactly what is or is not covered. For example, you may have to purchase separate coverage for water or flood damage.

Renters insurance, however, often does not cover damage that happens during the move itself. If you or the movers drop something or an item breaks on the way, these are usually not covered. The important difference is mainly who or what caused the damage. If you or someone you hired caused damage as part of a move, it is rarely covered by renters insurance.

Renters insurance may cover a loss while moving if it would cover the same type of loss while you were not moving. This might include things like your furniture, clothing, and other personal belongings. You can check your policy for any rules for moving that may affect when your coverage applies and in what amounts.

Some renters policies cover items when they are not at your home. This coverage may protect your property from theft or other losses outside your home, but it may have lower limits. For example, if you have $10,000 in property coverage, it might only cover $1,000 worth of items stolen from your car or moving van, and the full $10,000 limit may apply only to losses at home.

What is the difference between renters insurance and movers insurance?

Renters insurance is a general type of insurance that protects you and your personal items while you live in a rented home. Movers insurance is a special type of insurance that applies to the types of losses you might face during a move.

With renters insurance, you might have limited coverage for losses or damage during a move. Movers insurance, however, covers things that happen during a move, like damage caused by movers. It can also extend your limits and coverage when your renters insurance does not fully cover a move. Moving companies often offer a few insurance options and coverages, however, you may be able to find coverage on your own.

When do I want to buy movers insurance?

Buying movers insurance is like buying any other type of insurance policy. You may want to compare the cost of the insurance to the cost of any loss that might happen.

Movers often offer free basic coverage for damage or loss that they cause. It may be based on the weight of your items or have a set coverage limit. This coverage is often not enough to fully cover most people's belongings. You may want to consider purchasing additional coverage if you:

  • Plan to move high-value items.
  • Are moving far away.
  • Leave your property in storage for a period of time between moving out and moving in.
  • Face other risks.

Also, if you are moving most of your valuables yourself and using movers only for heavy furniture and similar items, you may find that your renters insurance provides enough coverage.

What is the right amount of coverage?

You might want to carry enough coverage to fully protect your belongings. For moving insurance, getting the same limits as your renters insurance coverage may be a good idea. If you have not reviewed your renters insurance in a while, you may want to review the value of what you own to determine how much of what you own is covered.

Movers insurance often has two coverage options. You can get a policy that pays the current cash value of your items, which is what it would cost to buy a similar used item. Or, you can consider getting full replacement protection, which is what it would cost you to buy a similar new item.

Don't forget to check your policy to find out about limits on certain high-value items like electronics, jewelry, or collectibles, and to determine whether they are covered at all. There are often caps on what your insurance may pay for these types of items, even when a loss is below the policy coverage limit. If you want more coverage, it may require an add-on to your policy, or a separate policy.

Will renters or movers insurance cover damage if I do the moving myself?

If you are moving yourself, it is tough to find coverage for damage caused by the move. This includes when you are having friends or family help you. The reason is that insurance companies cannot make sure that your items were packed well or that you know how to move items the right way. Professional moving companies are covered because they have strong reasons to prevent damage: they want to keep customers happy and avoid higher insurance costs.

You can usually find coverage for other types of losses, such as theft, moving truck accidents, fires, and storms. These are some places to look for coverage:

  • Your current renters insurance policy.
  • Your new renters or homeowners insurance policy.
  • Special moving insurance policies sold by insurance companies to cover gaps in rental insurance policies while moving.
  • Coverage offered by a moving truck rental company.
  • Coverage offered by the moving company if you are using a self-pack service where they do the shipping.

If you are moving out of a rental property, you may want to prepare a Tenant's Notice of Intent to Move for your landlord, review your Move-Out Inspection Checklist, and take the first steps to get your security deposit back.

To learn more about your legal rights when moving or about how to solve a dispute over moving damage, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for affordable legal advice.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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