Moving Insurance: Never Move Without It!

Planning to move soon? Moving to a new place can be an adventure and an ordeal. There are several unique risks to take into consideration when planning out your move.

Take Gina for example. She owned many antiques including a rare display cabinet which was a coveted family heirloom. As you would expect, she was very specific about having this piece moved correctly and safely.

The movers were careful but despite their best practices and precautions, damage occurred. That’s because the truck was involved in a car accident while in route to Gina’s new home. As luck would have it, the item she most was concerned about was extensively damaged. The antique glass doors were broken, and a mahogany panel was smashed.

The movers explained that she when she booked the move, she had selected Released Value Protection, which only covered 60 cents per pound, per item for losses. The antique weighed roughly 250 pounds which meant she could only college $150 for the damages.

In hindsight, Gina wished she would have paid more attention to her moving insurance options. Fortunately, you don’t have to make the same mistake! Here’s what you need to know.

Interstate Moves

Interstate moves include moving between two states. This could either be a short drive across a state line or a cross-country expenditure. Federal law protects liability associated with moving between states. You generally have three options for protecting your household goods:

  1. BARE BONES OPTION: Released value. At no additional charge, this plan is the most economical if you only desire minimal protection. For interstate moves, the mover is liable for no more than 60 cents per pound per item. For example, if your mover has destroyed your 10-pound stereo system that is worth $1,000, you would only be compensated $6 (10 pounds x $0.60). To make the released value plan effective, you must sign a specific statement agreeing to this contract.
  2. SOME PROTECTION: Full Value Protection. This option protects your entire shipment of goods, requiring your moving company to be liable for any lost or damaged items up to the stated value and based on a minimum level of $6.00 per pound times the weight of the shipment. If any object is destroyed, the moving company can decide to replace the item using one of three options: repair the item, replace with a similar item, or offer money to replace it at current market value. There is a limit on the replacement value of an item. Any good that is worth more than $100 per pound (jewelry, art, antiques) is considered to have an extraordinary value and will not be completely covered. Ask your moving company for the details about insuring extraordinary value items. Unless you select the released value option above, the full value protection is automatically selected for your belongings. It costs more but gives you better coverage.
  3. BEST PROTECTION: Moving insurance from a third-party provider. Another coverage option for both intrastate, interstate and international moves is actual insurance offered by a third-party insurance provider. This insurance is optional and is governed by state law. It is also not included in basic moving company-provided coverage and must be purchased separately by you via the insurance entity of your choice. One such entity is, a leading moving and storage insurance provider.

When you choose to purchase insurance form a third party, you will need to sign the Waiver of Full Replacement Value on the movers Bill of Lading. In the unlikely event of a claim, you will be able to collect compensation only from coverage under your insurance policy. By law you cannot collect compensation from two sources.

Intrastate Moves

Intrastate moves are moves within your state. This could be a move from San Francisco to Los Angeles or a move from New York City to Rochester.

Intrastate moves are not regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Rather, they are regulated by the moving regulations applicable to each state. It’s important to check in with your local moving company or state moving association to find out what moving insurance option is best for you.

Third-party moving insurance provides the best protection for Intrastate moves. Learn more at

International Moves

Conversely, international moves may be incredibly complex.

International moving insurance or marine insurance is available for any cross-border or overseas move. This type of coverage is provided by a third-party provider such as

Types of Third-Party Moving Insurance

There are a few options to consider when purchasing moving insurance:

  • All Risk: This comprehensive option protects your individual belongings from damage or loss unless excluded in the insurance policy.
  • Named Perils: This option covers losses caused by perils named in the insurance policy. It’s important to know which perils you have insured.
  • Total Loss: This option is the most cost efficient, however does not cover damage to individual items. Instead, total loss only covers your shipment if it is completely lost or destroyed.

This handout provides a quick reference.

Learn More About Moving Insurance

To learn more about different moves and what coverage options are best for you, visit Relocation Insurance to speak with an expert.