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Moving Insurance and Hiring Reputable Movers

Friday, March 17, 2023
A couple over 50 dancing in their new home after moving into a smaller house in retirement

Are you about to pack your belongings and move home? Congratulations! You have a lot to think about amid all that excitement. But make some time to consider what level of moving insurance you need to protect everything you possess.

When we get to our 50s, we have a fully furnished household. Many people have expensive electronics, valuable furniture, precious artworks, and one-of-a-kind ornaments.

Some of those possessions can get damaged or lost during a move. As a rule, your homeowners or renters' insurance policies do not accept claims for any loss that occurred during a move. That is why it is important to check whether you have adequate insurance for moving.

Careful planning and preparation are essential for starting the new chapter in your life on a good note. Read on to learn how to make sure your belongings arrive safely at the destination and how to get adequate compensation if an unfortunate accident happens. 

How to Hire a Reputable Mover

Moving to a new home can be a stressful and overwhelming process, and the last thing you want to worry about is the safety and security of your belongings during the move. It is essential to hire a reputable moving company to ensure that your belongings are in good hands and your move goes as smoothly as possible.

Reputable movers are experienced, reliable, and professional. And since accidents can happen to even the best movers, it’s crucial to learn in advance how the company you choose will compensate you for moving damages. 

You could research moving companies yourself, get multiple moving quotes, and carefully analyze to see whether the moving company you choose offers suitable moving insurance coverage to protect your belongings in transit. 

Or you could opt for the easier path and let AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft match you with a professional moving company that offers all the services you may require, including sufficient insurance. 

We’ll talk more about Shyft later, but first, let’s consider different types of moving insurance and whether you need it.

An Asian American lady with a laptop on her lap knitting after moving to a retirement village

What is Moving Insurance?

Moving insurance is a type of coverage that protects your belongings during the moving process. This moving coverage is essential because accidents can happen even during the most carefully planned and executed move. Moving insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection in case any of your items are damaged or lost during the move.

There are three types of moving insurance available: released-value protection, full-value protection, and third-party insurance. Most reputable movers offer at least released-value protection and some also let you opt for full-value protection.

Moving insurance costs depend on the type of insurance you choose. Make sure you understand the options available to you and opt for the one that suits your needs.

Released Value Protection

Released value protection is mandatory for all moving companies and almost always comes at no additional cost. However, the cover is minimal and calculated by weight. You’ll get up to 60 cents per pound for an item. If the mover damages or loses your $700 electronic device that weighs 20 pounds, you will receive a compensation of only $12. 

This protection does not offer repair or replacement of damaged or lost items.

Full Value Protection

Your moving company may offer full-value protection and assume liability for the replacement value of any lost or damaged items.

If any of your belongings are lost, damaged, or destroyed during the move, the moving company is responsible for either repairing or replacing the item or providing compensation based on its market value. 

However, natural disasters are exempt from full-value protection. You will not get compensation if your belongings are damaged or lost due to a tornado.

Furthermore, moving companies usually limit the value of the items covered. Most movers accept the liability of $100 per pound, which can’t even begin to compensate you for losing a valuable painting.

Some movers will agree to be responsible for articles of extraordinary value. You need to ask your moving company about this before the relocation and, of course, declare the valuables on the shipping documents. 

The price of full-value protection is usually about 1% of the declared value of your belongings. The moving company will typically accept your valuation.

When getting cover from a moving company, you can choose a released-value or full-value protection, not both.

Third-Party Insurance

Third-party insurance coverage can provide additional protection for your belongings.

If you opt for third-party insurance coverage, you purchase additional insurance from an independent insurance provider, separate from the coverage provided by the moving company. 

This additional moving coverage is a good idea if you have high-value items not covered by the moving company, for example, a valuable piece of art or a collection of antique furniture. 

Third-party insurance will also cover your possessions in case of natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, or fires.

This type of moving insurance usually supplements released-value protection. For example, if your $700-worth electronic device disappears, the moving company will pay out $12, and the insurer will cover the rest.

The cost of third-party insurance policies ranges from 1% to 5% of the total valuation.

A couple over 50 planning their move into their dream home

Are Moving Companies Liable for Moving Damages?

As already mentioned, loss or damage due to natural disasters are typically not covered by moving companies. These events are covered only by third-party moving insurance.  

There are several other circumstances in which a moving company can reject liability: 

  • You packed the boxes yourself. You will get compensation if a self-packed box is lost in transit, but not if it is damaged. To have proper moving coverage, let your movers pack valuable items. 
  • You failed to report the loss or moving damage in the prescribed time. 
  • You did not specify high-value items before the move.
  • You packed dangerous materials such as batteries or hazardous chemicals without notifying the moving company.

As a side note, remember that most movers will not agree to transport plants. If you have plants you can’t bear to leave behind, consider moving them yourself.

How to File a Moving Insurance Claim

Note any loss or moving damage on the bill of lading when signing off the receipt of your shipment. Then contact the moving insurance provider to get their claim form. 

When submitting your moving insurance claim, it is a good idea to include pictures of the damaged items. Also, take photos of valuable and fragile items before the move to support your claim.

Most reliable moving companies will settle your justified claim. If not, FMCSA recommends that you seek arbitration for damages up to $10,000. 

If you decide to sue the moving company for damages, be sure to review your contract, collect all evidence, and send a demand letter to the moving company. Then approach the court that has jurisdiction over your case.

Does Moving Insurance Have a Deductible?

Both full-value and third-party moving insurance can include a deductible. A deductible is an amount you pay before your insurance covers the rest of the claim. 

Generally, you choose the deductible amount you are comfortable with. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium will be. But, on the other hand, you will have to pay more in case of a moving insurance claim. 

African American mother and son putting a potted plant and a box in a car as the mother moves to her retirement home

What is the Best Moving Insurance?  

The best moving insurance is the one that suits your needs.

Moving company’s full-value protection is a good choice for most standard households. If you have many high-value articles or are concerned about the possibility of weather-related damages, it would be better to take out third-party moving insurance. Paying the insurance premium is worth the peace of mind. You stand to lose much more if anything unforeseen happens. 

However, before taking out additional moving coverage, check your homeowners or renters' insurance policy. Although this type of moving insurance usually does not cover household goods in transit, it is a good idea to ask. Call your insurance provider to find out whether your belongings are protected during transport.

There is usually no need to take moving insurance for short local moves that you undertake with your own vehicle. In that case, you should be protected by your homeowners or renters insurance policy.

Let Shyft Find You a Reputable Mover

Moving can be stressful, and you don’t want to add the safety of your belongings to your worries. Protect your belongings by choosing a reliable mover and the right moving coverage. 

When you decide to let AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft organize your move, you can enjoy peace of mind. 

You will be dealing only with reputable movers. You will also be assigned a dedicated Move Coach to assist you with every aspect and every step of your relocation.

You can ask your Move Coach to help you understand different moving insurance options. Feel free to ask questions and communicate your concerns. Your Shyft Move Coach will be happy to answer all questions and provide the information you need to make an informed decision. 

With Shyft, you will have a smooth, well-organized move. The whole process takes a few simple steps. 

Just schedule a 30-minute video call with a Move Coach. During the call, guide your Move Coach through your home, pointing the camera at the articles you want to move. The Move Coach will create an inventory list, which is typically 95% accurate. You can add or remove items to make it 100% accurate. 

Your Move Coach will post the inventory list on a secure Shyft platform, where verified moving companies submit their offers. Shyft is a moving industry platform connected with hundreds of carefully vetted professional movers waiting to bid for your business. The bidding system ensures that you get competitive prices. 

You will get from Shyft at least three top moving quotes so that you can select the reputable mover that suits you best. 

Once you choose a moving quote, it is locked unless you add or remove items, change the move distance, or fail to book your move before the expiry date. There are no additional fees, and there are no hidden moving costs. You will get a fair and transparent pricing structure with a detailed estimate of the moving costs.

Whichever company handles the move, your dedicated Move Coach will guide you through the entire process, ensuring the same quality standards apply to all. 

Shyft also offers comprehensive protection for your relocation. The moving coverage is tailor-made for the household goods moving industry. Claim settlements are fair, accurate, and finalized as quickly as possible, usually within two weeks. 

Shyft understands that people over 50 have specific needs and has developed a platform especially for them, the AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft. What’s more, AARP members get an exclusive discount of up to $250 for every move. 

Download Shyft Next, the free mobile app for iPhone and  Android devices. Then schedule a video call with your Shyft Move Coach online or by phone at 1-888-501-3181 and start your stress-free moving experience.

Learn more about AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft online or call 1-888-501-3181 to get answers to any questions or concerns you may have. 

Shyft is there for you seven days a week. Book your move now and save up to $250.

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