Whether you are upsizing,
downsizing, moving across town or cross-country, before a move it is
important to review your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy.
Below are a few things the National Association of Insurance
Commissioners (NAIC) suggests checking before the first box is packed.
Not all insurance companies or agents are licensed to
write in all states, so moving out of state could mean big changes in
your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy. Talk with your
agent to see if a current policy can be transferred to the new home, or
if it’s time to start checking out new companies or agents. Check
for tips on finding a new agent or company.
moving across town can affect the cost of a policy. Your agent will
need to know details about the new home like its age, construction
material, type of roof, square footage and interior finishes. They will
also need the details of your mortgage lender.
the agent with a timeline for the move so coverage is transferred to
the new home in a timely manner. Also confirm that household belongings
will be covered during the move.
hire a moving company, expect to be asked about insurance. Homeowners
and renter’s insurance will likely provide limited coverage for
household belongings in transit. The policy deductible will apply to
any claim made for a loss on these items, so check your deductible
amount and how it is applied before the move.
companies generally offer basic insurance coverage. The amount is based
on the weight of the items moved and federal (if moving state-to-state)
or state (if moving in-state) laws. Typically this basic coverage is
approximately $.30/pound in state and $.60/pound for an interstate
move. Carefully review the moving contract for the value in your move.
company may offer additional coverage for a fee. Coverage for a lump
sum value may be one option. This coverage is typically based on the
value of items rather than the weight. You must know the value of the
shipment and make a declaration in writing on your receipt (often
referred to as a “bill of lading”). Coverage for full value
protection may also be offered. This coverage will pay for the
replacement or repair of lost, damaged or destroyed property.
that securing a settlement from the moving company or its insurance
company may take quite some time. It is a good idea to inspect your
personal property immediately upon delivery at the new home. Note any
damages immediately to the moving company and ensure they sign off on a
list of the damaged property before the moving truck drives
if the moving company will be towing the family car, your personal auto
insurance policy should provide coverage for liability while in
transit. If your policy also covers physical damage to the car, that
should apply while the car is being towed. Check the policy and talk
with your insurance agent about what limits apply while the car is in
the moving company’s possession.
and family have volunteered with the relocation, you will likely need
to rent a truck. Some personal auto polices may provide coverage for
the driver’s liability in a rented truck, but many do not. Review
your policy closely for coverage and limitations before renting the
truck. Pay particular attention to any exclusions based on the size of
personal auto policy does not provide coverage, you may have the option
to purchase insurance coverage as part of the rental agreement. Two
common options are Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) and Limited
Damage Waiver insurance (LDW). SLI covers a claim made against the
driver of the truck or the moving truck rental company by another
party. LDW protects the consumer from having to pay for damages to the
rental truck. In both cases, there is generally a limit to how much the
supplemental coverage will pay.
truck company may also offer insurance on your belongings. The coverage
will be similar to what a moving company will offer.
economy, people are often having difficulty selling their home. In this
case, renting out a home is becoming a more popular option. However,
keep in mind that when the house becomes a rental property it has gone
from being a residence to a place of business, so it is important to
understand how this changes the insurance requirements.
insurance policy (sometimes called a “dwelling fire policy”
or a “special perils policy”) covers the house itself,
other structures on the property, the owner’s possessions (like a
washer and dryer left for tenant’s use), lost rental income if
the house becomes uninhabitable and some liability protection. Tenant
possessions are not covered in landlord insurance policies.
pay between 10-25% more per year than you paid for your homeowners
policy. Policies for short-term rental and long-term rental will likely
differ in price.
a good time to take a home inventory or to update your existing
inventory. As rooms of the new home are unpacked, take photos and make
a list of the belongings. Find a template to get started on a home
unoccupied homes can leave the homeowner exposed to loss and liability
that may not be covered by a homeowners insurance policy. Find out more
about how an insurance company evaluates and covers vacant homes here.
can be confusing – but by understanding the choices you can make
educated decisions about your insurance needs. For more information
about homeowners or renter’s insurance, go to www.InsureUonline.org and
choose the life stage that best fits your life situation. Or download
the NAIC Consumer's Guide to Home Insurance here.
specific questions about coverages or about an insurance company or
agent, call the Arkansas Insurance Department Consumer
at (800) 852-5494 or (501) 371-2640.