Insurance needed to protect your household goods varies with the type of move, the reason for moving and whether you’ll be renting a truck or relying upon a commercial mover. Here you’ll learn about each of these variations:
Companies that pay for relocating their employees may offer a lump sum “relocation allowance,” or they may pay the moving company directly with company funds.
Tip: If you receive a lump sum allowance, any amount greater than the actual cost of the move will be treated as taxable income by the IRS. Publication 521  provides guidance. The difference between what you deduct and the lump sum allowance could leave you owing the government far more taxes next April than you anticipated.
As for insurance, check with your homeowner’s insurance agent to determine whether your household goods are insured against damage in transit. Few homeowner’s policies cover damages to items in transit during a relocation. Further, because you’ll be canceling your homeowner’s policy, you’ll need to rely on the insurance offered by the moving company. Your options for insurance will vary depending upon whether your move is within the state or to another state.
Interstate vs. Intrastate Moves
Federal laws regulate interstate moves, including the insurance available to you. Under those regulations you can choose “full value protection” or “release value” protection. Full value protection obligates the moving company to reimburse you for damages, or to repair or replace the damaged goods. It comes with a fee. The release value coverage is free of charge, but limits any claims to 60-cents per pound of goods being moved – usually not enough to cover serious damages. However, it’s wise to speak with your insurance professional. You may find you can augment the free release value coverage with an inexpensive one-time policy to cover your household goods during transit – and even in storage if you need to temporarily store your goods. You can find full details at Protect Your Move, a government website.
For moves within the same state, we strongly recommend you speak with your insurance professional. Each state has its own laws that define the responsibility of moving companies and their liabilities. Many states prohibit intrastate movers from selling you insurance.  So in addition to checking your proposed mover’s licensing and its own liability insurance, your insurance professional can provide the insurance you need to protect your household items.
Rental Truck Insurance
Perhaps you’re planning to rent a truck to move your household goods. When you rent a car it’s likely your own auto insurance or your credit card covers damages to the rented car. However almost no car insurance policy or credit card provides coverage for a rented truck. You don’t want to add to the stress of moving with worry about a truck accident. So, in most cases, you’re probably best off buying the rental company’s insurance. It’s inexpensive and it’s reassuring to know that you’re definitely covered.
Truck rental insurance is available in several forms. 
Damage waivers protect you from theft of the truck and damage to the truck, as well as any towing equipment you’ve rented. Rental companies offer a range of damage waivers ranging from plans that leave you responsible for damages with a deductible amount, to plans that cover damages in full. Note that “waivers” are not insurance. Most truck rental companies are self-insured. Rental companies use the money you and other renters pay to make their own repairs.
Some rental companies offer a liability policy that protects you against claims others make in the event of an accident. For example, another motorist may file a claim because you crashed into his car with the rented truck, causing injuries. This liability policy protects you up to a specified dollar limit. Your insurance professional may be able to provide an umbrella policy that gives you protection not only for that scenario, but scores of others as well. It’s worthwhile to check.
Accident and cargo insurance pays for your medical expenses (usually including loss of life) in the event of an accident. It also pays for damage to your household goods.
Many truck rental companies offer towing protection that pays for damage to a vehicle you’re towing. Finally, some offer roadside assistance that adds to the coverage contained in their rental agreement.
Tip: Note that all of the coverages for rental trucks described above pertain only to non-business, personal moves. If your business is renting a truck, entirely different rules and plans apply.
As we noted above, you’re usually well served to accept the insurance coverages and damage waivers offered by the rental company. However, if you have questions, please click or give us a call. We’ve helped many people sort out the complexities of rental truck insurance – both for personal and business moves – and may be able to offer you some money-saving alternatives.
You’ve Reached Your Destination
If you’re a person who likes to plan ahead, you’ve already made arrangements for insurance to …
· Cover your household goods in storage, if needed
· Obtain new homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
· Obtain a new car insurance policy if you’ve moved to a new state, or update your existing policy if you’re move was within the state
If you’ve postponed handling insurance issues until after you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s a good idea to contact an insurance professional. Your best choice is to work with a company that offers plans from several major national insurance carriers. Having a choice of just one carrier is not a choice. Full service firms will show you several plans, each from top companies, and will help you find the best coverage at the least cost.
Need Some Help?
Quoteasy – We’re a team of insurance professionals who can make sure you have the best coverage for you and your family during a move. We can help you find the exact coverages you’ll need when it comes time to relocate. We’ll deliver the protection you want at the best rates and with every available discount. Call our friendly team a 305-587-2410. We’re here to help.
(1) http://search.irs.gov/search?q=publication+521&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=irs_portals_frontend&client=irs_portals_frontend&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&num=10&ud=1&exclude_apps=1&site=default_collection&numgm=5&requiredfields=-archive%3A1 (2) https://www.protectyourmove.gov/consumer/awareness/valuation/valuation-insurance.htm (3) http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.Is-Moving-Insurance-Right-for-You.13492.html (4) https://www.budgettruck.com/DamageWaivers.aspx (I used Budget to gather general info about these waivers and various coverages)
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