Moving home can be a very stressful time and the headache of finding that your precious belongings are not covered by your contents policy in the event of loss or damage during the move is something that you can do without. In this article, we look at the circumstances whereby your insurance policy might not cover your belongings whilst moving home, but first:
What is Contents Insurance?
Contents insurance is the cover taken out to replace your household possessions at today’s prices in the event of damage or loss. It is not a legal requirement to have contents insurance, but it is very sensible. Contents insurance covers everything from carpets and curtains to furniture, electronic devices, jewellery and ornaments. If it is in your home and not fixed down (like kitchen cupboards and sanitary ware) then it comes under contents insurance. To work out how much cover you need, go room to room and add up the cost of replacing items at today’s prices in each room. Then total up to obtain an overall figure. Try to be as accurate as possible – total too low and should the worst happen and you lose your belongings, you might not receive enough to replace everything. Total too high and your monthly premiums will be excessive. Now you know you have the right cover in place, what happens when you move house?
If you have decided to move yourself or hire the services of a ‘man with a van’, rather than a professional licenced moving company then your belongings are unlikely to be covered by your insurance policy. It’s very important to check your home contents insurance policy to see if you are covered or with the insurance provider themselves for clarity. You need to look for or ask after “contents in transit” cover.
Are My Belongings Covered If I Employ a Moving Company?
When employing the services of a professionally licenced removals company, check that they have Goods in Transit insurance. This will cover your belongings for any damage or loss that happens throughout the removals process. This insurance covers such eventualities as damage caused in the process of being transported or damage by an accident during transit. It also covers loss or theft whilst in transit too. Check with the removals company as to what is covered and what the limit on claims is and make sure that it is enough to cover your possessions. Make sure to specifically ask what exclusions there are on the insurance cover that they have.
What if My Contents are in Storage?
If you need to temporarily store some of your belongings during your move due to delays, for example, then checking your policy before doing so is very wise. Some insurance policies will cover items in storage but be sure you check as to whether there any monetary or time limits that may apply. A time limit can be as little as 7 days as it’s seen as a very temporary solution. Some policies have a low limit on claims made whilst your items are in storage, such as £5,000 which is unlikely to cover all your possessions. Another aspect to check is whether valuable items that may be classed as ‘high risk’, such as money, certain devices, important papers and documents or jewellery, are covered whilst in storage. If you are covered it will be under the “contents temporarily away from home” section.
It is very important to check your own insurance policy to see exactly what coverage you have and if in any doubt or for clarification, speak with your policy provider. It might make sense to take out specialist insurance for your home move or to cover the time in storage. This might be more expensive than your normal policy, but it will be worth it should anything untoward happen.
The information contained in this article is given as a generic guide and should not be relied upon. Always make sure you consult your insurance provider and your documentation as policies and terms differ for each provider.