The truth about removals insurance: protect your possessions in transit
Moving house is exciting, but it’s also a stressful time. The last thing you need is the worry of finding out your possessions aren’t insured if they’re lost or damaged during the moving process. Here’s everything you need to know about removals insurance, and why you should consider it if you want to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible.
Does my home contents insurance cover me for moving house?
Many people assume their possessions will be covered by their home contents insurance when moving house, but this isn’t always the case. If your policy does cover you, it’s likely to have conditions attached, such as having to use a specified removalist, which isn’t always practical.
Some home insurers offer removal insurance as an extra at additional cost, while others don’t offer it at all. It’s worth checking your home contents insurance policy to see exactly what is and isn’t covered, but it’s unlikely all your goods will be covered for transit and storage during a house move.
Am I covered by my removal company’s insurance?
Professional removal companies are supposed to have several different types of insurance, including:
- Public liability
- Carriers liability
- Motor Vehicles Third Party liability
However, these only apply when it can be proved that any damage or loss of your possessions was the removal company’s fault. Even then, as they don’t know the value of your goods, their policies may not be comprehensive enough to cover all your specific items, especially if some of your possessions are expensive or rare.
All good removalists will be insured, but sometimes it’s not their fault if an accident or unpredictable weather event happens and your items get damaged. In these cases, you’ll lose out if you don’t have removals insurance.
When is loss or damage not the removalist’s fault?
A reputable removal company will always take the greatest care with your possessions. They will be highly trained and experienced, and have all the right equipment and proven techniques for lifting, carrying, packing, and securing your goods in the truck.
However, accidents can happen even in the safest and most professional moves. Circumstances in which loss or damage of your goods wouldn’t be the removal company’s fault include:
- If something is broken on arrival but it has been secured correctly in the truck. If you packed the item yourself, it isn’t the removalist’s fault, as you may not have used sufficient padding or packed it correctly.
- If an item is lost or stolen while the truck is being unloaded, or while your goods are in storage.
- If the truck is involved in an accident that wasn’t the driver’s fault.
- If an unpredictable weather event occurs such as a fire or a flood.
These are just some of the cases where your removal company’s insurance wouldn’t cover you, as the company isn’t at fault.
What does removals insurance cover?
There are two main types of insurance cover for moving house:
- Full cover – this covers your goods for all risk of loss or damage during your move.
- Restricted cover – this only protects your goods in specific circumstances such as if a fire, flood, or explosion occurs, or if the removal truck is involved in an accident.
Within these two types of moving insurance, you can customise your policy in a number of ways to suit your circumstances. For example, you can choose coverage that will give you the full replacement cost of your items should they be lost or damaged beyond repair. Alternatively, you can choose to have your goods insured for their market value, which takes depreciation, age, and condition of your items into account.
Most removal insurance covers your possessions from the minute they leave your old home until they’re installed in your new one. Some policies can also be extended to keep your possessions covered if you need to keep them in storage during the moving process.
Some full cover policies will also offer you temporary accommodation for up to 30 days if your goods are lost or delayed and you can’t practically live without them. This is especially useful if you’re moving a long distance, such as relocating interstate.
How much does moving insurance cost and where can I get it?
There is no standard rate, as the cost of your policy will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The type and value of your goods.
- How far you’re moving.
- The level of cover you want.
- Whether or not your goods need to be kept in storage.
Many insurance companies offer removal insurance, but you can also get it from professional removal companies which are members of the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA). All AFRA members are expected to adhere to strict professional standards and are fully trained in selling financial products in line with the law.
If you would like more information about removals insurance or are looking for a professional removal company in Melbourne that takes a caring and personalised approach to your move, please get in touch. Our friendly team will be happy to help.