When moving to a new rental, your renters insurance may cover your damaged personal property if the damage is caused by a covered peril.
Renters insurance can cover damage from theft, as well as damage from vandalism and fire. However, renters insurance may not cover damage caused by movers, as that is the moving company's responsibility.
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What does renters insurance cover while I'm moving?
Your renters insurance covers your personal property against your policy's listed perils while in the hands of your moving company. This means that if your belongings — or the moving truck — are stolen, your renters insurance will cover the stolen items up to your policy coverage limit.
You may need to relocate while your rental home is being repaired due to a covered peril. In such cases, the additional living expenses portion of your renters insurance will cover the moving costs to your new temporary home while your rental home is being fixed.
Damage or destruction of your stuff due to vandalism, water damage and natural perils such as fire are also covered by your renters insurance.
What doesn't renters insurance cover while I'm moving
If your personal items are damaged due to your own negligence, such as if you improperly packed your belongings or if you failed to lock the moving truck you're driving, then your renters insurance company will not cover any damages. You also won't be protected if your belongings are damaged from a peril not included in your policy.
Unless you're moving to relocate while your rental home is repaired due to a peril covered by your renters insurance policy, the cost of your move is not covered either.
Licensed moving companies usually offer coverage for damage while they have your stuff. Third-party moving insurance is also available.
Coverage provided by your moving company
A moving company is liable for damage to your belongings from the time they start packing it up to when they drop it off at your new home. As such, they're required by law to offer you coverage for your belongings in their hands. How much compensation you'll get if your stuff is damaged while the movers have it depends on the level of coverage you get. Most licensed moving companies offer two levels of coverage:
Released-value coverage is the most basic coverage required by federal law. This is usually the free coverage option offered by moving companies. They would pay up to 60 cents per pound for a damaged item. If your $500 two-pound laptop gets damaged when moving, well, the moving company would only give you $1.20 if they broke it.
Full-value coverage is also required by federal law, but you have to purchase it. It can pay the full replacement cost of destroyed belongings or offer a cash payout equal to the item's current market value. Items worth $100 a pound or more, such as jewelry and art collections, are usually excluded. If you're moving, we recommend purchasing the full-value coverage because it provides more financial protection.
Third-party moving insurance
If you can't afford a moving company's full-value protection, you may be able to purchase third-party moving insurance to complement the moving company's released-value protection. Third-party moving insurance covers reimbursement past the limits of released-value coverage.
For example, if you only receive $120 for your $700 couch, your third-party insurance would pay out the remaining $580 if it's within the policy's limits. Third-party moving insurance is also a good value in that it's regulated by state insurance law.
If you have expensive jewelry and paintings, this could be a great option.
Moving to a new rental with renters insurance
When you move to a new apartment, you may be able to transfer your renters insurance policy to the new address. You will need to contact your renters insurance company and give them your new address and your moving date. However, know that your rates may change. When moving apartments, we recommend shopping around to find the best rate.
Do I need moving insurance?
Renters insurance alone does provide the coverage you will need if you're moving. To ensure you have adequate coverage for your personal property while moving, we recommend purchasing full-value protection from your moving company or third-party moving insurance if you have high-value items.
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