The act of moving from an estate can be a stressful process. Packing and transporting your belongings to ensure their safe arrival at your new home may be worrisome, however, there are a few simple practices to make the transition go more smoothly. With prudent planning, your high-end dècor and family heirlooms will be displayed throughout your new home promptly and with ease.
Catalog All Items to be Transported
Knowing what items will be moved and their condition before being handled by professional movers is the best way to keep track of the successful transportation of all your belongings without damage. Making note of each piece of furniture and all artwork is best practice. Even taking clear photos of each item in a well-lit room will help to identify anything that goes missing or gets dinged or scratched. The photographs will also help with any insurance claims that need to be made. Taking before and after photos of damaged belongings is the best proof of any mishandling and will ensure timely reimbursement.
Make Sure Everything is Fully Insured
While a portion of your move should be insured through the moving company, the level of liability the movers are responsible for may not cover the full value of your damaged or lost property. Movers who transport your belongings between states are required to offer you two different options of coverage. Basic insurance, or “Released Value Protection” will cost you less up front, but will do little in reimbursing you for mishandled items. Under this umbrella, movers will be held responsible for the reimbursement of up to 60 cents per pound of each item. At the opposite end of the spectrum is “Full Value Protection.” This level of liability is not automatically included within the cost of your move and terms may vary between companies. However, the extra cost will cover the repair or replacement value of any items lost or damaged while in your mover’s possession.
Homeowners and renters policies provide coverage for your belongings while your personal property is at your residence, in transit and in storage facilities, but will not pay for any damage done to personal property while being handled by the movers—when packing or physically moving the items.
Depending on your agreement, professional movers provide some protections for your belongings. It’s a good idea to consult your insurance professional about your current policy, make sure your coverage is sufficient for your move and understand your options:
- Trip transit insurance covers your personal property for perils including theft, disappearance or fire (the same perils covered by your homeowners or renters policy) while in transit or storage. Trip transit insurance can be written for the full value of your property, or as excess coverage over and above that provided by the moving company. It does not, however, cover breakage or flooding at, say, a storage facility.
- Special perils contents coverage will cover breakage of all but fragile items.
- A floater will fully protect high value items such as jewelry, collectibles, china, vases, fine art, etc.
- Car insurance verification. If you’re shipping your vehicle, ask the auto shipping company for their insurance certificate—they are required by law to have one. And check with your insurance company about your coverage: Is it the same while the automobile is being shipped? Do you have to provide the company with any notification?
- Storage insurance. If you’re going to need temporary or permanent storage for some of your items before or after the move, understand how they’re covered, too.
Monitor the Moving Process
Trust the experts, but be mindful of your movers and make sure that the process is running smoothly. Be sure that the weather is appropriate on your move day and that your fine art and fragile items won’t be damaged by heavy rain or extreme heat. Some items may be sensitive to the climate, so opt for air-conditioned moving vehicles and organize fragile pieces to be packed last and unloaded first. Make certain that movers are properly packaging expensive items and using clean blankets for padding between breakables. Finally, be sure that they are treating your property with respect by using clean gloves when handling art and antiques and covering their shoes when walking through your home.
DuPont Registry – Homeowners Insurance Institute – October, 2018