There’s a question that many people have when they’re getting ready to move into a new home or apartment. Do I need homeowners or renters insurance before moving in or wait until after I’ve made the move?
There are a number of things to consider in regards to when you should get insurance while moving. The answer largely lies in whether you’re moving into a home you own or one you rent.
Homeowners Insurance Before Moving In
Consensus: Get insurance the day you get the keys.
The day you get handed the keys and officially own your home is the day the insurance should start kicking in, even if you haven’t officially moved into the house. In order to make sure you get adequate coverage you have to find an insurer in advance so you can hammer out the details and get everything in place. If you’re getting a mortgage, in almost every instance the lender will require that you have homeowners insurancesecured before closing.
The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter if the home is occupied when damage occurs. A fire or flood can do serious damage, mold can grow from a burst pipe or burglars could vandalize the property before you move in. There’s too much at stake to wing it during the period between buying the home and moving into it.
Another thing to keep in mind before the move is how much coverage you need for personal property. Homeowners insurance will also provide reimbursement for personal property that’s damaged, however, you have to claim the belongings in order to get the coverage. While you’re packing everything up it’s the perfect time to inventory all of your stuff so you don’t miss anything when you’re setting up the insurance plan.
Landlord Insurance Before Moving In
Consensus: Get insurance by closing and before renters move in.
It doesn’t happen often, but if you’ve just bought a home that renters will be staying in short-term you’ll probably need to get landlords insurance in the interim before moving in. Landlords insurance covers the property just like homeowners insurance but also provides additional benefits like fair rental income coverage, protection for damage done to the property by the tenant and landscaping coverage since you’re depending on someone else to upkeep your property.
What many property owners don’t realize is that regular homeowners insurance usually only covers a home that’s owner occupied. If something happens when you’re not there your insurance company could deny coverage. Landlord insurance generally costs more than standard homeowners insurance, but the extra protection is worth it. But you’ll need to have the plan in place before you hand the keys off to the renters because accidents can happen on moving day.
Renters Insurance Before Moving In
Consensus: Get insurance that starts on moving day or before you move in.
Unlike homeowners insurance, which covers the structural property, renters insurance only insures your belongings and liability for accidents that happen on the premise. This makes sense given that renters aren’t liable for the building itself. That’s what landlord insurance is for.
There’s no need to get renters insurance until you move in. If you’ve already got renters insurance then great. Just update the information on or before your move so you properly remain covered. You’ll also need to figure out if your landlord or property management company requires renters insurance. Some landlords and apartment complexes will even specify how much renters insurance is required.
Moving Insurance Before Moving In
Consensus: If homeowners or renters insurance doesn’t protect things in transit consider it.
Moving insurance for renters and homeowners is another entirely different kind of coverage from the plans above. Before purchasing a third party moving insurance plan it’s best to contact your homeowners or renters insurance company to see if your personal property is covered while it’s in transit. If not, you may want to consider getting additional coverage through a moving insurance plan. These plans require an upfront payment and a deductible if you need to use the insurance.
Insurance Coverage Through Your Moving Company
Consensus: Make sure your moving company is insured before entering a contract.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has specified that movers are responsible for the things they transport, but this doesn’t guaranteed things won’t go wrong or that your belongings are insured. For that, moving companies offer full value coverage for an additional fee or released value coverage for free. With full value coverage the moving company will cover the entire shipment by replacing, repairing or providing compensation if anything is lost or damaged.
Released value doesn’t cost extra, however it also provides a lot less coverage. With this option the coverage provided by a moving company is by the pound and limited to just $0.60 per pound. In other words, if a $1,000 flat screen that weighs 25 pounds is broken during the move the moving company will provide $15 in compensation.
Moving companies can offer third party insurance plans, although the practice is prohibited in some states. Moving companies can also have their own business insurance that covers general liability, auto liability, cargo liability and workman’s comp.
Now you know why it’s important to make sure you work with a moving company that’s insured and takes full responsibility of the cargo it transports. Square Cow Movers is a national moving company that’s fully licensed, bonded and insured to move people in, out and all around the country. We take every precaution to put your mind at ease during the move.
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