The weather is warm, the real estate market is getting hot, and this years home inventory is flying off the shelf. It’s moving time. You’ve either sold your home or decided not to renew your lease and now you’re moving into your new digs.
You may have a moving company coming to pack up your life and move it, or you may be doing that yourself. Make sure you label your containers and boxes, otherwise you might have a hard time knowing which box is which.
You might even be lucky enough to have your possession dates line up and so you can just move from one house to the other OR you may have a more difficult road and you have to live in limbo while you wait for your new home to be vacated. Whatever the scenario, there may be a time when you don’t know if or where your belongings are going to be and if they will be insured while they are there. Questions might come into your head like: “When do I start insuring my new home?” “When do I cancel insurance on my old home?”
Your possession date is typically when you want to start or cancel your insurance. That’s an easy one to remember. However, if you sell your house today, but don’t get possession of your new house until the end of the month, this may complicate things. You’ll likely have to store your stuff all over the place. For example, you take the large items to your dad’s shop, PLUS you’ve moved your small furniture and belongings to a commercial storage facility, PLUS you have some personal belongings with you; as you are going to be temporarily residing with your Great Uncle Ned. “How is this supposed to work?” “Am I properly covered for this?” “What do I do?”
Talk to your insurance broker.
When in doubt, give your broker a call. They can help make sure that your belongings, stored in all these random locations, are properly protected. Most insurance companies even allow a 30 day extension of coverage for the duration of the move. That means, you can leave everything “as is” on your policy and you are covered for the first 30 days, up to the limit insured on your policy. If the value of your new home is less than your old home, they may drop the limit slightly to reflect the new value.
“Okay, that’s great, but I’m building/renovating a house, so it’s going to be more like 6-8 months, not 30 days.”
With these situations, you are going to have to make changes to your insurance policy. You will have to put a tenant pak or renters policy on your belongings for where you will be residing temporarily. You will have to add on a “belongings in storage” endorsement to your policy for each location the belongings are stored in. Such as: the commercial storage facility and dad’s farm workshop. It is important to note that for this endorsement, your belongings may not have theft coverage, if stored in a detached garage, shop or outbuilding. Most companies will only extend theft coverage if it is located in a locked/gated commercial compound or an attached garage of an occupied residence. So keep that in mind when storing your high value items.
“I’m moving across the country, and movers are taking my belongings, do they insure my stuff while in-transit?”
Typically, if you have hired a reputable mover, they will carry some type of Cargo Insurance while they are in possession of your belongings. However, it may be worth while keeping your insurance policy in place, just to be sure your stuff is covered during the transportation.
Moving comes with its fair share of stress. You don’t need another headache by having your belongings stolen or destroyed while in transit or storage. Be sure to inform your insurance broker and have them look after that for you. That’s what we’re here for. Happy Moving!