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Will my home insurance policy cover moving expenses?

Will my home insurance policy cover moving expenses?

Moving houses can be painful and expensive, and there’s always the risk of accidentally damaging your possessions when packing, in transit, or when resettling. Buying a home and contents insurance policy, especially one with added accidental damage coverage, may help you recover the cost of any damaged goods while in either of your homes. But such a policy may not cover what is likely the riskiest part, the transit. Adding personal effects coverage to your home and contents insurance policy may offer some coverage, but you should check with your insurer if you need to buy extra coverage.

You also need to keep in mind that your belongings may be exposed to several types of damage during the shifting. While accidental breakage is usually the biggest concern, incidents such as a theft from the moving truck or an accident for which the truck’s driver is at fault are also possible. Consider asking your insurance provider about the coverage they offer for such damage. If your insurer does not cover it, you may need to purchase specialised moving insurance. In such a case, consider asking the removalist if they can offer coverage for your possessions.

When do you need to buy moving insurance?

You could be moving for various reasons such as buying a new house or relocating to a new job. When entrusting your valuables to a removalist or otherwise getting them transported, you should make sure to insure them for the journey. If you’re transferring your current home and contents insurance policy to your new home, check with the insurer if damage caused when moving is covered. You’ll likely need to buy specific moving insurance if this is not the case, but do remember to compare the cost of adding coverage to an existing policy with that of buying specialised moving coverage.

Consider buying additional insurance for your possessions well before you actually move as there may be an embargo period, and your policy may not be effective when you’re moving. If you’re moving your possessions for the first time, check if any new possessions that you may have bought for the new house are also covered, and update your insurance policy as necessary.  Also, check to ensure that your policy’s limits adequately cover all your belongings.

You’ll also need to confirm that your insurer will cover outfitting your new home as well as refurbishing existing items, in addition to your high-value items.

What incidents related to moving should my home insurance policy cover?

Unless you’ve purchased a home and contents insurance policy covering both your old and new home, and added personal effects cover, it is unlikely that your insurer will cover any in-transit damage. You should plan on discussing the move with your insurer when transferring the policy, but also consider reading their Product Disclosure Statement for what your policy covers, and up to what limits. If you do need to buy in-transit insurance, say from your removalist, you should similarly check the list of covered incidents.

Usually, when you buy insurance from a removalist, you may only be offered basic liability coverage but not protection from damage caused by the removalist’s staff, theft, or vandalism. Consider buying additional coverage if you have many high-value items that you don’t want to expose to such adverse incidents. In addition, if you plan to travel in the truck, you need to ensure personal injury coverage for yourself. You can also consider buying coverage from a specialist moving insurance provider if you need short-term storage facilities.

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Georgia Brown before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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