Going through a big move is always stressful. Between redirecting important mail, arranging movers and packing up your home, even when it’s all going smoothly, you’ve got more than enough to contend with. With all that going on, it’s unsurprising that finding cover for your valuables and goods is probably low down on your list of mental priorities, despite it being of vital importance.
Most people tend to assume that they’ve got some level of cover already in place but that isn’t always the case, and the repercussions of not seeking active protection can be devastating. Especially during a time where you’re already feeling the strain.
Buying removals cover is adding that extra layer of protection, so the loss, or break, of your most valuable items is one less thing you have to worry about on the day.
But removals insurance can be tricky to understand. It can sometimes be difficult to decipher exactly how much protection a removals company will provide as most of them handle insurance differently. Similarly, it’s sometimes unclear as to how much protection you may already be entitled to from your home or contents insurance. Over the following article, we’ll attempt to get into the nitty gritty of how removals insurance works, why you need it and answer some of your FAQ’s so when it comes to it, you can make an informed decision.
Do You Need Removals Insurance?
Removals insurance is one of those things, a bit like travel insurance, that whilst it is highly beneficial, is always the first thing people look to cut off when thinking about how to minimise costs. But just like travel insurance, if you opt not to take out removals cover and something does happen, the money you originally saved will have to be paid back tenfold.
Despite the fantastic record and wealth of knowledge that professional removals companies hold when it comes to looking after your belongings, with extraordinarily low recorded levels of damage and claims across the industry, accidents do and can happen. The small premium you pay will give you the peace of mind and financial protection to cover any repair or replacement for your belongings – just in case.
You can usually arrange removals insurance with the removals company you’re using to move house, which will cover your items from the time they’re within the control of the removals company. Protecting your belongings for the entirety of the move against accidental damage and breakage, storm, theft or fire.
If the Company is Insured, Does That Mean You Are?
Usually, when hiring a removals company, you’ll notice that many of them advertise themselves as fully insured. This is because to conduct business they have to cover themselves with a number of policies, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are covered.
The reason that removals companies insure themselves like this, then offer what seems like an additional cover to you later is due to the variability of cost between households.
Removals companies, after making a generalised assessment of the potential risks of a move, will reach an agreement with their insurer on a standardised premium they have to pay them, which covers them for the likelihood of that risk. As the removals company can’t know the exact value of your items, and because things can happen that are completely outside of our control, removals companies will limit their liability for damage. The level of liability covered will be available in their terms and conditions. Because of this, and because these premiums are built into set prices, removals companies may not be able to provide you with the level of cover needed within those prices without blowing them sky high. This is why removals companies offer removals insurance as an additional cost, direct to you, so you can see the exact cost and decide on the level of cover and risk you’d like to pay for.
It’s important that you check on the level of liability set out before signing your contract with the company – and it is essential that you sign a contract or some form of written agreement in case things go awry.
How Much Am I Protected Under Basic Terms & Conditions?
Just like the amount of liability covered, every removal companies terms and conditions are going to vary and will all cover different things. But there are a few things you can consider when looking over your contract that are important.
As we stated above, the liability will be included in the price of your move with the majority of removals companies and should not be classed as a standalone insurance. It represents the level of liability the company is willing to accept a claim. What’s important to check is the process the claim will undertake if you have to make one, particularly if it’s embedded within the price of your move. Make sure it communicates whether:
- The liability is subject to you proving that the removals company were the negligent party
- There is a maximum cap on the claim per item or in total
- how the value of the claim is calculated
It’s also useful to understand how the claim process works. Things like; whether you negotiate the claim with the company directly or an independent insurer, what you will need to do to start the claim and the potential duration of the claim procedure, are all important.
What is Removals Insurance?
Essentially removals insurance is the extra level of cover that most removals companies will offer in order to accurately reflect the need of your home and your belongings. As it is an additional product, you will be provided with new terms and conditions covering the new level of cover and some of the basic terms and conditions may be waived in process.
Most companies will offer at least two basic levels of insurance, ‘indemnity’ and ‘new for old’. Indemnity takes into consideration the age and condition of the item damaged or lost and provides cover up to the true value of the item. New for old policies will provide an upgraded replacement of the item.
But, cover between removals companies will differ, so it is important that you check for any limitations, exclusions and read the fine print. For instance, some removals companies may only cover items that have been professionally packed, which may be an added expense to accommodate.
These policies will most likely be arranged by an approved insurer on your behalf, meaning that if the worst does happen, it will be assessed and processed by them independently.
Am I Covered For Removals by my Contents Insurance?
Some home contents insurers do provide cover for moving to a new house, which is usually referred under ‘contents temporarily removed from the home’ and, more than likely, there will be a limit on the amount provided. They may also exclude items like cash and valuable documents.
If you are covered by your home insurer, then you should still take the precautions explained above and ensure that you’re fully familiarised with the claims process. Especially regarding whether a claim will affect your insurance premiums in the future and if there are any specific stipulations placed upon the cover of your move.
Removals insurance tends to offer a wider breadth of cover than home and contents insurance, and when handled by an independent insurer, facilitates the claiming process with less strain upon you and your family.
After being in the business for a number of years, and hearing about the damage that can happen, we would always advocate that it’s better to be safe than sorry, and get your things some cover. However, make sure that you fully understand what you’re agreeing to before you sign on the dotted line.
For more information on home removals, removals cover, or anything else we can advise upon in regards to your move, give us a bell, Monday through Friday, here: 0117 287 2127.
Or read through our guides here: http://www.onthedotremovals.co.uk/latest-news/