All you need to know about essential insurance for moving home

Home Moving Insurance is essential but make sure you have adequate cover

As if there wasn’t enough to think about when moving home, insuring your home contents when moving home is a topic on your moving home checklist and planner that you really should pay particular attention to.

But is moving Insurance worth the cost? In 2016 insurance companies in the UK paid out £8.1m A DAY in property claims alone.

That is a lot of claims from people who thought they would probably never need insurance cover.

So, to help guide you through the minefield that insurance cover always is, we have put some key facts and helpful tips together to help you select the best home contents insurance when moving home.

Whatever option you choose to insure your home move, whether using your home contents insurance, the insurance offered by your removal company, or a specialist home moving insurance provider, follow these top tips:

  • Ensure you get the insurance policy in writing.
  • Be confident that you have adequate insurance, especially for high-value items.
  • Find out exactly what is, and is not, covered by the insurance policy.
  • Confirm if the insurance cover is for replacement, repair, or financial compensation.
  • Do not underestimate the replacement cost of your belongings.
  • As much as possible communicate with email so that you have all the facts in writing.
  • Remember that most insurance policies will not cover the contents of your home move boxes if you have packed the items yourself.
  • Be sure to inform your existing insurance company of your home move.
  • Have seamless insurance from your old to new homes.

Recommended Reading: Questions to ask your Removal Company. Finding out what level of insurance the removal company offer is just one of the really important questions you need to ask any prospective removal firm. In this guide, we suggest other really important things to find out before hiring any removal company.

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Please Read This Important Information about Home Insurance Before Moving In.

Before we get into thinking about your actual home move insurance, it is worth noting, for those of you who have sold property, that you become responsible for insuring the actual building (bricks and mortar), of your new property, as soon as you have exchanged contracts, not at the point of completion when the keys are handed over to you.

This means that if your new home burns down between contract signing, and you moving in, you will be uninsured unless you have arranged cover from the date you exchanged contracts.

Insurance Fact: The UK has the largest Insurance industry in Europe and the 4th largest in the world.

You may also like to read: How to Negotiate the Best Price from a Removal Company. Having good insurance cover for your home move is yet another expense. But in this guide, we suggest ways that you can negotiate with your removal company to get a better price for your home move.

Moving House – Home Contents Insurance Must-Knows

It only takes one damaged item to wipe out the money you save by not having the proper insurance in place

This, as you would expect, is a subject littered with might be, could be, maybe, and you should always consult with your own insurance company, and with your removal company, to ensure that your belongings are fully insured.

Standard Home Contents insurance will only cover your household items whilst they are inside the home.

Home Contents Insurance – All Risk Policies, usually available as an extra to your contents insurance, will cover items carried outside the home.

Important: The Association of British Insurers (ABI) advises that items outside the home are usually insured up to a cap of 10% of the total contents insured. That means that if your total home contents are insured for £50,000, the maximum total claim would be capped at £5,000. Additionally, there is usually a maximum single item claim limit of £1,000 for loss or theft, so that means for an item valued at £4,000 you would only be able to claim £1,000.

For advice on buying insurance visit the ABI website here.

Note: For All Risk cover to apply you must be with the items in person.

Not a problem if you are doing a self-move until you stop for fuel or for a break away from the van.

But the cover may not apply if your goods are being transported by a removal company.

Now throw into the above calculations what is known as ‘the Average Clause’ when an Insurance Company can ‘apply an average’.

Many insurance policies have this clause. For example, you have insured your contents for £50,000 but in reality, they are worth £100,000. You have underinsured by 50%, therefore you will only get 50% of the sum insured, in this example a maximum payout of £25,000 on items worth £100,000.

Now apply the average clause to the £5,000 cap in the earlier example and the cap reduces to £2,500.

Should your claim be for less than the cap you will still only receive 50% of the sum claimed. For example, if your claim is for £2,000 you will only receive £1,000.

Insurance Fact: it is estimated that 6.8 million homes in the UK are underinsured.

For more advice and information about the consequences of underestimating your home contents insurance click here.

Here you will find a calculator which will help you estimate how much you should insure your home contents for.

Insurance for Moving Home with a Removal Company: Home Contents Insurance Cover

The costs could be mounting whilst you try to find your house keys.

Check your Home Contents Insurance policy wording carefully and contact your insurer to confirm the cover you have.

Your policy must state that you have cover for ‘Items in Transit’ (also called house removal transit insurance or goods in transit insurance).

Some Insurance Companies will cover for loss or damage of home contents when moving home to another permanent UK address, but only if you have employed a professional home removal firm.

As an add-on to home contents insurance, how much does home removal insurance cost?

Because there are so many variables when calculating home contents insurance we are unable to provide any example costs for you, so you are advised to contact your insurance company directly to get your specific insurance costs.

Removal Company Insurance

It may make more sense to use the house removal insurance cover offered by your removal company to ensure you are adequately covered.

Removal Company insurance is designed for short-term cover for people moving home, so usually, there is no excess to pay.

However, furniture removal insurance is normally an additional cost to add to your removal quote and is calculated as a percentage of the declared value of your household goods.

In the event of the worst happening and you have to make a claim, consider that your home contents insurance premium will in all likelihood increase at renewal.

Having the removal company insurance will negate this risk.

Specialist Home Moving Insurance Companies

There are also insurance companies that specialize in insuring a home move. To get a removal insurance online quote from one such company, you can follow this link.

How much do items in transit insurance cost?

During our research, we were quoted the following premiums for insurance covering items in transit. The quotes were from online specialist insurance companies.

  • £60,000 of cover for £385-£500
  • £40,000 of cover for £275-£370
  • £10,000 of cover for £110-£205

Some insurance companies will insist that your removal company is registered with a removal trade association such as the British Association of Removers or the National Guild of Removers and Storers.

These home removal trade bodies have set procedures for resolving any disputes you may have with your removal company and set out clear guidelines for how the Removal Company must conduct business.

To check whether your removal company is a member of one of these organisations, click on the links below:

BAR  – British Association of Removers

NGRS – National Guild of Removers and Storage

You may also like to read: Home Removal Industry Associations and Trade Bodies. In this guide, we look at what benefits there are for consumers when hiring a removal firm that is a member of a trade body.

Late Key Waiver Insurance When Moving Home

Even with the best planning in the world, things can go wrong on moving day.

One of the risks is that somewhere in your home moving chain there could be a delay, funds not being cleared, or the people moving out of your new home are delayed moving out, so you cannot gain access to your home, for example.

Understandably, in those instances, your removal company may charge you an additional cost for the waiting time.

Most Removal Companies will offer you a late key waiver which will take the stress out of this unforeseen cost on moving day.

Speak to your insurance provider or Removal Company about this option on your insurance cover.

On average this will add about £50-£70 to your insurance cost.

Removal Company Cancellation Waiver when Moving Home

This works in the same way as when you book a hotel room.

Up to a certain number of days before your moving day, you can cancel your removal company free of charge.

After that set time you will incur charges, this could be 100% of the total removal costs if you were to cancel on moving day.

You can, however, take the option of a home removal cancellation waiver which will cover these costs in the event that you have to cancel your removal company.

Usually, the cancellation waiver costs about £50-£90, although some removal companies may charge as a % of your home move cost.

Again, speak to your Removal Company or insurance provider about the terms and costs of cancellation insurance.

You may also like to read: Planning What to Do If Your Home Move Falls Through. Insurance is a financial safety net, but what about the other implications of a home move that does not happen? Here we look at some options that you may want to consider in the event your home move falls through.

Insurance for Home Contents in Storage

Expect the unexpected, and make sure you have insurance to cover your home move.

As you would expect, there is no uniform policy for every insurance company.

Some insurers offer insurance for items in storage for a maximum of 72 hours whilst the goods are in transit, others offer no such cover.

Most storage facilities will offer their own insurance cover which will usually be based on the total declared value of your goods.

Expect to pay a premium of between:

  • £75-£130 for £10,000 worth of cover.
  • £40-£100 for £5,000 worth of cover.

Normally the cover would be for a period of 3 months.

There are also insurance companies that provide insurance for goods in storage, specifically for home movers. You can follow this link to get a quote for storage insurance.

You may also like to read: How to Choose a Storage Unit. Not all storage units are equal. Some will offer facilities you do not need and others will not offer what will be essential in your circumstances. Here we offer guidance on how to pick the right storage unit for your needs.

When looking for how to get cheap home moving insurance follow these simple tips

  • Contact a number of insurance providers so that you can compare house removal insurance
  • Draw up a list of house removal insurance questions that are relevant to your home move. That way you will not forget to ask any important questions and you will also be able to compare quotes and services more accurately.
  • Use the internet to research the reviews of removals insurance
  • Read the house removals insurance policy or proposal thoroughly so that you are certain that your precious items have adequate cover.

You may also like to read: Are Professional Packers Worth the Money? Note that many insurance companies will not insure your items if you have packed them yourself, so check your policy carefully. If you do decide that having your things professionally packed may be better then this guide tells you all you need to know.

Home Contents Insurance for Your New Home

Remember that you will need to have a new contents insurance policy for your new home.

Whilst your old insurance company might have been the most cost-effective for your old home, the criteria for your new home may mean that they are not so competitive. It is worth shopping around to get the best deal.

However, terminating your old policy may incur penalties and it may be cheaper to just advise your existing provider of your home move.

A change of postcode, relocating from the country to the city, the size of your property, and even a change of job can affect your new insurance premiums.

Just a reminder to include the contents of your garage or shed when getting contents insurance for your new home, and don’t forget your car insurance will need changing too.

Must have: The Ultimate Change of Address Checklist. Notifying companies and people of your new address is an important aspect of any home move. Not only will this help to prevent identity theft but will ensure that any important paperwork finds its way to you. Here we have created one of the most comprehensive changes of address lists available.

And just to finish on a lighter note………..

A lawyer and an engineer were on a Caribbean Island fishing. The lawyer said, “I’m here because my house burned down, and everything I owned was destroyed by the fire. The insurance company is paying for everything.”

“That’s a coincidence,” said the engineer. “I’m here because my house and contents were destroyed by a flood, and my insurance company also paid for everything.”

The lawyer looked puzzled and thought for a moment. Finally, he asked the engineer, “How do you start a flood?”

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