Move Advice

Although moving home can be a stressful & exhausting experience, there are several ways to make the big day more painless. One of the biggest worries for many home-movers is the risk of damage to their possessions. Therefore it is important to be aware of the insurance implications.
Putting all your worldly belongings in transit to your new property is risky without the right insurance – but the definition of this can be confusing:

  • Most standard contents insurance policies – as long as they are bought on an “all risks” basis – offer cover for “items carried outside the home”. Therefore, when you are transporting all your contents with a removal firm, you must check if your existing policy offers separate cover known as “items in transit”. Some insurers offer ample cover for a home move while others have stripped it out of the policy. You will need to check the policy wording carefully and call your insurer well in advance of the move to establish your exact position. But, according to the ABI, this is usually capped at 10 per cent of the total contents insured, so £5,000 for £50,000 worth of cover. It also imposes a “single item limit”, typically around £1,000, meaning this is the maximum you can claim on the loss or damage of i.e. a £3,000 sofa. Finally, you need to be with your belongings in person for the cover to apply. I.e. Halifax Home Insurance provides unlimited cover for loss or damage of contents while moving home to another permanent UK address – so long as you have employed a professional removal firm. But policy-holders with More Than will need to add on “contents outside the home”. Only then will they be covered for all belongings outside the property – and while in transit – and, again, only if the move is handled by professionals.
  • If your insurer does not offer ‘items in transit’ cover, you will need to make alternative arrangements, such as with your removal firm. AM Removal as most of professional move companies are insured and insurance will come as part of the overall removals package. In such case, the insurance is taken out by the removal company in their name; any claims will be made against the mover. The insurer decides to accept liability if negligence of the removal company is proved. Therefore, it is very important to choose a moving company you can trust to accept their liability for damage in case something goes wrong. Limit of indemnity exist that indicates maximum sum an insurer can pay under a policy. It is usually expressed as ‘per load’. Excess is a specified initial amount of a claim that the insured has to contribute. If a claim is less than the excess stated in the policy, no payment is made by the insurers. It is important to check with your mover their insurance claim procedure. You should always ask to see a copy of their insurance policy paper. Majority of removal companies offer “Extended Liability” or “Standard Liability” or “Goods in Transit Insurance” cover.
    • Goods in Transit Insurance cover your goods against loss or damage while in removal vehicle or when sent by a third party carrier. The sum insured may be a limit for each package, each vehicle or any one consignment.
    • Public liability insurance covers any injury to you or damage to your property caused by your movers, i.e. movers unloading a van and leave a box on the pavement which you fall over and injure yourself; movers working inside your house, moving your furniture and knock over and break an antique.
  • However, you can always purchase insurance cover ‘goods in transit’ for your goods from independent insurance providers regulated by FSA. The minimum premium for such policies starts from around £150 for £20,000 worth of goods being moved within UK.
  • If you need to put your contents into storage, terms and conditions of home insurance policies will also vary. Halifax provides cover for contents held in storage for up to 72 hours during transit, but other providers won’t offer cover at all. Firms such as The Big Yellow Self Storage Company provide stand-alone insurance but, again, this will be charged separately and based on the total value of goods stored.