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Most people believe that moving insurance will cover all damages that may occur during a move. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Some items won’t be covered if the moving company doesn’t carry enough insurance. To ensure you hire a company that has the proper protections in place to safeguard your belongings, learn everything you need to know about moving insurance right here.
What’s Required by Law?
According to the law, Ontario movers must carry a minimum liability of loss or damage insurance for $0.60/lb per item. This “Basic” or “Released Value Insurance” will rarely provide enough coverage for anything of value. For example, this would mean a $3000 leather couch might be valued at $120 if it weighs 200 pounds. Given that most companies have a deductible of between $200 and $500 to make a claim, you will rarely see a dime of this type of coverage unless the entire shipment is lost. This type of insurance coverage is not for protecting household goods during transport. It is just the bare minimum under the Transport Act for any company shipping anything under contract. For example, Canada Post must insure your mail for $0.60 per pound. Most movers offering anything more than basic coverage, will offer “protection” (fake insurance). A very few of the higher end moving companies will off actual replacement value insurance (the best coverage available). Read more about the different types of insurance coverage.
What Items Are Typically Covered?
With most moving companies, damage will only be covered for items that were packed/unpacked and/or wrapped/unwrapped by the moving company. The reason for this is that the company must be able to assess the condition of the items before moving it. If the customer packs items into a box or wraps a piece of furniture, there is no way for the moving company to verify that those contents were in good condition or even existent prior to being moved.
What Does Fully Insured Mean?
The term “fully insured” means that the moving company has vehicle insurance, liability insurance, and basic cargo insurance required by law. While it sounds good, it actually means very little for the customer as their belongings are essentially uninsured against damage unless the moving company specifically states otherwise.
Won’t My Homeowners Policy Cover Damages?
You should never assume that your homeowner’s policy will cover damages to your property or belongings during the move. In most cases, the loss needs to be related to a peril that is listed in your policy, such as theft. In order for damages during a move to be covered under a homeowners insurance policy, the home owner often has to request and pay for a “goods in transit” rider. In either case, it’s important to find out what is covered and what the coverage limits and deductibles for each include. If the limits are low and the deductibles are high, you might have to pay out of pocket for any damaged items. Also consider that, your premiums may increase if you make claims through your own insurance. For this reason, it is always best to choose movers who include “replacement value” insurance in their rates.
Are There Additional Insurance Options?
If the company only covers the minimum and you would like more coverage for your valuables, you’ll need to ask your insurance company to purchase additional coverage for you. However, some companies already offer better coverage options. Here at First Rate Movers, for instance, we offer Full Replacement Value Insurance included in our rates, which is the most comprehensive insurance that is limited only by the maximum dollar value of the policy – giving you complete protection.
What Should I Ask Before Hiring A Mover?
You should never assume that a moving company has the proper insurance coverage in place. Some companies are not “fully insured” and most of the ones that are will only cover the bare minimum amount which is useless for any valuable items. You should always ask the movers what their insurance policy covers specifically and only agree to ones that offer replacement value insurance (not “protection”).
At First Rate Movers, we include $1,000,000 of full value insurance in our rates for all full-service moves. Only companies that are 100% confident in their employees can afford to offer this type of coverage as it makes them liable for far more than most movers. Our employees are also bonded and insured through WSIB to provide you with the ultimate protection during your move. Contact us today!