When you're planning a move, you should consider how to protect your possessions while they're in transit or storage. While removalists may have their own coverage to protect against problems such as public and carrier liability, companies may not automatically give you accidental damage protection. Some insurers will sell you damage coverage, but this may come with some exclusions if you're packing your own boxes.
Owner Packing Exclusions
According to CHOICE, removalist damage insurance typically doesn't fully cover items you pack or unpack yourself. If you're packing your own possessions, the removalist you use has no control over how you organise the contents of your boxes. If you don't pack things up safely, they may be more prone to damage in an accident than they would be if the removalist had packed for you.
Before you accept any additional coverage from a removalist, make sure to check the small print to see if it has any self-packing exclusions. Some policies may offer no protection against accidental damage to owner-packed boxes; others may offer some coverage with the following exclusions:
- Coverage limited to boxes that the removalist has checked before you close them up.
- Coverage limited to boxes where you've given a list of contents to the removal company.
- Coverage only given for the loss of boxes to a set amount of money with damage only covered in certain circumstances, such as other risks accepted by the policy.
If you'll have to pay to get accidental coverage because you're packing your own boxes, check how this compares to the cost of having your removalist pack for you. It may be worth skipping self-packing and letting the removals company take the strain. If you can't get adequate damage coverage, it may be worth looking at other insurance options.
Alternative Insurance Options
Your current home insurance policy may cover you when you move. Some policies include transit or storage insurance that may be enough to meet your accidental damage needs. If your home insurance policy doesn't offer this, or is too limiting, you can also take out stand-alone removals insurance. This may cover you even if you pack your own boxes.
Be aware that you may only qualify for this kind of coverage if you use a professional removalist. For example, a policy may only have storage benefits if you use a removalist's storage facilities; it may not apply if you use self-storage. Make sure to read the terms and conditions of the policy before you apply.
For more information, contact a professional removalist service, like Melbourne Supercheap Removals.
Tip: Make sure that your removals insurance covers all stages of your move. For example, if you will be putting your possessions in storage for a while before you move in to your new home, make sure you have cover for transit and storage.