When your goods are placed in storage, a reputable warehouse operator will insist that you have at least minimum insurance cover on your items. Many warehouse operators will offer you liability insurance and this will usually be included in the rental charges. But you must understand that minimum insurance covers only a small proportion of the value of your goods, approximately $0.30 per pound per item. So that if you have to replace a television set that weighs 20 pounds, you will only be offered $6.00 in terms of your minimum insurance policy. You need to consider various options if you wish to be comprehensively insured. There is always the possibility that your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover your household effects while they are in storage. If this is the case, you will need to check with your insurers what steps you must take if you need to add items or remove them from storage. Your insurance needs will of course change if items are added or subtracted from your storage space. The warehouse operator may offer you additional insurance. But whichever cover you accept, it is important that you check all the options and details upfront. You don’t want to arrange insurance and then find that you were not permitted to add items to your storage unit. You need to be sure that the antique furniture you have added after the initial storage will be covered by insurance in the event of damage. Warehouse operators who offer extra insurance often require that the goods stored by them are covered by their insurers. Some operators may suggest different options with outside insurance companies who have competitive rates on account of the bulk discount offered. At the end of the day, after checking which options are most suitable for you, it is essential that your goods are covered by adequate insurance.

Accept coverage that actually covers the entire value of our goods. If you decide that minimum insurance is not sufficient and wish to take out extra optional insurance against negligent loss or damage, you would do well to understand the need to cover your goods with adequate insurance. As an example, if you have furniture valued at $20,000 and you insure it for 20% of its value, you will receive only $4,000 if it suffers total damage during storage. If your goods in storage are worth $100,000 and they are insured for $20,000, this means that you will only be able to claim one fifth of their value if they are damaged beyond repair while in storage. A standard policy is unlikely to cover events such as moisture damage due to high levels of humidity, or damage due to vermin, and events like this will require special coverage which will cost extra. You must use only a storage company if you wish to manage this risk effectively.

What about the insurance status of my goods while in transit to storage?
It is important that your household goods are insured during transit. Many trucking companies offer only minimal protection or none at all. If your are considering renting a truck and driving your items to the warehouse for storage, you will probably be working with a trucking company and will have to consider the need to take out additional insurance. If you accept the services of full and self-service movers, they will be likely to offer better protection for your goods, and if you wish to get the benefit of additional insurance, the insurance company will quote better rates for full and self-service movers.

When the moving company packs all your household items and loads them into a truck which they have provided and delivers them to their destination you are receiving a full service move. If you don’t want to be involved in the task of packing the contents of your home, this is the best way to go. Alternatively, if you want to save money, a popular method of moving is a self-service move - “You Load We Haul”. In this case you do not need to rent a truck and be forced to drive a large unfamiliar vehicle to your new home. The moving or trucking company will drop off a trailer at your home. You will pack and load your goods onto the trailer and the trucking company’s professional driver will haul the load to your new premises, where you will be required to unload the trailer. You will just have to transport yourself to your new home.

You may think everything is covered by your household policy however when exactly does that policy end? If you are in possession of a household insurance policy, it is very important that you verify at what stage the cover no longer exists. Find out if it ends at the point when the household goods leave the home, go over state lines, or even when you sell your old home and plan to store your household items until you find a new home. You might have an insurance policy that covers your goods while in transit. The main thing is to find out from the insurance company is exactly when your cover ends. You won’t have much use for a policy that ends at the stage when you sell your home. You will probably wish to store the household goods until you find a new home. It is important that if you are insured, the insurance company clarifies the level of cover and what is covered. If you need to file a claim with the insurance company, they will require proof that the loss or damage to your goods was brought about by the mover’s negligence. If you have packed the goods yourself and have rented a truck, you will need to prove that the truck rental company was negligent. You will not receive payment if poor packing by you or your family has caused the damage.

It is fair comment that “mom and pop” operations that offer rental trucks will not be likely to provide any extras such as insurance or roadside assistance. You should bear this in mind when you are comparing estimates for truck rental and not let the price be your only consideration.

If you are driving a truck you need to find out whether your regular auto insurance policy will provide personal cover while you drive the truck. Sometimes your regular insurance will provide cover but this is not usual. Therefore contact your auto insurance company before you drive the truck, find out how much extra you will have to pay to provide cover for yourself and the truck. Check whether the company renting out the truck includes roadside assistance in your deal. If not, your own auto insurer may be prepared to offer roadside assistance even if you are driving a vehicle other than your own. You will need to confirm this with your insurance company and provide full details of the truck you plan to drive, exactly when and where you will be driving it and for what time period.