The process of moving from one home to another can come with a certain amount of stress, some very long to-do lists, and a lot of work. One of the biggest efforts is packing up and moving your belongings, often with the help of a moving company. But how protected are you when it comes to putting your furniture and other household goods in the care of a mover? We've got the answers to some common questions about protecting your stuff during a move.
Are my belongings covered by my home insurance when they're being moved by a moving company?
Most home insurance policies will protect your personal belongings while they're in transit between your old home and your new home, as long as you're moving within Canada. Contact your home insurance broker and let them know your moving dates and that your belongings will be in the moving company's care.
What's the best way to keep track of my belongings while I'm moving?
A little preparation before you move can go a long way. If you don't already have an inventory of your belongings, there's no better time to create one than while you're physically touching and packing each item you own. Consider downloading a digital home inventory app that allows you to create a photo inventory of everything you own. If you prefer keeping track of your belongings on paper, download our printable home inventory sheet and print one out for every room. Use the sheet to record item descriptions, brand names, model numbers, where you purchased items, how much you paid, and whether or not you have the original receipt on hand. All of this information will come in handy if anything gets damaged or goes missing during the move.
What do I do if a moving company damages my belongings, either in transit, or during loading or unloading?
Before you sign any type of agreement with a moving company, make sure you review the contract and understand its terms, including the insurance it provides for damaged or broken items. Some agreements specify that the homeowner doesn't have the right to claim against the mover for damage once they have left the property, so opening a box full of broken dishes after the movers leave means that you won't have any recourse when it comes to seeking damages.
Before the movers leave your home:
- Look for dents, cracks, or scratches in your wooden furniture
- Inspect sofas, chairs, and other soft furnishings for rips or tears in fabric coverings
- Go through boxes that contain fragile or breakable pieces like electronics, china, or glassware
Remember that home inventory you created? It could come in handy if you suspect certain items may have gone missing during the move. If you realize that any of your belongings were lost or stolen while they were in the care of the movers, talk to your broker right away — your home insurance should have you covered.
If any of your belongings are damaged during transit, you'll need to make a claim through the moving company. Photograph the damage and compare it to photos you took before you moved to make your case for reimbursement. If your damaged items aren't covered by the moving company, talk to your broker to find out if you can make a claim through your home insurance company.
Is my stuff still covered by my home insurance if it's in storage?
Whether the closing date of your previous home doesn't quite align with that of your new home, or you need some time to complete renovations in your new place before moving in, there are certain situations where you might need to keep your belongings in a storage facility. Ask your broker about adding coverage to your policy for the items you plan on leaving in storage, as these likely aren't automatically protected by your existing coverage.
Do you have questions about how your own home insurance policy could protect your belongings during a move or while they're in storage? Contact your licensed home insurance broker today.
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