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Everything You Need to Know About Insuring a Long-Distance Move

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So, you’ve just closed on a wonderful Irvine, CA, house for sale and can’t wait to join the ranks of happy SoCal residents. While long-distance moves can be an interesting blend of excitement, challenge, stress and other conflicting emotions, the most difficult aspect of this process is often watching all of your treasured items get hauled away while wondering whether you’ll ever see these things again. The best way to alleviate this fear and to mitigate the real risk of loss is by finding the right coverage for your move. There are several ways to insure a long-distance move, and it is vital for each household to choose the perfect coverage option for its individual needs. Basic Coverage Typically provided as standard by licensed and legitimate moving companies, basic moving coverage often seems sufficient given that it is designed to protect everything stored in the moving van. In reality, however, the coverage limits for a basic plan are dismal. With this coverage, you’ll be reimbursed for lost or damaged goods at just sixty cents per pound typically, irrespective of the original value of your items. While ultimately free, basic coverage rarely provides good value or increased peace of mind. Full-Value Protection Many moving companies recognize that their clients are willing to pay a bit more for a greater level of protection and thus, most offer full-value protection for about one percent of the valuated amount of all goods being transported. This works out to a $500 payment for up to $50,000 in damages for lost or broken items. It is important to note, however, that moving companies have two different ways to compensate policyholders for damaged or lost items when full-value claims are filed. They can either repair broken items or replace these with goods that have like-values. For instance, you won’t get a brand new washing machine if your 3-year old washer gets broken during transport, even if this unit is a very costly one. Instead, you’ll be given the full replacement value of a 3-year old washing machine or you’ll have your old washing machine repaired. Shipping Documents and the Surface Transportation Board The Surface Transportation Board, the adjudicatory body that both regulates and protects companies within the moving industry, requires all items valued at $100 or more per pound to be listed on the consumer’s shipping documents. If high-value items are not listed on shipping documents, moving companies will not be responsible for replacing them. This is especially true for jewelry and other goods that weigh less than a single pound but still meet this limit for estimated value. Expanded Protection from Moving Companies One of the most important things for homeowners to note when binding this protection is that moving coverage from movers is not insurance. These entities are not legally allowed to sell insurance products. Instead, consumers are investing in various levels of stated liability. Beyond basic liability and full-value liability, consumers can secure expanded protection. This is generally best if lots of high-value items are being transported or if risk tolerance is low. With these, buyers can state their per-pound replacement values and will in turn, pay a suitable fee. Protected and Unprotected Items Another vital point to note is that movers will only cover items that they have packed themselves. Any items in boxes that you have packed will not be covered. Damages sustained as the result of natural disasters or while your items have been parked in a third-party storage facility will not be covered either. Using Your Homeowner’s Insurance There may be some protection available through a current home insurance plan. These policies typically protect items that are stored within the living space, rather than without. In some instances, however, these plans offer a nominal amount of protection for all belongings that are temporarily outside of the living environment. Checking with your agent is the best way to learn whether this protection exists and in what amount. Still looking? It can be tough to find the right spot when you can’t always be physically present to tour houses or townhomes in Irvine for sale. Contact an experienced and reliable real estate agent who can help make the search easier and find you the home of your dreams, even from thousands of miles away. Give Irvine Residential Living a call today at (714) 454-6304 and get started!

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