Moving house: are your possessions covered?

What most people don’t realise when moving house is that all their contents on the back of the removal truck is not covered for any damage.  The typical removal quotation is based on collecting items on your inventory list, items are packed and loaded onto trucks and delivered to your new address before being unloaded.  Unless you have purchased removal insurance or transit insurance, most removal contracts would have a clause that states ‘whilst every due care is taken to ensure goods arrive safely at their destination, we are not liable for any loss or damage due to any unforeseen circumstances’, this is to outline that you are not covered for any damage associated with the transportation of goods.

When it comes to transportation of furniture and goods, it can be confusing to understand who holds responsibility for damage items.  It is not uncommon to think that your items are automatically covered when a removalist takes on your moving job, whether it is cover from your own home and contents insurance or the removers own insurance, however that is far from the case.

The removers own insurance typically consist of public liability insurance and third party motor vehicle insurance, both instances cover the removalist for claims that may arise from negligence.  They are not designed to cover goods of a third party but protect the removal company when found to be legally liable to compensate for loss or damage due to negligence.  As for one’s home and contents insurance, cover can vary and it typically depends on the insurer and the policy terms and conditions.  Generally you will find that many insurers will only cover contents damaged in a collision or fire and not for accidental damages.

What does transit insurance cover?                                          

Transit insurance is designed to cover your possessions whilst in transport from your old home to your new home.  Removalists can sell transit insurance as part of their removal service under license, contents insurance providers can offer cover under an optional extra or there are independent insurers who specialise in moving cover.  The cost of moving insurance is dependent on what the sum of the contents is insured for and typically covers:

  • Loss or damage to goods from the beginning of transportation
  • Loss or damage from the removalist mishandling or from road accidents
  • Requirement for storage of goods

While it may be tempting to cut your overall moving costs by not taking appropriate transit insurance, accidents do happen and being left without the right cover can end up costing you a lot more.  Insurance is for peace of mind and is something to consider when making your next move, whether it is moving interstate or moving locally, ensure you understand your level of cover.