If you are about to undertake a move, then you have a lot to consider and organize. Your favorite Mexican city awaits, and you want to get all your household goods moved into your new home with zero damage. Also, you want to have a backup plan in the event of damage or loss. You may want to hire a moving company, and we are sure that you have heard about moving insurance. Are you asking: “Why do I need moving insurance? What does it cover?” Then let’s discuss all that you need to know!
What is Moving Insurance?
Moving insurance covers any losses or damage to your possessions during your move. Since moving your possessions puts them at the risk of damage and theft, it helps to have a policy that will help you get reimbursed for any mishaps that may occur. The details of what your insurance covers depend on your policy.
While moving companies cannot sell insurance, by federal law, they are required to give you valuation options. You can then get insurance from a third-party insurance provider. But seeing that you will be moving to Mexico, make sure that these providers can legally provide coverage for your move. Three main options are available:
- Released value protection: This is the standard option in most moving packages. It doesn’t offer full market coverage as it only protects up to $0.60 per pound for your items.
- Full-value protection: This plan offers full coverage on all your inventory. It repairs broken items, provides similar replacements for items that are beyond repair, and offers a cash settlement equal to the item’s market value. However, it doesn’t cover items of extraordinary value (such as jewelry or expensive rugs) that are more than $100 per pound.
- Third-party insurance: This insurance option covers damage from natural disasters (like floods, tornadoes, etc.) and often serves as additional value protection. The good news is that this policy option covers items of extraordinary value (worth more than $100 per pound).
We recommend that you always get moving insurance to protect your possessions in transit.
What is Valuation?
Can’t wait to get to your new home in Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende, or Merida? You may be interested in knowing if your moving company bears any liability in the event of an adverse event during your move. A valuation is the amount of liability that your moving company takes on if your items get damaged while in their care.
But you should note that your protection coverage under the valuation option is far more limited than in the case of moving insurance. Furthermore, valuation often only refers to how much a moving company will reimburse you for an item.
There are two main categories of valuation. Let’s talk about each one in more detail:
Released Value Protection
This type of valuation offers basic coverage protection and it only gives you the bare minimum coverage for your intrastate and interstate moves. Most moving companies offer released value protection as their standard valuation.
However, moving companies will not automatically charge you for this option. As the customer, you will have to ask for and contractually agree to this coverage. The released value protection covers $0.30 per pound, per item for moves within your state. But for moves across state borders, it covers $0.60 per pound, per item. For example, if you had a 100 pound piano that broke during your interstate move, then you would only get $60 for it (although a piano is worth far more than that).
That is the issue with this category of valuation: it does not reimburse you the market value of your item. Neither does it help you to repair or replace it. All that happens is that you are reimbursed a fixed rate that varies with the weight of each item and not their market value.
This category of valuation costs more than the previous option as it gives you more protection (although not as much as moving insurance would provide). However, you will need to pay a premium upfront. Also, many full-value protection contracts have deductibles.
Choosing the full-value protection option means that your moving company is liable for the full replacement value of your household items. However, you will need to declare what you believe your goods are worth, per pound, and then you would need to pay the related premium for that level of protection.
Most moving companies have their respective full-value protection policies. Furthermore, most of them will have some minimum value that you would need to claim that your household items are worth.
Also, some states have regulations that indicate what the minimum level of protection should be – this can be anywhere from $4 to $6 per pound of your household items. So, if you are moving 10,000 pounds and you declare the minimum value on your goods is $6 per pound, then you would value your items at $60,000. This $60,000 would be the maximum you would receive if your entire shipment was either lost or damaged.
With full-value protection, your moving company is liable for the current market value of your household possessions. Also, the company will offer one of three solutions if they break one of your items during your move:
- Repair the item (if possible)
- Replace the item with a similar one
- Give you a cash settlement that is the equivalent of the broken item’s current market value
With full-value protection, moving companies also have the right to limit their liability for items of extraordinary value (worth over $100 per pound). These may include prized antiques and expensive, name-brand sneakers. However, before your move occurs, you need to ensure that you and your moving company are in agreement about whether or not such items are covered.
Oftentimes, moving companies will give you the chance to purchase additional coverage for these items of extraordinary value. But the more high-value items you need to move, the more expensive your premium or deductible will be.
How to Know if Your Moving Company Offers Valuation
Your moving company is legally required to offer valuation options, and include released value protection in each package. Therefore, all moving companies offer some sort of valuation policy. But if you want to know the details of what a specific company offers, you will need to either visit their website or contact them via email or telephone.
Third-party insurance providers offer moving insurance policies for moving companies. Movers are not authorized to sell these policies themselves. With third-party insurance, you can still get full coverage from one of these providers.
For example, if you choose basic valuation (or released value protection) to cover your interstate move, you can get additional coverage via third-party insurance. Since the basic valuation only gives you coverage of up to $0.60 per pound, third-party insurance providers can help make up the difference of $0.40 per pound to give you $1 per pound protection instead.
However, before you purchase any third-party insurance, check if your homeowners or renters insurance already covers your move.
Do You Need Moving Insurance?
Moving insurance protects your household items from damage or loss. Generally, it is worth it to pay a small fraction of your items’ total value to protect yourself should the worst-case scenario ever happen.
Most people find the basic released value protection to be insufficient. So consider upgrading to full-value protection or choosing add-on third-party insurance protection for your high-value items.
What is Covered by Moving Insurance?
You need to bear in mind that moving companies offer valuation options, and moving insurance is available via third-party insurance companies.
Moving companies’ valuation options cover any loss or damage that occurs while your items are in their care, but only up to a certain dollar amount per pound.
Third-party moving insurance covers any damage from acts that are beyond the moving company’s control (or their liability limit).
What is Not Covered by the Moving Company?
The released value protection or full-value protection from your moving company does not cover a few things. If your moving company is not directly involved with the items, the company is not responsible for them, for example:
- Items the movers did not pick up
- Natural disasters that damage your goods
- Damage in storage that is not owned or directly associated with the moving company
However, third-party insurance does cover items that are damaged under these circumstances.
Does My Homeowner’s Policy Cover My Move?
Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not protect household goods during a move. If they do, then the coverage is quite limited. Furthermore, since you are moving to Mexico, your US-based homeowners’ insurance policies are not likely to work there. We also recommend that you get the right moving company to provide a covered, hassle-free, and safe move to Mexico.
FAQs About How to Safely Move to Mexico
Now let’s consider a few FAQs that are related to your international move:
How Far in Advance Should I Hire My Moving Company?
We recommend that you hire a moving company at least 12 weeks (or 3 months) before your moving date. You want to ensure that all is organized for your easy relocation to your favorite Mexican city.
When Would I Pay the Moving Company?
Reliable movers will not demand cash or any large deposit before helping you move to another home. You pay at the end of your move. If you pay upfront, you lose control over your relocation. Also, you may not see your belongings again!
Furthermore, when you pay, we recommend that you use a credit card. Doing so will help to protect you from any potential fraudulent charges.
When Should I Schedule My Movers?
Your move to Mexico has many moving parts, so the earlier you schedule your move, the better. We recommend that you fix your moving date two months prior (at a minimum, one month). If you choose a shorter time frame, you could be stuck with movers that you will not like. The best movers tend to be booked two to three months in advance.
When is the Best Month to Move to Mexico?
Mexico is a large country with many regions and varying weather patterns. The coastal areas tend to be balmy all year with rainy and dry seasons, while the elevated terrains can have chilly days and frigid nights.
So from the perspective of moving to Mexico, you need to consider the weather patterns in your chosen city. However, the best months to move in the USA range from mid-September to April or mainly from autumn to early spring.
During these seasons, the demand for movers is low, and so you will get more attractive rates. If you can, avoid moving during spring and summer because those months represent the peak moving season, and you will have to pay a higher price to move.
How Do I Estimate the Value of My Household Items?
Yes, you have to move. And now you have to figure out the value of your household goods. But you have to do this because you will need to specify the replacement cost for your move. You will need to perform a home inventory to itemize and estimate the value of your possessions. Use the Internet to help you assess the current market value for each item.
You should also consider the quoted weight of your load from your moving company. It will help you gauge the overall cost of a room so you can know what to expect in compensation or replacement costs.
Need Help Moving to Mexico? Contact US Border Movers Today!
You asked: “Why do I need moving insurance? What does it cover?” and we have discussed both answers in detail. Are you about to relocate to your new home in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, or Merida? Then you need expert movers: US Border Movers! We offer a wide range of options to protect your prized possessions and get you moved into your new home with zero hassles. So contact us today to discuss how we can help you move to your new home-sweet-home in Mexico!