Moving house? Don’t forget about your insurance
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By Bertus Visser
Moving is an exciting part of life, but it's also an experience that can cause quite a bit of unease.
Depending on how far away you’re moving, it can be a major life change, and it can also put a lot of strain on your wallet.
If you have an existing contents insurance policy, it may include cover to protect your belongings while in transit, but if not, there are other insurance options you can consider.
Here are some tips to make sure your move is a little less stressful and that you remain covered from point A to point B.
If you are moving to a different city, financing plays a big role in the success of the outcome. Moving is often an opportunity to declutter and get rid of items that we feel we no longer need. Listing unwanted, saleable items online, yard sales or pawn shops are examples of how to make extra money while decluttering.
When you have finalised the contents you are moving with, update your insurer to let them know of the changes made. In addition to this being good practice, it prevents you from paying more than you need to in insurance premiums.
You also won’t have to move any unnecessary items (chances are, the items you do want to move, will be more than enough, as often the more contents you have to commute to a new city, the costlier it is).
Their cover or yours?
If you are going the professional mover route, before setting your goods off, check with your insurer exactly what terms and conditions would apply should they cover your move.
If your policy only has limited cover, consider taking out a Household Goods in Transit policy, which will ensure you are covered for the move. The other insurance option is to accept the insurance cover that comes embedded in the moving company’s quote.
This, however, is often more expensive, and is not always included. Compare costs, options, and benefits, bearing in mind that smaller removal companies don't always offer transit insurance, so for peace of mind, it's your responsibility to take out cover for that day.
If you are roping in help from family and friends to save costs, be aware that from an insurance perspective, this is only a safe and effective option in the event of an accident. Collisions or overturns are covered but theft of any of your goods, for example, isn’t.
Whichever option you choose, make sure the contents insurance is at the correct value to replace all your goods (or per maximum load of transporting your goods), should anything go wrong.
Congratulations, your contents have made it to your new home! As you unpack, note any damages caused by the movers while you unpack. Pay attention to the deadline for insurance claims to make sure you submit timeously.
Remember to practise caution while unpacking and installing new purchases by disposing of packaging, such as for any expensive electronics, responsibly to keep your new home safe, and to avoid being a target for crime. Ensure your new address is updated in your policy, and check in with your adviser as to any other adjustments needed.
For example, a gated community or lower crime area than where you previously lived, or security upgrades in your new home, could have an effect on the monthly price you pay on your policy. If you own (or are paying off) the new home you move to, buildings insurance is a must to cover the structure of your new asset.
Ensure that you have insurance, on your previous home if you sold that, until the ownership transfer is complete, and similarly on the new house purchased, you must make sure your insurance is in place, effective from the date when you take ownership.
One could have an overlap period, so you may need to finance a higher premium over this time and should prepare for that in your budget. Rather be safe than sorry and chat to your adviser to move your policy to the right level to cover your new risks, and home properly.
Bertus Visser is the Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure