Moving house – contents insurance considerations

Moving from one home to another can be a very stressful time involving plenty of admin and heavy lifting, decisions, packing, unpacking; the list goes on. “But there is one way to remove a little stress, and that is to make sure your goods are sufficiently insured while you are moving,” says Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure.

Whether you are moving to another suburb or across the country, accidents can happen and it would be dreadful to have to foot the bill yourself to replace your furniture and belongings.

The actual move

Using professional movers

Your current personal insurance policy could be extended to cover you while your goods are being moved by a professional company, but you will need to check with your insurer exactly what terms and conditions would apply. If your policy only has limited cover, it is possible to take out a Household Goods in Transit policy, which will ensure you are covered for the move. “This is a separate policy and would only cover your goods for the period of transit,” Visser says.

Another option would be taking out insurance via the moving company you are using, but this can end up being a more costly choice. “It would be best to weigh up your options and choose the one best suited to your pocket.”

Using your own vehicle or a friend’s bakkie

Many of us rope in help from family and friends to save on moving costs.  This is a safe option when it comes to using your insurance, but only in the event of an accident. “Your insurance cover will only be valid for collision or overturning of the vehicle, but it will not cover you if any of your goods are stolen in transit,” Visser says. “An example here could be if your friend stops at the shop in between picking up your goods and dropping them off, and a chancer steals something out of the vehicle,” Visser says. 

With a smaller vehicle, there may be a few trips required to transport all your goods to your new home. “Your insurer won’t restrict you as to how many of your goods will be covered per load in transit, however, you must make sure that your policy covers you for the total sum insured for all the goods you are moving. This means your contents insurance must be at the correct value to replace all your goods, should anything go wrong.”

Goods in your new home vs. your old home

If you are moving in stages, there will be a time when some of your goods are in your new home and some of your goods are still in your old home. Both properties will need to be included in your policy to cover your contents on both premises for the moving period.  “If you are a tenant moving to a new rental property, for example, your new landlord has no responsibility to protect your contents, so you must make sure your own cover is sufficient and that your insurer is aware of your new address. Equally so if you have bought your new home – your insurer must be aware of your old and new property so that your goods are covered,” Visser concludes.

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