What is Moving Insurance? Everything you need to Know about it

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated January 16, 2024

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It’s a sad fact of life. Rain will fall, phone screens will break and items in transit will sometimes arrive damaged. Often that damage can be avoided by taking care to secure the item properly and hiring a reputable mover. But the risk, however small, is never zero. You might be in a position to consider moving insurance. You might ask, if I’m conscientious with each item before transit, and my shipper has glowing reviews, is the cost of moving insurance a racket or a potential relief?

It’s a common question, especially if you are transporting delicate items over long distances. So we’ve taken a look at what’s involved and come to a few conclusions that will help you decide whether you need to take out this insurance or not. And if this guide leaves you with more granular questions, remember you can always contact your shipping service for an even more specific answer. This guide serves as an overview of the kind of things that factor into your decision.

What is moving insurance?

Moving insurance is similar to other kinds of insurance you may have, like auto insurance. It offers protection for your belongings for the period they are in transit; at either end of the journey, liability is restored to you. There are different depths of moving insurance: some cover grand calamities like floods, fires or earthquakes. Other types cover simple accidents, like your glass figurine collection toppling over inside the moving truck.

Typically there are three main kinds of moving insurance:


  • Released value protection (RVP)


RVP covers each item up to $0.60 per pound, but does not cover full market value. It can be standard in moving packages, depending on the moving service.


  • Full-value protection (FVP)


As the name suggests, FVP offers total coverage across your entire inventory, and covers repairs for items that are broken or the replacement of those items with something fungible, i.e. of similar value. It can also offer a cash settlement equal to the item’s market value if those two options are not available. However, it has a cap. If the item is valued at over $100 per pound, that is termed ‘extraordinary value’ and FVP will not cover this.


  • Third-party insurance


Third-party insurance is the best and most comprehensive type of insurance you can take out, if you are resolved to use moving insurance. Not only does it cover damage from natural disasters like floods, tornadoes and earthquakes (things that other insurance packages may deem ‘acts of God’ and therefore outside their remit), third-party insurance will also cover those ‘items of extraordinary value’, i.e. valuing more than $100 per pound. It also supplements value protection valuation.

Should I buy insurance from a moving company?

By law, moving companies cannot sell you insurance, moving or otherwise. But they are obliged to offer valuation options, and point you in the direction of third-party insurance providers who can provide the insurance you may want.

To see what valuation options moving companies offer, you will need to peruse their website or give them a ring. There is a lot of variety and no one-size-fits-all type. But moving companies and other shippers are well versed in answering these questions and will be happy to tell you what they provide, or where you can look for the most suitable package. 

Should I buy movers insurance?

It depends on who you ask. Their answers depend, in turn, on the nature of the move and what items will be moved, as this will determine whether moving insurance is necessary. For items of high value, or prized possessions with great sentimental value, a third-party insurer is recommended.

Remember that moving companies are not insurance agents or brokers, so the options they are able to provide are necessarily limited. Some insurance providers are affiliated with particular movers. But they have an interest in selling you insurance to increase both their profits. An unaffiliated moving company will be better able to impart unbiased advice on buying movers insurance and will often know which third-party insurer is best for your needs.

Some third-party insurers of note that offer movers insurance are:

What insurance should movers have?

Many removal companies are themselves insured with several policies and many will advertise themselves as ‘fully insured’. Be aware that this means they are insured, not their customers. Most moving companies will have business insurance policies to protect them, but the vast majority of the time, it is up to the customer to avail themselves of moving insurance / removals insurance.

Like all well-reviewed moving companies, CitizenShipper has its own bespoke terms of service. To find out how CitizenShipper can help your move stay accident-free, check out how it works or get in touch to answer any questions about insurance or otherwise. Contact CitizenShipper here.

Featured Image Credit: greekmoving.com