Here are the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on furniture removals insurance.
Is insurance automatically included in my removals quotation?
Yes – and no!
To explain; your initial quotation may include what’s called third party or professional liability cover designed to protect your removals company in the event you claim compensation from them for damage.
This means that, typically, if one of the removals team dropped one of your boxes while loading it then you’d be able to ask them to deal with the costs of any damage incurred.
However, there is a whole group of related insurance risks that might not come under this category. To take another illustration, let’s say that when unpacking you found that a valuable antique had been broken in transit. You might struggle to prove that actually happened during the removal and even if it did, that it was directly attributable to your removers.
In that type of scenario, their insurance might not cover you and that’s why it’s advisable to have your own furniture removals insurance cover.
If I take out insurance, will it cover all of my items in transit?
To be sure what was included or not in your cover, you’d need to read the policy.
It might be rare bordering unheard-of for an insurance policy to guarantee to cover every conceivable item you might have included in a home removal. For example, almost all will exclude cover for any cash, financial instruments (e.g. saleable bonds) or jewellery in transit.
Some might exclude antiques or individual items above a certain value. Check with your insurance provider to be sure.
How can I keep the cost of my furniture removals insurance down?
You can try:
- accepting market valuation replacements not asking for new-for-old cover (not all insurers will offer new-for-old cover though);
- agreeing to meet a higher proportion of any subsequent claim from your own pocket. This is called ‘the excess’ (‘deductible’ in US English). Once again though, not all insurers offer lower premiums in return for you taking a higher excess on the policy;
- reducing the total amount of cover you require – but don’t hopelessly undervalue your cover or it becomes pointless;
- shop around;
- move expensive items requiring special insurance cover yourself. That might include expensive antiques or very fragile high replacement cost items such as art glass.
How easy is it to claim?
This is always a controversial area.
Street-wise wisdom accuses insurance companies of doing anything they can to avoid paying out on claims but typically that isn’t correct. They ARE under a duty of care to make sure that claims they receive aren’t fraudulent and that they’re in compliance with the terms of the policy. This role is often badly misconstrued as obstruction.
Remember, there are lots of crooks out there who really do try to defraud insurers and the insurance companies need to be awake to those possibilities because it’s in the interests of all honest policyholders for them to stop this crookery.
However, it IS true that some insurers have a better reputation than others when it comes to efficiency and even interest in processing claims.
The only way you can check this is to research your insurer online through review sites and other sources to see what their past policyholders have to say about them. If you see long lists of complaints then you might wish to look elsewhere.