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How can I insure my possessions during a move?

There are several ways to insure your possessions while you're moving. Perhaps your current homeowners policy includes coverage for your personal property during a move. The policy may cover your possessions at the new location for a limited time, also. The same coverages, exclusions, and deductibles apply while you're moving as they would for a regular homeowners claim.

If your homeowners policy doesn't include this coverage, you can purchase a policy that's specifically designed to insure possessions during a move. It's known as a floater and is effective only during your move. Or, you can add a floater to the coverage already provided by your homeowners policy.

A third alternative is to rely on the insurance offered by the moving company. You'll want to see its policy before you hire a moving company so you'll know what's covered and what isn't. Also, pay attention to insurance limits. If the company's insurance is not up to your standards, purchase a floater.

If you have a loss during a move, the mover's insurance is primary. That is, the mover's insurance company will pay first. Your insurance pays only after the mover's insurance limits have been depleted. For example, the mover's policy has limits of $10,000 and your floater has limits of $25,000. If you have a $15,000 loss and the movers are at fault, the mover's policy will pay $10,000 and your policy will pay $5,000.

As you review the combined mover's insurance and your own, pay attention to what they cover and how much. Know what the exclusions are and what the deductible is. Your insurance agent can help you be sure your possessions are adequately covered.