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Thursday, July 24, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak is urging consumers to review their insurance policies before they move.
“The warm weather, long days and increase in free time makes summer the busiest season for relocation,” said Doak. “According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 35 million Americans will move this year. While relocation can be stressful, making sure you are properly insured for the move can help put you at peace.”
The Oklahoma Insurance Department recommends these tips for Oklahomans planning to move.
Call Your Agent
Moving out-of-state can mean big changes to insurance policies, or possibly the insurance carrier, if the company does not write policies in the consumer’s new state. Even moving across town can change policy rates. A home’s age, construction material, type of roof, square footage and interior finishes will affect the cost of the policy. Consumers should shop around for the best rates.
Confirm Coverage During Transit
Typically, homeowners and renters policies provide coverage for personal property while it is at a residence and in transit on an actual cash value basis. However, it is important to verify the coverage with the carrier. A homeowner’s policy will likely not pay for damage done to property while in the care of hired movers. For further protection, consider special perils contents coverage or trip transit insurance which covers personal property for theft, disappearance or fire while in transit or storage. It can be purchased for the full value of the property or in addition to coverage provided by the moving company.
Here are some other questions consumers should consider:
- Does my homeowner’s policy contain replacement cost and special perils contents endorsements?
- Do I need the optional collision damage waiver coverage for my rental truck? Collision and comprehensive coverage will likely not cover a moving vehicle, only a private vehicle(s).
- What kind and how much coverage will my moving company provide for property loss and/or damage?
- Will my moving company’s policy include coverage for damage done to my home, both the one I’m leaving and the one I’m moving into?
- Is there a time limit for filing claims and are they are reasonable?
Full Value Protection and Released Value Protection
Consumers who hire a moving company will likely be given two options for insurance protection: Full value protection and released value protection.
Full value protection is the more comprehensive plan, with the mover liable for the replacement value of any lost or damaged property. The mover will offer to repair, replace or make cash settlement for any lost, destroyed or damaged property while in their custody.
Released value protection is less costly with only minimal protection. The mover will assume liability for no more than 30-60 cents per pound per article. For example, if the moving company lost or damaged a 10-pound home theater component valued at $1,000, they would only pay $3-$6 in compensation. Moving companies may also offer separate liability insurance to cover above the released value protection. The moving contract should be reviewed carefully.
After the Move
- When unpacking, make sure to note any damage caused by the movers and watch the deadline for insurance claims.
- Verify that banks, credit cards companies, mortgage lenders, insurance companies, pension plan managers, etc. have the new address.
- Confirm new address with auto and home insurance agents.
- Update driver’s license with new address.
Before and after a move are both excellent times to update or build a home inventory, available at http://www.ok.gov/oid/home_inventory.html. It can help determine how much coverage is needed and allow future claims to be settled much more quickly. The home inventory should be kept in a safety deposit box or other safe place outside the home.
Consumers with insurance-related questions are urged to call the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance Division at 1-800-522-0071 or visit www.oid.ok.gov.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
For more information contact:
Kelly Collins Dexter