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Shipment insurance

Do you really need it? How can you decide what to insure your belongings for and other tricky questions answered.

As a rule the household good shipments are delivered in good conditions, but there is always an element of risk involved when transporting your belongings thousands of miles across the globe.  Sometime is due to poor service on the part of the moving company (poor packaging, no care for fragile items), but also it can happen that despite the care placed in the preparation of your home for shipment, that something can go wrong in the various change of carrier your container goes through. If you wish to sleep sweet dreams while your belongings are travelling, the best way is to have adequate insurance to cover for any odd circumstance.

Insurance cover generally are a percentage of the total insured value of your personal belongings and based on the country of delivery and the shipping method (the slower the cheaper, normally!). If your move is not covered under any personal or company insurance scheme, ask your moving company what insurance cover they provide and what is the cost.

It is wise to shop for your shipment insurance, even though the moving company that will ship your belongings provides insurance, so to compare.

As a rule of thumb you should always have at least an estimate from two different companies (three is better). Make sure you understand the quotation and how they compare, as they sometime include or esclude costs.  (You can refer to the document "Shipment quotation" for a in depth understanting of the lingo and terminology).  

Types of insurances 

Limited liability: is the minimum coverage required by law, and it is included in the base price of a move.

All risk protection: it covers door to door. The insurance companies should require that in order for your goods to be insured, they have to be professionally packed. Owner's packed belongings cannot be insured.

Total loss protection: your goods are only covered for a catastrophic loss due to a named peril such as  sinking, burning, stranding or non-delivery of your shipment.

Do not forget to read the whole contract, even the small print. Make sure your items are insured for their replacement value and not actual value (which will be the price you paid for the item less depreciation).

Insurance of precious item such as antique furniture, jewelry, paintings and silverware are taken into account separately and require a separate insrance as well. Make sure you have photographs of the most precious items as well as purchase receipts where possible or an estimate from a specialist of the value.

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