Moving Insurance: Ticking all the Boxes

Moving Insurance: Ticking all the Boxes

On speaking to a number of people at a couple of the recent Emigration Shows there still seems to be some confusion or mis-understanding when it come to insuring your household goods and personal effects for an international move. However, we hope the following guide will assist you in making the right decision in determining the correct level of insurance at the right premium.

Firstly, I think it is important to understand some of the jargon, the extent of cover which is generally available and to determine what it all actually means.

‘All Risks’ – most Policies provide cover for all the major perils or ‘All Risks’ which could occur during the course of an international move but as with any policy there will be exclusions and our advice would be, is not to read what the Policy covers but more importantly, check what it doesn’t cover.

‘Door to Door’ – Carefully check when the Policy incepts and when it ceases but we would suggest the minimum requirement is to ensure it commences from the time your chosen removal company commences packing your goods until such time it is delivered to your new home and everything in between including any interim storage.

New for Old’ – Check the policy, like most homeowners contents policies, is on a ‘new for old’ basis whereby in the event the damaged item cannot be repaired then Insurers will agree to replace the item with a new one. Some polices only provide for indemnity whereby Insurers will take into account age, wear and tear of the item before offering a settlement figure.

‘Excess’ - If the Policy carries an excess then the stated amount will be deducted from your claim. Most polices do not carry an excess but check this out before buying your Policy.

‘Insurer’ – This is the company who is underwriting the risk and who will be responsible for setting the terms of the Policy, the premium being charged and for settling any claim you may lodge. Only the Insurer is authorised to amend the terms of the Policy including the rate.

 ‘Sum Insured’ – This is value you declare as being the replacement value for all your goods being shipped and it will determine Insurers’ maximum liability in the event of claim. In other words, if the sum insured was £ 20,000 and all the goods were lost then Insurers can only pay you up to this amount. It is important this figures accurately reflects the new replacement cost of all your goods.

‘The Rate’ – Only the Insurer has authority to set the insurance rate which is applied to the Sum Insured to determine the premium. Sum insured x rate = Premium.  When setting the rate, Insurers will take into account the ‘risk’ and will need to know the destination, the mode of transport and quite importantly the removal company undertaking the move.

‘Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)’ - All insurance premiums in the UK are subject to a levy of 6% which is then included within your invoice. When receiving a quote some premiums are shown as being inclusive of IPT and some are shown as being subject to IPT. Worth checking this out inasmuch if you have a high valued shipment then the additional 6% onto the premium being charged could be quite significant.

‘Claims– Should you have the misfortune to suffer damage then ensure you meet the time frame for reporting your claim to the Insurers or their representatives. Some Policies are very restrictive in the permitted reporting time period, so please do not prejudice your claim by submitting your claim after the specified period. We strongly recommend you acquaint yourselves with the full procedures which should be included within the relevant section of the Policy provided.

The Policy should also provide you with the full complaints procedure including contact details, telephone number and email address of the Insurer.

Contrary to popular belief Insurers do not try to ‘wriggle out’ of claims but they can only settle claims in accordance with the prescribed terms and conditions of the Policy.

‘Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’ – All Insurers and Insurance Brokers in the UK have to abide by a strict code of conduct which is carefully regulated and governed by the FCA. In the event of a dispute with your Insurer or insurance provider, you have the right of appeal directly to the Financial Services Ombudsmen and it is obligatory for full contact details to be included within all the documentation you are provided with at the time you take out your Policy.

We strongly recommend you ensure whoever is providing you with your insurance is fully regulated by the FCA. If they are not regulated then you do not have any right of recourse if you are mis-sold or given inadequate advice at the point of sale.

Herewith a brief check list of what to look out for when buying insurance and hopefully you should be able to ‘tick all the boxes’.

All Risks

Door to Door

New for Old

No Excess

Name of the Insurer

Claims Procedure

Complaints Procedure

Financial Conduct Authority




In summary, if your Policy includes all the foregoing and you can tick all the boxes then the only other determining factor is the premium and this does vary quite significantly. Many families relocating to Australia or New Zealand will ask two or three removers to quote so they can compare moving prices and we are of the opinion buying insurance should be no different.

John Taylor