PCSing is a whirlwind. You are packing all of your belongings, dealing with orders and hectic schedules, kids, saying goodbye and the last thing on your mind is updating your insurance policies. Take an hour to stop what you are doing and call your insurance provider. Not only do you want to ensure all of your belongings or adequately covered, but you will also need to review and update your policies when moving to a different state.
First, make sure you have pictures of all of your belongings. Go ahead and go crazy with your digital camera snapping photos of your valuable (and non valuable possessions). These will be worth their weight in gold if something happens to your belongings during a move and you can use these photos to assist your insurance claim or reimbursement request.
Your next step is to inform your insurance provider you are moving.
Homeowners and Renters Insurance
Verify that your policy ensures your household goods are protected and insured while they are being moved and/or stored. Be sure to ask what happens if some of your items go missing in transit and/or are damaged (so policies have limitations so you will want to ensure you are covered!) It is also helpful to know what your deductible is.
If the military is moving you, you should have the opportunity to apply for reimbursement should any of your household goods be damaged in the move. While the movers are present at your home, document and inform them if your belongings are damaged or you discover there are items missing. Make sure everything is written on the inventory sheet. Make use of your digital camera again and photo the damage and try to keep damaged items in the boxes they came in. Be insistent that the moving company representative inspects the damaged goods, and make sure they do so before you attempt to fix/paint/move the item. If you are conducting a DITY move, ensure your current insurance plan has adequate coverage to reimburse you for any damage to your belongings.
Avoid storing your items if you can (I know sometime the military's plan for your family and orders etc. make this step IMPOSSIBLE) but naturally the less times your goods are moved, the less number of chances it has to be damaged. If you know your goods must be stored, ensure the company will cover water/mold or lost damages (if the military is moving you, you should be covered).
Valuable Personal Property Insurance
Make sure that new necklace you got for your birthday or that antique crystal your grandmother gave you is added to your valuable personal property policy! Loosing your mother's pearl earrings will be devastating enough; don't add to the heartache of not being able to replace them because they were not insured.
Ensure you update your insurance because many states require different coverage and different prices (believe it or not my car insurance is MUCH cheaper in our new state!)
Most importantly ask questions. You can never be to informed about your insurance policy, you want to make sure everything is covered before you make a big move!
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