What to Know About Insurance and Valuation When You Plan to Move Overseas

Planning an overseas move is an exciting time. You’ll be traveling to a faraway land and embarking on a new adventure. But relocating to another country can be complicated.

As international movers, our goal is to help make your transition as smooth as possible. It’s essential to stay organized during an overseas move, and insurance and valuation is one of many factors to consider when relocating abroad. Any major life event can change your insurance requirements, and you’ll need to protect your belongings during transit overseas.

Here’s what you need to know about each type of insurance when preparing for your big move.

Moving Insurance

Insurance vs. valuation – Movers are not state certified insurance brokers. Therefore, they offer valuation protection to ensure your prized possession are covered during transit.

When you’re making an international move, it’s vital to hire a reputable moving company to transport your belongings. It’s also important to make sure that your prized possessions are adequately covered by valuation protection. International moving valuation protection is a specialist product specifically written for the international moving and address many risks from both damage and breakage to specific shipping situations.

Note that typically, if you chose to take no coverage, then 60 cents per pound is the movers liability. So, for example, a $3000 laptop which weighs 5lbs would be compensated at $6.00 – this is why many people choose to take out extra insurance to cover their items.  

Five features to look for in a good policy:

  1. Full replacement value — typically you value your shipment for replacement cost at destination, not what you purchased it for at origin location
  2. Pairs & sets coverage
  3. Mechanical derangement
  4. Storage in transit coverage
  5. Mold & mildew component

Your Moving Company

International moving companies like Suddath offer a variety of valuation coverage options as part of their moving services.

When you hire Suddath for your move, you’ll be assigned a dedicated international move coordinator, and this moving specialist will discuss the specifics with you about the valuation we offer. Be sure to check out our international moving guide for more help with planning your international move.

As reputable international movers, Suddath takes all the necessary precautions to ensure that your belongings arrive safely and on time. Our international moving teams are highly trained and certified in the latest international packing standards.

In the unlikely event that something gets damaged during your move, our claims team is here to handle the settlement process. Your agreed-upon insurance coverage will determine the settlement for any potential claims. Our claims filing process is fast and easy and can be completed online.

Moving Insurance Tips

The moving company you use should provide you with an insurance certificate outlining the provided coverages. Make sure you get a copy of this and are satisfied with the coverage limits.

An important principle to remember is never to over-insure. This is because you won’t be compensated for more than the actual value of individual items damaged or lost in a move. Another thing to keep in mind is that international moving policies don’t cover damage to self-packed items.

Therefore, having your international movers pack at least your most sensitive items will help protect them in the event of a loss.

Moving Insurance Policies

When planning an overseas move, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the insurance terms you’ll hear when discussing coverage options with insurance agents and international moving companies.

Marine cargo insurance is another name for international moving insurance, and the coverages of these policies can vary from company to company.

Here are three specific types of moving coverage and a summary of each one:

  • All Risk: If you want complete coverage, consider an all-risk policy. Anything that can go wrong is covered unless an item is expressly excluded from the policy. This coverage is comprehensive and even covers mold and mildew damage, which are common exposures during international moves.
  • Named Perils: Not as extensive as all risk, named peril coverage only covers perils or hazards that have been named. Examples of common perils are vehicle accidents, fire, lightning, smoke, and theft. If you decide to purchase a named perils policy, it’s important to know which perils it covers.
  • Total Loss: Some people looking to cut costs opt for total loss coverage. This risky option doesn’t apply to damage to individual items. Instead, it only pays out in the event of a complete catastrophe that affects the entire load.

Other Types of Insurance to Consider

In addition to the coverage that international moving companies may offer, a move to a new country can affect other types of insurance, such as health and life insurance. You will need to consult with your own insurance providers to confirm details, but here’s an overview that can help with your overseas move planning:

Health Insurance

Getting sick or injured while uninsured can be financially disastrous, and your current health plan probably won’t cover you while abroad.

Although you may already have a plan for obtaining new health insurance after establishing residence in your destination country, you may find that there will be a gap in coverage during the transition.

Some countries require foreigners to carry health insurance to ensure that they don’t become a burden on public programs, which is why an international policy is often the best choice for coverage during the moving process and beyond.

Travel Health Insurance or an International Health Plan

Travel health insurance or an international health plan can be temporary solutions until you’ve obtained health insurance in the new country. An international or global health plan could work, not only during the transition but also after the move.

International health coverage will be convenient if you plan to travel outside your destination country after the move. There are also other benefits to investing in a global plan. For example, if you’re moving to a place that does not have adequate medical facilities, you could select an international health plan that includes evacuation coverage. Another potential benefit of dealing with an international health insurance company is that they will usually provide a translator if there’s a language barrier.

Life Insurance

Life insurance policies can be more flexible than health insurance policies. If you purchased a life insurance policy before moving, it might stay in force for a while. That said, becoming an expatriate can sometimes invalidate your insurance altogether, especially if you’re moving to a higher-risk country.

Insurance premiums are determined in part by where you live, so failing to notify your insurer of such a drastic change of address could, in some cases, render your policy null and void. Be sure to contact your life insurance provider before your big move.

Homeowners or Renters Insurance

Most homeowners recognize the importance of homeowner’s insurance, and if your home is financed, your lender requires it.

Renters insurance is not as widely used, but it may be more important than you think. When you’re relocating to a home in unfamiliar surroundings, it’s a good idea to be prepared for losses due to break-ins, natural disasters, and other unexpected events. Be sure to also talk to your insurance agent about whether your home policy might cover your belongings during transport.

Vehicle Insurance

With any form of insurance, it’s essential to disclose to your insurer that you plan to leave the country so they can make the necessary adjustments to your insurance.

Many insurance companies offer international insurance as an add-on, which is an easy way to protect your car, motorcycle, or other personal property when you move to a different country. Also, be sure to let them know if you are in the military because many insurance companies offer discounts and special services for military families.

Experienced International Movers

With an overseas move, careful planning can make the difference between a smooth transition and a complicated mess, and Suddath is here to help.

Our highly trained staff is prepared to handle almost any moving situation. As a seasoned international moving company, we’ll arrange the best method for transporting your items, which could be via a combination of land, sea, and air. We offer insurance coverage for your belongings in addition to other international moving services such as prepping your items for customs, document preparation, and more.

Suddath’s international move coordinators are standing by to assess your moving needs and present you with a free, accurate estimate as well as a detailed plan for your move. Explore more of our international moving resources, or contact us now for a free moving quote.