Despite all caution, furniture, television or other household items can be damaged during the move. In this article, you'll learn how to protect yourself with transportation insurance, when coverage kicks in, and whether you need the policy even if you're moving with a moving company.
What does a transport insurance cover?
Basically, your movable property is covered by homeowner's insurance. But this only applies in the old home or at the new place of residence. During transportation you need special coverage. Transport insurance covers damage that occurs during transport and for which the policyholder is not personally responsible. Possible loss events include, for example, a traffic accident, a lightning strike or even theft.
Good to know: For grossly negligent damage – for example, if objects and furniture were not sufficiently secured – the insurance does not pay benefits.
Who takes out the transport insurance for the move?
If you move with a freight forwarder, the freight forwarder is liable for any damage caused by him or her or by you. Damage caused to employees. According to section 451e of the German Commercial Code (HGB), liability is limited to 620 euros per cubic meter of removal goods. If the value of your belongings is above this, you should take out additional transport insurance. Often this is possible directly with the forwarder.
Such a policy also makes sense if you are helping with the move yourself. In fact, the company's legal protection only applies to damages that are actually the fault of the carrier. So if you pack the moving boxes yourself and something breaks, it's not the moving company's fault.
What benefits are excluded?
In their general terms and conditions, moving companies also usually exclude damage caused by external factors such as heavy snowfall, rain or other forces of nature. In many cases, carriers also do not pay for valuable and fragile goods. These include the following:
- Valuables such as coins, jewelry or precious metals and cash
Ideally, you do not have expensive valuables such as coins or jewelry transported by the moving company, but take care of them yourself.
What are the benefits of transport insurance?
Transportation insurance policies generally provide the following benefits:
- Compensation for damage during transport due to an accident
- Reimbursement for damage caused by fire, moisture and humidity or theft
- Loading and unloading damage
Tip: When taking out insurance, make sure that the insurer reimburses at current value or at replacement value. Keep in mind that if you are compensated at current value, the reimbursement is not enough to replace the damaged item. For example, if a 10-year-old TV breaks, the insurance benefit is not enough to buy a new set. When compensating for the replacement value, it is important to keep the corresponding purchase receipts as proof of the acquisition value.
How much is the transport insurance and what are the costs??
The sum insured depends on the value of your household contents. In the best case, therefore, you estimate how much your belongings are worth before taking out insurance. A good orientation is provided by the assessment bases of household insurance policies, which roughly calculate an insured sum of around 650 euros per square meter of living space. In the end, of course, it depends on what furniture and furnishings you are moving with. Leave some behind, as a new acquisition is planned, you can reduce the value.
The costs depend on the sum insured and are on average around 2.5 per mille of the sum insured. Opt for a policy over 50.000 Euro, this would roughly cost 125 Euro premium.
How to report a damage to the transport insurance?
It is important to report damage immediately. Once your belongings are in your new home, inspect furniture and other furnishings for damage. Check that everything is complete and that the moving boxes are intact. Ideally, take photos of the damage directly and report it in writing. Damage that is not obvious usually has to be reported within 14 days.
Conclusion: Transport insurance brings security
There are many helping hands during a move. If furniture gets scratched or a box with expensive dishes falls down the stairs, the transport insurance offers security. Often you can take out the policy directly with the carrier. If you are moving privately with the support of friends, you can also ask an insurer for suitable cover. In principle, in the case of damage by private individuals, the liability of the helper would take effect, but in a ruling from 2007, the district court of Plettenberg (AZ: 1 C 345/05) has clarified that the insurance coverage does not apply in the case of courtesy services. So in any case, transportation insurance is a good idea when moving house.