Make sure it's insured
Your belongings will cost a bundle to replace or repair, so insurance is a must.
Don't rely on homeowners insurance. It won't cover property that's being moved. To fill the gap, consider trip transit insurance. "It will protect you in the event of theft, loss or fire," says Loretta Worters, vice president at Insurance Information Institute, or III. "It won't cover the cost of repairing broken goods when they're with movers."
That's where the moving companies kick in. Interstate movers are liable when items they're transporting are damaged or go missing. But the extent of their liability varies, depending on the coverage.
Types of coverage
Released value protection is the cheapest coverage you can buy, but experts say it's often not worth the savings. That's because movers' liability is limited to 60 cents per pound, per article. If your 15-pound antique table falls off a moving truck, compensation to you is set at $9.
A more expansive option is full-value protection. Although it costs more, movers are liable for replacing or repairing possessions, or paying you a cash settlement to fix or replace an item at its current market value. For that reason, experts often recommend this option.
"I think it's dollars well spent," says Davis. "If people focus solely on cost, they're not looking at overall quality."