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Moving house might be one of the most stressful times you’ll go through – here’s how your home insurance policy can help if things go wrong
When you move to a new home, you’ll need the right home insurance in place. If you’re renting you’ll need a contents or renters insurance policy, but if you’re a homeowner you’ll also need buildings home insurance.
Ideally you’ll want insurance in place for your new home on the day you exchange contracts with the seller, rather than the day you get the keys, so you’ll be covered as soon as you’re legally responsible for the property.
If you’re buying a fresh home insurance policy for your new home, the best time to cancel your old policy is when you’re no longer legally responsible for it – so when you exchange contracts with whomever is buying the property.
It’s always good to ensure there is some overlap, in case the deal to purchase your new home or sell your old home falls through.
If you have an existing home insurance policy, your contents cover should include removals as standard – though this is usually only if the process is handled by a professional removal company.
As such your belongings will likely only be covered if they’re packed away by professionals – if you’re packing or transporting things yourself, you might not be able to claim for damage.
If you’d prefer to transfer your existing home insurance policy to your new home, you should let your insurer know well before the expected exchange date. Home insurance premiums take a number of local factors into account, so expect the cost of cover to change once the policy is transferred.
If you’re buying any new furniture or electrical goods for your new home, be sure to let your insurer know as this will impact the amount of cover required on your contents insurance policy.
You might also have to pay a fee to alter your existing home insurance policy.
To calculate the amount of cover you’ll need for your home insurance, divide it into two costs:
Between leaving your old home and entering your new place, your belongings will be in transit between the two properties, or even kept in storage or at a friend’s. Whether your things will be covered depends on the insurance you’ve taken out.
Goods-in-transit insurance will cover your belongings while they’re being moved from one home to the next. As mentioned above this will likely be included in your existing contents insurance policy – and if not it may be available as an add-on – but it will almost certainly include the following conditions:
Removals insurance policies are often supplied by removal companies themselves, rather than your home insurance cover – they may also call it ‘goods-in-transit’ insurance. This could be a good alternative as the policy won’t make up part of your home insurance, so if you do need to make a claim it shouldn’t affect your future home insurance premiums.
If you’re keeping your belongings in storage while you arrange your move, this may also be included in your contents home insurance policy – but as always check beforehand to make sure. If it’s not standard, you should be able to add storage insurance as an extra, but it’ll likely cost a little more.
Bear in mind that cover for items in storage will generally only last for a few days.
If you’re temporarily staying somewhere between moves, such as a hotel or at a friend’s place, and you’re keeping belongings with you, you’ll have to check to see if your cover will apply. Certain items, like your phone or wallet, might be covered by an away-from-home policy as part of your home insurance, but this probably won’t apply to bigger items like TVs or furniture.
It’s unlikely this will be covered under a storage policy as these often require the storage location to be officially licenced. It’s best to check with your provider to see what you’ll be insured for.
If you’re moving overseas, you’ll need insurance specifically designed to cover your goods during international shipping. ‘Shipping’ doesn’t necessarily mean by sea; it includes transit by air and land too.
Many international removals companies will offer insurance as an add-on but you can also buy a separate policy. A good policy will cover your belongings while they are in transit, while they are being loaded and unloaded from each mode of transport, and if they are in storage at any point in the journey.
Some people moving into new build properties have reported difficulties taking out insurance as insurers don’t recognise their postcode. The issue appears to stem from administrative delays getting new postcodes generated by the Royal Mail onto insurers' databases.
New postcodes ‘go live’ when the Royal Mail is informed mail can be delivered to the new address. This process is usually triggered by a phone call from the new property owner or house builder. How long postcodes take to show up on insurers’ databases depends on how often they synchronise them with the Royal Mail.
To reduce your chances of having problems, start the process of registering your new address as early as possible.
Finding affordable cover for your new home is quick and easy when you compare home insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket. Just give us a few details about yourself, your home and the contents you want to insure, and we’ll put together a list of quotes tailored to your requirements.
You’ll be able to compare deals by the overall annual and monthly cost, the cover you’ll get and the excess you’ll need to pay to make a claim. Once you’ve found the one you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.
As with all insurance products, keep in mind the cheapest deal isn’t always the best. We recommend balancing the cost of the policy with the cover you get, so you don’t over-insure yourself and pay more than you need to, or under-insure yourself and get left without cover when you need it.
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