Ahh March, the unofficial kickoff to the PCS and moving season. Just as we are starting to come out of winter hibernation, those orders finally come and your family finally learns where their next adventure is going to be. New Friends, new schools, new climates, new city and state, maybe even a new country.
Regardless of where you are headed the countdown is on. Multiple checklists await you as you begin the PCS and moving preparation processes. There are many things that need to be prepared for so your PCS and moving goes as smoothly as possible.
Before you know it, that day arrives and the movers will soon be on their way to get your belongings. Wait, movers. What? Did I just say MOVERS?
The word movers alone is enough to send a shiver down the spines of military families. Hundreds of thousands of military families move each year. Some go smoothly. Others, not so much. Even if you have not had a bad experience moving, you certainly know or have heard of families who have not been so fortunate to experience a problem free move. Delayed shipping, broken and missing items, moving trucks catching on fire, the list of the bad things that can happen seems to be endless.
As we work with military families to help them navigate the PCS process, we get asked all the time how they can best protect their belongings while they are being moved. Questions like: What happens if my items are stolen when they are on the moving truck? I heard of a family whose moving truck caught on fire and they lost everything. Am I covered if that happens to me?
The good news is, the military does have a claims process in place that can help cover what happens to your personal property. The bad news is, they don’t always cover everything that is damaged or lost.
Because of this, I reached out to my friends at Armed Forces Insurance who have been helping to protect military families’ property from this very situation for over 130 years. I wanted to know if personal insurance could provide a layer of protection above what is already in place to better protect your family’s personal property during a move. AFI has provided me with the following information.
- Make sure you understand what is and what is not covered during traditional PCS and moving. The coverage supplied by the military for your move is your first line of defense. Your goods are covered but only to a point. It is very possible you have more personal property than what is covered by the government. Maybe you are carrying more than your allowed weight for your rank, or you have more than $75,000 in personal property. Your personal insurance plan may be needed to help cover the portion of property that is left over after the government’s moving coverage is used.
- It is important to know the rules and procedures of turning in a loss notice to the Defense Personal Property System within 75 days of the date of delivery and turning in a claim within 9 months of following the date of delivery. Here is a link to Move.mil that explains the entire claims process. Loss & Damage Claims | Move.mil
- Review your current homeowner or renter policy. Though you have initial coverage with through the military, as stated earlier, it may not be enough. Make sure the policy you have will cover your belongings during your move.
Most insurance company’s homeowner and renter policies will not cover your items in a move. The good news is there are companies out there, like Armed Forces Insurance, which cater to military families. They have Household Goods policies available that are designed to best protect you during your PCS and moving.
Here are a couple of examples of how a policy from AFI can help.
Example #1 – The moving truck is involved in an accident or catches fire. All of your personal property is either damaged or destroyed. You contact the Military Claims Office and turn in a claim but they decline pay for everything. Now what? With a Household Goods policy and the proper Comprehensive Endorsement from Armed Forces Insurance, your policy would protect your items that were not covered by the military claim from damage or breakage caused by the fire or accident.
Example #2 – The movers arrive to your new home and unload your boxes. The problem is, not everything is there. Maybe it is multiple boxes that are missing. Maybe you have a sectional couch and only half of it shows up. Your range bag arrives and you find it empty. Clothes are in the box your TV was once in. Whatever the scenario, you property is gone. Stolen? Lost? Who is to say? With a Household Goods policy and the proper Comprehensive Endorsement from Armed Forces Insurance, your property would be protected and you would have peace of mind that you would not go unreimbursed for your loss.
However with any company’s polices, there are limitations. Once your property is handed over to the movers, any damage caused by the movers would not be covered by the insurance policy. Since the movers caused the damage, they are liable. That is why it is important to make sure you first file a notice of loss and claim with the Military Claims Office within 75 days of your property arriving to your new home. Loss & Damage Claims | Move.mil.
You never know when your property will be damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen during a move. Will you be prepared if your next PCS move does not go smoothly? Why take a chance? Prepare now and protect your family and your pocketbook from having to replace your personal belongings. For just a few dollars a month, you can obtain financial security and peace of mind to cover whatever life has instore for you.
I hope you have found this information on renter insurance and PCS moves informative. My friends at Armed Forces Insurance are happy and eager to answer any of your questions you may have on renter insurance. For a more information on renter insurance or other insurance topics, head over to Armed Forces Insurance – Resources and Tools page to learn more.
As a military family, you need insurance that matches your needs and protects what you value most. You deserve an insurance company that is committed to serving you. MilHousing Network is proud to partner with Armed Forces Insurance to bring military families reliable homeowner’s insurance options when buying a home. Contact them today at 800-313-1936 or visit www.afi.org/milhousing to learn how they can support your unique military lifestyle.
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