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Home » Moving Overseas » Moving Overseas | What insurance do I need?

Moving Overseas | What insurance do I need?

Overseas Moving Insurance

We always recommend that you insure your shipment(s). To do this effectively you need to consider the value of the goods, the cost of the overseas moving insurance, the risk involved, and any excess charges or restrictions that might apply.

For household and personal effects, there are several important factors to consider:

How well are the goods packed?

If you pack any furniture and/or white goods, then wherever possible, you should repack the goods into their original packaging before adding to the moving containers. If you are like most people, however, you won’t have kept any of that. You’ll need to consider how best to package anything you wish to send.

For packing, you should always have a good supply of cartons for things like kitchenware, clothes and books. Mark all cartons with a general description of what they contain. This is especially if the goods are checked or inspected at the destination, however, it is also beneficial for your own personal uses.

You should also have a good supply of bubble wrap, packing tape, packaging materials, blankets, sheets and so on. Anything that needs packing should receive your best attention and efforts to ensure that it is effectively protected from harm during transport.

This would be for all furniture and white goods. All items need excessive packing and protection. Your furniture and other valuable items can be well protected from similar items with sheets and blankets.

Packing your own container vs professional removalists

Bear in mind that however, if you are using your own self-pack moving containers, all of your items must be tightly secured. Containers have a number of “tie-down” points for you to secure your furniture and other items, but you should use additional padding. You will need your own blankets, sheets, pillows, and the like for added protection. These will help protect your items from any movement or rubbing other items, or even from movement within the container.

Remember that vessels will encounter storms and rough seas, and swells of up to 20 meters are not uncommon. The goods inside a container on board a vessel that encounters such swells will be subject to severe stress and movement. It is imperative that all items are tightly packed and secured to prevent damage.

If you use a professional service to remove the goods from your house, they will bring the goods to our nominated container depots in each main port city. These professionals then transload the items from their van into the container for shipping.

Whilst a removalist may use their own blankets and the like for the domestic movement, they will not use this same packaging for export (they will not get their blankets back). For overseas removals, it is imperative that you provide enough blankets, sheets, pillows and the like for these to be used when packing your container. It may be possible to purchase these from the removalists.

Insurance for moving overseas

You then have to decide whether or not you want to go to the expense of insuring your goods. This is highly recommended.

The main advantage to overseas moving insurance (marine shipping insurance) is peace of mind – you can sleep at night knowing that your precious possessions are covered. To do this effectively, however, you need to consider the “fair value” of your items.

Consider that if you had a total loss, how much would it cost you to replace the goods? It can sometimes be difficult to estimate the worth of your possessions, and it is very common for people to underestimate them.

  • Some items may be sentimental, or even some furniture “irreplaceable”, but for these items, you need to be practical.
  • It is easy to underestimate everyday items such as clothing. How much would it cost to replace all your clothes?

For unique or special items it can be valuable to get a formal valuation. You should keep a copy of this handy just in case.

Insurance claims

In general, insurance companies will not pay you just any old amount. If you have packed goods yourself they may offer limited cover for surface damage that may or may not have occurred in transit. You may also incur higher insurance premiums for self-packed goods which is important to balance against the savings made from self-packing.

Alternatively, if you use a professional removalist service from your house until the goods are secured into your container, you may get extended cover. You will need to be able to provide a receipt for their services. You may be able to claim insurance for professionally handled and packed goods. This will cover you from door to door including total loss of the container. This will provide better insurance coverage and potentially better premiums, however, at the added cost of the professional removalists.

Insurance is NOT included in our services automatically unless specifically requested and paid for. Whilst the cost of sending shipping containers overseas may seem considerable (and has been getting more expensive), it is your precious goods that are worth covering.

There are many parties involved in international shipping and many variables during transportation. It is generally not possible to determine exactly how or where damage may have occurred. As such, any and all claims will ONLY be assessed and settled by a formal insurance company. Whilst we will always treat your possessions with respect, we cannot accept complaints about damage. Much of the transportation is out of our direct control which is why we recommend cargo insurance.

We can provide insurance coverage if requested, but generally it is better value for you to arrange this as a separate cover. Whilst we recommend insurance for your goods, we don’t specifically recommend any particular insurer. You should always seek advice separately and ensure that any insurance covers your requirements specifically.

Speak with us for assistance with all aspects of your overseas move, from shipping container purchase to overseas freight shipping. We are here to help.