Self Pack Containers – Do you need Insurance if you are relocating overseas.
It is always recommended that you insure your shipment, but the reality is that you need to consider the value of the goods, the cost of 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 but, if you are like most people, you wont have kept any of that.
So, you have to consider how best to package anything you wish to send. You should always have a good supply of cartons for things like kitchenware, clothes and books.
You should also have a good supply of bubble wrap, packing tape, packaging materials, blankets, sheets and so on.
Anything that needs packing and protection should receive your best attention and efforts.
This would be for all furniture and white goods.
Making up a packing list with all items and their approximate value written down – this will help with insurance and any customs inspections or possible taxes and charges due at your destination.
Mark all cartons with a general description of what they contain. This may be useful for if the goods are checked or inspected at destination, or at least for your own personal uses.
All items need excessive packing and protection.
Bear in mind that however you pack your own container, all of your items need to be tightly secured.
Containers have a number of “tie down” points for you to secure your furniture and other items, but you will need your own blankets, sheets, pillows and the like for added protection and to 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.
Just remember that 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.
Decide whether you want to pack the container yourself or use a removals company to do this for you.
If you are packing the container yourself then ensure most of your goods are packed before the container arrives – generally you will only have a few days to pack it securely.
If packing is not for you then a simple alternative is to hire a professional removals company to pack and/or remove the goods from your house to bring the goods to our nominated container depots in each main port city, and that 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 – simply they will not get their blankets back – so, it is imperative that you provide enough blankets, sheets, pillows, strapping and the like for these to be used when packing your container.
You then have to decide whether or not you want to go to the expense of insuring your goods.
There are advantages to you arranging this. The main one being peace of mind – at least you can sleep at night knowing that this is covered. So the answer is always yes!
But, firstly you have to consider a fair value.
Consider that if you had a total loss, how much would it cost you to replace the goods?
Some items may be sentimental, or even some furniture “irreplaceable”, but in these cases you need to be practical.
A formal valuation is always good, and you should keep a copy of this handy just in case.
Insurance companies will not pay you just any old amount, or cover you for surface damage that may or may not have occurred in transit.
If you use a professional removalist service from your house until the goods are secured into your container, then you will need to be able to provide a receipt for their services.
In which case, you will be able to claim insurance for professionally handled and packed goods. This will cover youfrom door to door including total loss of the container. Unlike anything you pack yourself, which would have a limited cover.
Insurance is not included in our services unless specifically requested and paid for – we advise you do this yourself to ensure you are getting the proper coverage.
We can provide insurance coverage if requested, but generally it is better value for you to arrange this as a separate cover.
Some of the outside parties we know of are:
And check out your local insurance broker – they have many other products available, for instance, Vero and QBE offer insurance for household removals as well but generally these products are only available through brokers.
Please note that none of these are recommendations from us. You should always seek advice separately and ensure that any insurance covers your requirements specifically.
If you pack the container yourself – then check with your insurance company what they will or won’t cover – some companies only offer total loss insurance on self pack containers. Whereas if you use a removalist – then they consider the container has been professionally packed. Check these things out as conditions are different depending on the company your use.
It is up to you!