Transport insurance – protection during your move

Despite all caution, furniture, TV or other household items can be damaged during the move. In this article, you'll learn how to protect yourself with transportation insurance, when coverage kicks in, and whether you need the policy even when moving with a trucking company.

What does a transport insurance cover?

In principle, your movable property is covered by household insurance. But that only applies at the old home or at the new place of residence. During the transport you need a special coverage. Transport insurance covers damage occurring during transport for which the policyholder is not responsible. Possible loss events include, for example, a traffic accident, a lightning strike or even theft.

Good to know: For grossly negligent damage – for example, if objects and furniture were not adequately secured – the insurance does not pay benefits.

Who takes out the transport insurance for the parade?

If you move with a forwarding agency, the forwarder is liable for any damage caused by him or. Damage caused to the employees. According to section 451e of the German Commercial Code (HGB), liability is limited to 620 euros per cubic meter of removal goods. If the value of your belongings is above this, you should take out additional transport insurance. Often this is possible directly with the mover.

It also makes sense to have such a policy if you are helping with the move yourself. The legal protection of the company is only valid for damages that are actually caused by the forwarding company. If you pack your own moving boxes and something gets broken, the moving company is not to blame.

What services are excluded?

In the general terms and conditions, moving companies also usually exclude damage caused by external factors such as heavy snowfall, rain or other forces of nature. In many cases, carriers won't pay even for valuable and fragile goods. These include the following:

  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Valuables such as coins, jewelry or precious metals and cash

Ideally, you should not have expensive valuables such as coins or jewelry transported by the moving company, but take care of them yourself.

What are the benefits of the transport insurance?

The transport insurance policy usually provides the following benefits:

  • Compensation for damage during transportation due to an accident
  • Reimbursement of damage caused by fire, moisture and wetness or theft
  • Loading and unloading damage

Tip: When taking out the insurance, pay attention to whether the insurer reimburses at current value or at replacement value. Keep in mind that in case of compensation at current value the reimbursement is not sufficient to replace the damaged object. If, for example, a 10-year-old television set breaks down, the insurance benefit is not sufficient to purchase a new set. When compensating at replacement value, it is important to have appropriate purchase receipts available as proof of acquisition value.

How much is the transport insurance and what are the costs??

With the sum insured it depends on the value of your household effects. In the best case you estimate before conclusion of the insurance, how much your belongings are worth. A good guide is provided by the assessment bases of household insurance policies, which roughly calculate an insured sum of around 650 euros per square meter of living space. Ultimately, of course, it depends on what furniture and furnishings you are moving. Leave some behind, as a new acquisition is planned, you can reduce the value.

The cost depends on the sum insured, and on average is about 2.5 per mille of the amount of insurance taken out. Opt for a policy over 50.000 Euro, this would roughly cost 125 Euro premium.

How to report a damage to the transport insurance?

It is important to report damage immediately. If the removal goods are in the new apartment, you should inspect furniture and other furnishings for damage. Check that everything is complete and that the moving boxes are intact. Ideally, take photos of the damage directly and report it in writing. Damages that are not obvious usually have to be notified within 14 days.

Bottom line: transportation insurance brings peace of mind

During a move there are many helping hands. If furniture is scratched or a box of expensive dishes falls down the stairs, the transport insurance provides security. Often you can take out the policy directly with the carrier. If you move privately with the support of friends, you can also ask an insurer for suitable coverage. In principle, the helper's liability would apply in the event of damage caused by the private individual, but in a ruling from 2007, the Plettenberg Local Court (AZ: 1 C 345/05) clarified that insurance cover does not apply in the case of courtesy services. So in any case, transport insurance is a good idea when moving.

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