How to Choose Personal Property Insurance Coverage

Property insurance provides protection against most risks to property, such as fire, theft and some weather damage. This includes specialized forms of insurance such as fire insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, home insurance, or boiler insurance.

Property is insured in two main ways—open perils and named perils.

Open perils cover all the causes of loss not specifically excluded in the policy. Common exclusions on open peril policies include damage resulting from earthquakes, floods, nuclear incidents, acts of terrorism, and war.

Named perils require the actual cause of loss to be listed in the policy for insurance to be provided. The more common named perils include such damage-causing events as fire, lightning, explosion, and theft.

You will need to make a decision about how to insure your belongings and choose coverage options to suit your individual replacement needs. There are mainly two types of insurance coverage—Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value. Many of your belongings will decrease in value over time, so it's necessary to consider which to choose.

Replacement Cost coverage pays the cost of replacing your property regardless of depreciation or appreciation. Premiums for this type of coverage are based on replacement cost values, and not based on actual cash value.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) coverage provides for replacement cost minus depreciation. This coverage option may allow for the insured item to be replaced with a used item but not always a new one. Premiums for Actual Cash Value insurance coverage though generally cost less than those for the Replacement Cost coverage option. 

It is a good idea to walk around your home and look for items that you spent a lot of money on, or that have appreciated in value since you got them. Taking a picture to record those items financially or personally important will help you ensure they are protected properly.

Don’t forget to check for complaints or problems with the insurance agents that you are considering. Most states have an insurance commission website that you can check to see if an agent has any complaints against him. If an agent has several complaints, you should be skeptical about working with him. You also should check with the insurance agent to make sure that his license is up to date. Once you have found an agent that you feel comfortable with and has the products you need, make a selection and move forward.

Contact Expat US for more information and free consultation

How to choose your mover?

Getting a mover (moving company) brings lots of convenience in relocation. However, people are not always satisfied with the mover that they hired, concerning poor service and overpricing. It is important to do some research before securing a reliable mover. Here are some guidelines.

1.    Choosing the right kind of mover

You should know which one best fits your demand, among relocation service, interstate moving company, local mover, pack-and-stack service, household shipper or trucking service.

You can also talk with your neighbors and friends to get some recommendations and suggestions.

Don’t forget to check the mover's track record. Contact your state or local consumer protection agency or Better Business Bureau to see if there is a history of complaints.

2.    Verifying whether the mover has an operating license

For interstate moves, make sure the mover is licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (you can double-check a mover’s license at You can also search for interstate movers and complaints about them here. For moves within states, check for similar resources in your state.

In addition, regardless of the type of move, check to make sure the company has at least a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the trade association for moving and storage companies, interstate movers must be rated at least satisfactory to display the association’s ProMover logo and be considered “a quality, professional” mover.

3.    Getting a written estimate from several movers

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s guidelines for “choosing a reputable mover,” the estimate should be based on actually looking at your belongings. In addition, remember that the lowest estimate you receive may be an unrealistically low offer just to rope you in and you’ll end up having to pay more in the end, warned the Better Business Bureau and American Moving and Storage Association. Also keep in mind that movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than 10 percent above a “nonbinding estimate” of what your mover believes the cost will be.

4.    Making sure the mover has insurance

If furniture is damaged during the move, the mover's insurance should cover it. Ask how to file a complaint if there are limits to the coverage.

Contact Expat US for more information and free consultation.

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