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Genuine removals insurance for peace of mind during transport

Removals Insurance

Removals insurance should be simple: your removal company returns your belongings to you in the same condition as when they collected them, otherwise they compensate you.  Right?  This is how it should work, but unfortunately insurance options are often explained in a misleading way, so the area can get more confusing than it needs to be.

Removals insurance broker Basil Fry explains insurance here, but we’ve summarised it more succinctly below for you.


Protecting Your Belongings

The most important factors in ensuring that your goods arrive in perfect condition are (1) how well they are packed, and (2) the care and attention paid by the removal company.  If everything is very well packed, and handled with great care, most of the time there will be no loss or damage whatsoever.  However, even in these cases, sometimes things can still go wrong.  Overseas removals are inherently risky due to the great distances involved.  This is why protection is needed.

In terms of legal liability, in the case of damage or loss the removal company is technically only legally required to compensate you in the event of negligence (for example fire, flood or theft from a locked vehicle).  Their terms and conditions will specify how much compensation they will pay in this event – for BAR members using standard BAR terms and conditions, this amount is £40 per item or per box of items.  For companies who are not BAR members the compensation is often even less.  This is not “insurance”, it is just a statement of how much they will compensate you in the event of loss or damage – and only if this is caused by negligence.

This isn’t very much protection.  So you have two options: (1) take this risk yourself, or (2) pass the risk on to an insurance company.  Many smaller and less reputable companies pretend that there is a third option: free insurance – this is where they say they are covered already by their “Goods In Transit” policy up to £50,000 or a similar level, so you are effectively already covered by this protection for free.  Unfortunately this is a lie (see below).  The only real options you have are options (1) and (2) above.

Insurance 1

If you would like to pass this risk onto an insurance company, a professional removal company will facilitate this for you.  They will either be able to provide insurance, or a similar product called “Standard Liability” (the latter works in effectively the same way as insurance – it means the removal company undertakes to compensate you directly in the event of loss or damage, with compensation set at the actual value of the goods rather than a nominal amount like £40 – the removal company then usually takes out insurance to cover themselves against this risk for your specific removal, so that they can compensate you should the need arise).

Nomad International offers Insurance rather than the Standard Liability product, so this is easier to understand.  Here’s how it works: if you would like to take out insurance for your removal, we arrange this through our insurers.  You just need to complete a form to tell the insurance company what you are moving, and the valuation, and the insurance company will insure you directly.  You will receive an insurance certificate from AXA insurance, in your name.

The cost for removals insurance for your overseas removal is 2.5% of the value of the goods + IPT (insurance premium tax).

Should I Take Insurance?

Nomad has an outstanding reputation largely because of the care and attention paid by our team.  We have a low claims history and we don’t experience many claims.  If you are using Nomad, and especially if we are doing your packing for you, then you are in the best possible hands.  But it is not possible for any removal company to guarantee with 100% certainty that there will be absolutely no loss or damage.  Firstly this is because some factors – although rare – are completely out of our hands.  For example, ferries do sink occasionally.  Trucks and warehouses do catch fire.  Vehicles are occasionally stolen, despite security measures.  These hazards are unlikely, but if they occur they can result in total loss, a disastrous scenario.  Insurance protects against these very unlikely but catastrophic risks.

And finally, even with the care that our team prides itself on, the nature of transporting goods over such long distances means that occasionally some items can be damaged.  To reiterate, this does not happen very often with Nomad, as our customers will attest and as shown by our low claims history – but it is impossible for us to completely prevent 100% of the time.  So insurance is useful to protect against this risk also.

If you choose not to take insurance, that is perfectly fine with us of course, but it means that you are taking this risk yourself instead of passing it onto the insurance company.

Don’t Be Fooled

Unfortunately it is all too common in the removal industry for a company to claim that they are “fully insured”.  This is meaningless, as no company in any industry is fully insured as there are always exclusions and conditions.  Usually this is stated by a person who actually doesn’t understand their own insurance and how it works.

These companies (often general haulage companies who don’t really understand removals) will state that they have “Goods In Transit” insurance up to a certain level, like £50,000.  This is true, but it doesn’t protect you.  It protects them.

Insurance 2

We recommend reading their terms and conditions in detail – these will state exactly what compensation you are owed in the event of loss or damage, and under what conditions.  This will be very revealing.

Unless you have an insurance certificate in your name, stating the value of the goods that you are moving (and therefore the amount of insurance protection), then you are taking the risk yourself.  In the event of loss or damage, the company’s goods in transit insurance will be of no use to you.

We recommend steering clear of companies who make dodgy claims like these, as it is likely that insurance is not the only area in which they are lacking.

Here is an independent statement on removals insurance and how it works from insurance broker Basil Fry & Co.

Insurance 3

Insurance Process

We will send you the insurance paperwork with your quotation, but you can also download it on the right hand side of this page.  You simply have to complete the Valuation Form and return it to us.  Alternatively, if you would prefer to create your own list of the items you are moving, you can simply sign the valuation form and write “see attached list”, then forward the list to us with the individual values of the items you are moving.  For many of the categories of items only a total value for the whole category is needed rather than an individual value for each item – in these categories there is an X through the box.  If you have any questions about removals insurance at any time, please don’t hesitate to ask us.

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