Insurance Blog
Thursday, 23 May 2019 13:10

How to Pack for a Move [Video]

Moving day can be an exciting time for your family. But if you haven't planned ahead, the task for packing can be overwhelming. Here are three tips for a smooth packing process.

Anyone who has moved likely can tell you a tale or two about boxes packed at the last minute, perhaps when the moving truck was already parked out front: boxes where the contents of a cabinet got swept up in one fell swoop, never to be opened again, a perfect pre-move time capsule. Don’t let this happen to you!

Having a good packing system is your friend when it comes to a move. If you follow a three-step process, you’ll eliminate what you don’t need, organize what you choose to keep and then label it so that you can find it when you arrive at your new home. Our packing tips for moving:

Step 1: Pare Down Your Belongings

Moving more than you need wastes both time and money. You may be forced to pay to dispose of furniture that’s a poor fit at your new home, when with a bit of advance planning, you can sell it before you move. Be honest with yourself about what should make it onto the moving truck.

Organize your possessions into four categories:

  • Trash/Recycle. Start by weeding out all of the things that you clearly don’t need, such as old toiletries, broken appliances, piles of newspapers and magazines, stained clothing unfit to donate and outdated electronics.
  • Sell. From old sporting equipment to a spare sofa, there may be a market for your unwanted items. Allow time to post them for sale, find a buyer and arrange for timely pick up.
  • Donate or give away. Ask family and friends if they are interested in taking extra items, or contact a non-profit. Some will arrange to pick up furniture and other household items in good condition. 
  • Pack. These are things that you can’t live without. Think useful, valuable or sentimental. Remember that the single best moving tip is to reduce the amount of things you have to move. That takes time, so get started early and stay committed to being organized. 

Once you have divided your items into these categories, act quickly before you change your mind.

3 steps for moving list graphic

Step 2: Organize Your Items

Create an inventory to track the items that you will move. This will help you estimate the moving cost with the moving company and keep track of items during your move, including documenting lost or damaged items. Your inventory can include the condition and value of items, as well as the room where they will go in your new home.

Organize items by areas of the house, their material and the frequency of their use. Pack decorative wall hangings and items that are rarely used first, with other similar items that are used in the same room. As you pack, remember that household items, including socks and t-shirts, can also make for handy, and free, packing materials to help keep dishes and other breakables safe. 

As you pack, number each box and track the numbers on your spreadsheet, so you know that the coffee maker is in “Kitchen – Box 11,” not just in one of a dozen boxes labeled “Kitchen.” You can download moving apps on your smartphone to guide you through building an inventory and creating bar codes that you can print out and place on boxes help keep track of your items.

Step 3: Label Everything

Gather your packing supplies, including boxes, packing tape, scissors, newspaper, markers, and labels. Consider using color-coded electrical tape to help you quickly identify boxes. Label the tops and sides of boxes by number, category, and room in your new home. Clearly mark boxes containing breakable items as “FRAGILE.” Label boxes that should be opened right away and others that can wait until you are more settled.

It’s helpful to create an “open first” box with key items that you’ll need first, such as a change of clothes, tools and a first aid kit. Also set aside a moving documents folder, with the contract for the moving truck, tip for the movers, and any other paperwork you might need on moving day. That way, when the moving truck pulls up out front, you’ll be ready to roll.  

Following a process that helps you be organized for your move can help ensure a smoother experience as you transition from one home to the next.

When you’re ready to take the next step, click here to get a homeowners insurance quote or call us at 800-590-5383 for a renter's or homeowners insurance policy quote.

 

 

Published in Homeowners

What You Need to Know About Dorm & Renters Insurance For College Students

If your college-bound student will be living in a dorm or other campus housing, her belongings may be covered under your homeowners or renters insurance policy. However, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says that some policies limit coverage for belongings while your student is away from the your home. Dorm insurance protects your student's personal property against damage or loss, and renters insures both of you in case someone is injured while on non-campus residences.


Do Students Need Renters Insurance?

A college student who is under 26 years old, enrolled in classes, and living in on-campus housing, may be covered under your homeowners/renters insurance policy. But, even if a student is a dependent under his or her parent's insurance, the student's personal property, in many cases, is not covered if the student lives off-campus. Furthermore, coverage for on-campus losses depends on the insurance carrier and your insurance deductible. (See: Choosing The Right Coverage.)

College students living in off-campus housing are ideal candidates for renters insurance, since many students bring thousands of dollars worth of personal items, such as electronics, a computer, televisions, gaming devices, bicycles, and furniture with them to their home away from home. As a renter, It is their—  or perhaps your — responsibility to provide coverage for these valuable items. The landlord’s insurance does not cover their personal property in the event that it is stolen or damaged as a result of a fire, theft or other unexpected circumstance. 

Published in Homeowners

Vacation Home? Income Property? Here’s How to Cover It.

There are many reasons you might want to rent out your home on either a short- or long-term basis. Depending on the rental scenario, your standard homeowners policy may not cover losses incurred while your home is rented out, and you may require a more specialized insurance policy. So, whether you own a second home that you lease to tenants, want to rent out a spare bedroom in your house periodically through Airbnb, or make a little extra cash renting out your beach cottage the weeks you’re not using it, the first step should be to call your insurance professional. 

 

Short-Term Rentals/Primary Residence

If you are planning to rent out all or part of your primary residence for a short period of time, for instance, a week or several weekends, there will likely be two insurance scenarios.

  1. Some insurance companies may allow a homeowners or renters policyholder  a short-term rental—assuming they have notified the company. Other insurers will require an endorsement (or rider) to the existing insurance policy in order to provide insurance coverage. 
  2. If you plan to rent out your primary residence for short periods on a regular basis, to various “guests.” this would constitute a business. Standard homeowners insurance policies do not provide any coverage for business activities conducted in the home. To be properly covered you would need to purchase a business policy—specifically either a hotel or a bed and breakfast policy.

 

Long-Term Rentals/Second Home

If you are planning to lease your home to one person or a couple or family for a longer period of time, say six months or a year, you will likely need a landlord or rental dwelling policy. Landlord policies generally cost about 25 percent more than a standard homeowners policy to pay for increased protections. If you are regularly renting out a vacation home or investment property, this would also require a landlord or rental dwelling policy.  

Landlord policies provide property insurance coverage for physical damage to the structure of the home caused by fire, lightning, wind, hail, ice, snow or other covered perils. It also offers coverage for any personal property you may leave on-site for maintenance or tenant use, like appliances, lawnmowers, and snow blowers.

The policy can also include liability coverage; if a tenant or one of their guests gets hurt on the property, it would cover legal fees and medical expenses.

Most landlord policies provide coverage for loss of rental income in the event you are not able to rent out the property while it is being repaired or rebuilt due to damage from a covered loss. This coverage is generally provided for a specific period of time.

 

Renters Insurance

As the landlord, your coverage is only on the structure itself and your financial interest in it. Your tenant’s personal possessions are not covered under your policy. In order to avoid disputes arising from damage to the renter’s belongings, many landlords require a tenant to buy renters insurance before signing a lease.

 

Source: Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)

Published in Blog

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