Are you heading to a new duty station this spring? It may be a good time to review your insurance options: Not only will the move likely lead to some coverage tweaks, but adding an insurance check to your pre-move to-do list could provide a much-needed feeling of security as moving-related stress builds.
Here are some tips to keep in mind for the move itself, courtesy of the Military Times Insurance Guide and other sources.
1. Limited liability. Your goods are insured during a traditional permanent change-of-station move, but only to a point: If there is a total loss and you’re transporting more than the allowed weight (based on paygrade), your insurance plan may be required to pick up a portion of the reimbursement.
2. PPM 101. You may be eligible for up to $25,000 worth of service-provided insurance for your personally procured move (formerly known as a do-it-yourself, or DITY, move). But that money won’t cover everything: Be especially aware of high-value items, and check your auto insurance to ensure it will have your back if there are mishaps involving your car, truck, trailer or anything else you’re using on the road during the move.
3. Know your policies. Many military movers take high-value items to their next station themselves, skipping the moving truck. But if those treasures are stolen from your car, don’t expect auto insurance to cover it: You’ll need to rely on your homeowners’ insurance. Be sure it will cover high-end items, or consider personal property insurance for the items themselves.
4. Storage savings? Check with your insurance company to see whether the car you’re putting in storage, or leaving with a friend or family member, may qualify for a lower insurance rate. And do your research to find out what “storage” means, both to your insurer and to the state where your car’s being kept: Leaving a vehicle behind with a friend who may drive it on occasion might keep the car in working order, but it likely won’t qualify for an insurance break.
5. Keep the receipts. You’ve likely heard from multiple PCS advice guides that a full inventory ― complete with serial numbers, purchase price, photo documentation and so on ― is critical for any post-move claims. But that paperwork, no matter how thorough, does no good if it’s moved along with the items that get lost. Regardless of where you keep your list, or in what format, keep copies ... and keep those papers (or thumb drives) away from the moving truck.