Moving home may be something which gets easier with practice, for example, if you’re in the military and have to change homes a lot. It is, however, probably not something many people would class as a whole bundle of fun and in some cases can be the cause of a lot of frustration and stress. In addition to all the clearing out and packing and unpacking, there’s all the organising and updating and changing your address with all the relevant people and organisations. It’s entirely understandable why people might feel tempted to put home insurance on their list of things they just want to get out of the way as quickly as possible. The key point, however, is to go about this the right way, so you have all the cover you need for as long as you need it.
When you buy a new home you are legally responsible for it from the point of exchange
Once contracts are exchanged they are legally binding. This means that when you buy a new home you become legally responsible for the building itself right from that point, even if other people are still living in it. Therefore, if at all possible, you almost certainly want your house insurance for your new home to start on the day of exchange rather than on the day on which you move in. Depending on your situation, this may mean arranging “double cover” for a while. For example, if you exchange on your new home before you have sold your old one, then you will need cover for both properties until you exchange the property you are selling, at which point it becomes the buyer’s responsibility. The good news is that you are probably only going to need double cover for the properties themselves since you will presumably have all your property and personal items in your main home and hence only need home contents insurance for that property.
It’s important to understand your transit cover (if any)
Your home contents insurance may offer some cover for goods in transit, for example, during a home move. This protection may, however, be dependent on you using a professional removal company. If you choose to move your belongings yourself, then you may wish to look at getting protection from another source. If, on the other hand, you find your home insurance does not cover you for transit, but you were planning on using a professional removal company anyway, then you may find that they have their own insurance. On a side note, similar comments apply if you need to put any of your belongings in storage. Your home insurance may cover it but you would be wise to double check exactly what they cover, for how long and under what conditions.
Use a move as an opportunity to update your home contents cover
When you move, by definition you pack up everything you own (or at least everything you decide you want to take with you), which gives you the perfect opportunity to double-check that you have the right level of home contents cover in place. Remember this can work both ways. If you’ve recently invested in some expensive purchases, then you really need to make sure that you have insurance cover in place for them and that you’ve met all the conditions for cover (for example you may be required to list some items individually). On the other hand, if you’ve had a declutter and have moved on a number of your former possessions, then you may find that you actually have more insurance cover than you need and can reduce it, possibly saving yourself some money.