Whether you’re upsizing, downsizing, moving across the country, or moving down the street, it’s important to notify us when a member of your family moves out of your household.

The basic definition of an “insured” is ”you” (the named insured on the policy), ”your” relatives who are residents of your household, and any person under age 21 in your care.

A problem arises when you or one of your family members moves out of your home and establishes another residence. Any family member that no longer resides with you is no longer considered an insured on the policy and thus, loses coverage provided by the policy. In the event that you (the named insured) moves out, the rest of your family loses coverage.


This situation most often occurs:

  • When a child moves out to live on his or her own (Note: This restriction does not apply to dependent children away at school as long as they maintain your household as their primary residence.)
  • When a husband and wife separate or divorce

In the event that a family member moves out of your residence or you establish a separate residence from your family, contact us right away. Coverage may not apply to you or those no longer residing with you.


If You’re Hiring Movers:

Your homeowners or renters’ insurance will likely provide limited coverage for household belongings during the move. Know your policy deductible and how it is applied before the move. This deductible will apply to any claim made for a loss on your belongings.

If you use a professional moving company, under federal law interstate movers are liable for the replacement value of lost or damaged items. Make sure you have an up-to-date estimated value for the belongings you’ll be moving.


If You’re Doing It Yourself:

If you’re renting a truck or van for the move, the rental company may offer you some coverage. One benefit of taking the coverage is that if something goes wrong and can be covered by the rental policy, a loss would not reflect on your own insurance coverage. However, the coverage offered by the rental company may not be enough to replace or repair damaged or lost items. Contact your agent to see how your existing coverage would respond to a loss.


If You’re Renting Your Property Out:

Because of the poor economy, many people are having difficulty selling their homes, so they are renting out their property. In this case, the home has gone from a residence to a place of business, which changes insurance needs.

A landlord insurance policy is sometimes called a “dwelling fire policy.” This policy covers the house, structures on the property, the owner’s possessions (washer or dryer), and lost rental income if the house becomes uninhabitable. Tenant possessions are not covered under the dwelling policy, so they would need to purchase renters insurance.


Moving is a Great Time to Make a Home Inventory

As you unpack boxes in your new home, take pictures and make a list of your belongings.


Vacant Homes May Not be Covered

The insurance risks and liabilities associated with owning vacant property can be extensive. Most insurance companies include a clause that the homeowners’ insurance will expire if a home is left vacant for more than 30 or 60 days (depending on the policy). This leaves the property owners financially vulnerable for risk. Click here for more information on protecting your vacant property.


Updating Your Address When You Move

While most individuals are prepared to pack and unpack boxes, many forget just how many places need their updated contact information. After all, it’s not just family and friends who need to know your new address.

  • Government offices and agencies—First, it’s important to notify all applicable local, state and federal agencies of your new address. This includes the U.S. Postal Service, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the IRS and any government assistance programs (e.g., Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare). Don’t forget to update your voter registration, too.
  • Financial institutions and advisors—Next, it’s crucial to inform financial institutions and advisors of your new address. This includes credit card companies and retail credit accounts, loan issuers, pension and 401k administrators, accountants and tax specialists, banks and investment advisors—including your insurance agent. Make sure you order new checks that list your updated address as well.
  • Care providers, organizations and clubs—You will also need to notify all of your care providers (e.g., doctor, dentist, veterinarian and child care) of your new address. In addition, be sure to inform any organizations or clubs that you or your family are a part of—including your employer(s), your children’s school(s), membership organizations and social clubs.
  • Utility providers—To avoid paying for utilities at your past residence and set up proper services at your new home, it’s vital to inform all utility providers (e.g., gas, electricity, water, garbage, phone, television and internet) of your move. From there, you can have services shut off or removed at your previous residence, and schedule installation or service transfer appointments for your new home.
  • Subscription and residential services—Lastly, be sure to notify any subscription or residential services of your new address. This includes magazine or newspaper subscriptions, home maintenance services, security services, cleaning services and pest control services.