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A Guide to International Removals Insurance

Martha Lott

Written by

15th Feb 2018 (Last updated on 21st Jan 2022) 5 minute read

In this guide, Compare My Move will take you through the crucial areas that should be considered when seeking international removals insurance.

Insurance is one of those things that nobody really wants to think about, but when you need it, you will thank your lucky stars that you went ahead and sorted it out in advance. This is especially true when it comes to moving home and transporting your beloved belongings to your new house. Having international removals insurance is especially vital to securing your belongings on a long journey abroad.

When moving house in the UK, we make sure that all the international removals companies you’ll find on Compare My Move offer Goods in Transit and Public Liability Insurance as standard, so you can relax knowing that all your contents are well covered for the move.

However, when moving abroad, you may want to consider some additional cover. This is due to the complexities of the moves as well as the increased chance of potential loss or damage as a result of the long and arduous journey.

This article will cover the following:
  1. What is International Removals Insurance?
  2. What Does the Insurance Cover?
  3. How Much Does it Cost?
  4. Do I Need International Removals Insurance?
  5. How to Save on Your Insurance Cost
  6. Save Money on Your International Removals

What is International Removals Insurance?

International removals insurance is a specialist type of insurance that will cover your belongings during transit when moving from one country to another. This is especially important when using freight services by sea, as rough waters often see some of the ship’s cargo lost to the ocean and can provide them with a rough ride inside their containers, leading to a higher potential for breakages.

Air freight, although not quite as risky, is also key for specialist international insurance. This is due to the complexities of moving your contents to and from aircraft and possibly even between aircraft for longer journeys. This then leads to the possibility of your prize possessions getting lost in transit being significantly higher than usual which is why international moving insurance is so important.

What Does International Removals Insurance Cover?

Special international removals insurance usually works on an itemised basis. This means that you should value each item at the cost of replacing it. For example, you need to highlight that, if it would cost you £1,000 to replace your modern TV, then that is what you should value it at with the insurance company.

You should always value it at the cost of replacing the item and not what you would sell it for at a used price. More expensive items worth over £500 should be individually declared as an item of high value, so special considerations can be made.

In most cases, depending on the terms and conditions of your agreement, the insurer has the option to offer a replacement, repair it or provide compensation if any of your belongings are damaged or lost in transit. If your items are travelling through or stored in areas where security is lax, your insurance will also cover you for any loss or theft of items such as TVs, PCs and other high value items.

For the most part, the most common claims against international removals insurance is for scratches, dents and bumps that often happen quite naturally through the long journeys and various methods of transport. The insurance will cover any of these situations and will either cover the cost of repair or the cost of replacing the items when damaged.

How Much Does International Removals Insurance Cost?

Of course, the cost of overseas removal insurance depends widely on a number of variables; the volume/weight/value of the contents you need to move and the distance/method or transport you are using.

Many providers of international removals will offer additional insurance as an optional add-on when you go to them for a quote. However, you may find a cheaper quote by going through a third-party insurer such as Letton Percival or Insure-your-move.

This is because your removal company will often use these third-party insurers but add a premium for sorting it on your behalf. This may save you some hassle, but going direct also gives you some flexibility. Removals companies will normally base their insurance quotes on around £35,000 worth of value, whereas a third-party provider can tailor your insurance to exactly what you are going to use.

Do I Need International Removals Insurance?

You never want to pay for insurance until you need it. Then you realise that it’s always better to prepare for the worst. Luckily, as all Compare My Move removal companies offer Goods in Transit and Public Liability Insurance as standard, you’re already covered to a certain degree.

However, if you’re moving the full contents of your home abroad with some high value items included like antiques, collectables or top-of-the-range electrical items, then you would certainly want to explore some additional insurance to cover this content to a higher level. If you would prefer extra security for your belongings when moving abroad, then the short answer is 'yes', international removals insurance is a must.

How to Save on the Cost of International Removals Insurance

We have already mentioned that you may be able to save by directly going to a third-party insurer rather than through your removals company. However, you may also be able to save on removals insurance based on the method of transit you choose. When moving abroad to mainland Europe, you’re likely to be able to move your contents by road which presents less opportunity for your contents to be damaged or lost and is also likely to be quicker and cheaper than shipping or air freight.

However, when moving further afield, shipping or air freight might be your only options. Getting quotes for insurance on both methods of travel and then comparing them to the speed and cost of delivery will give you the overall cost of that method and let you choose based on price and convenience.

When moving abroad, you should really consider what you need to take with you. It’s a good idea to do an assessment of the items in your home first. You should then calculate the cost of moving and insuring those items in comparison to selling them and purchasing new versions in your new home abroad.

In the case of items that contain high sentimental or monetary value, it’s likely that moving and insuring them will be required. If you’re taking small white goods, basic furniture and clothing, then perhaps you should consider re-purchasing them instead as it may be cheaper overall.

Save Money on Your International Removals

We hope this guide has fully informed you on international removals insurance and that you now have a clearer understanding of what to expect. Compare My Move can also help you save money on your move abroad by connecting you with up to 6 professional removal companies to compare.

All of our partners are verified by us and reviewed by you, meaning Public Liability Insurance and Goods in Transit Insurance as standard.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

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