Key Takeaways for Homeowners

  • Contact Your Insurance Company Early: To prevent any gaps in coverage, speak with your agent or insurance company about your move well ahead of time.

  • Assess Your New Home's Risks: Recognize that your rate could change based on factors like location and the features of your new home.

  • Update Your Inventory: Use the move as a chance to catalog your belongings and ensure your coverage matches the value of your possessions.

Avoid Gaps in Coverage

A common pitfall during the moving process is ending up with a period of time where you’re not fully covered by insurance. The risk here is evident – should any damage or losses occur during this window, you might have to pay out of pocket for repairs or replacements. Therefore, arranging your insurance transition as seamlessly as possible is crucial. Beyond purchasing new home insurance, it’s important to update all your policies with your new address and consult with your agent whether your move, especially if it’s out of state, affects your other personal property policies (e.g., auto, umbrella, personal articles floaters, dwelling). Ask yourself the following questions when in the thick of moving.

What should I do with my previous home insurance policy?
Once you’ve got an accepted offer on a new house, alert your current insurer of your situation immediately. Once you turn over the house to its new homeowners, only then can you officially cancel your policy. Closing dates can change, so it’s best to wait to cancel your old policy until after you close to ensure there are no gaps in coverage.

If you’re keeping your previous home and renting it out, you’ll need to consult with your agent about obtaining a dwelling policy, which provides specific coverage to protect landlords from damages and liability incurred by tenants.

While you can keep the same insurance company, you cannot keep the same policy for your new home since different homes carry different risks. If you paid your premium in advance, you will be eligible for a refund if you cancel coverage partway through your policy term.

When should I get a quote for my new home?
Once you have a signed offer for your new home, you will typically have what is called an “option period” where you’ll have the chance to inspect the house for damages and explore other fixed costs. This is a great time to shop for insurance so you know your possible costs before getting too far into the home purchase process. During this time, shop around and compare insurance companies so you get the right coverage at the best price.

Try to finalize your insurance for your new home as soon as possible. This will help you maximize any carrier discounts and also get any underwriting approvals that may be needed.

What if I haven’t sold my old home yet and am moving into the new one?
If you anticipate that your old home might be empty for a long period of time, your regular homeowners policy may not cover your vacant home. Insurance companies have varying definitions of “prolonged vacancy”, some naming 30 days and others more than 60 days. If your home is empty for that long, you may need vacant home insurance to protect yourself while the home is unoccupied. Speak with your insurance company or agent to decide if you need a separate vacant home insurance policy or whether you can add an endorsement to an existing homeowners insurance policy.

What if I’m selling my home and moving to a rental property?
You should still wait to cancel your old home’s policy until after closing, as well as shop for insurance as soon as you know where you’ll be moving to. However, instead of a new homeowners policy, you should purchase renters insurance to cover your personal belongings.

Can I file a claim for damage incurred during a move?
The purpose of insurance isn’t just to protect the physical structure of your home, but also the belongings in it. In some cases, your homeowners policy may offer coverage for items damaged during a move. If your policy does state it covers transit or storage, you should ask clarifying questions about what that means. Keep in mind your deductible will still apply, so if you have a $1,000 deductible and $5,000 worth of furniture is stolen from the moving truck, you'll typically find that your policy will reimburse you $4,000. Check your policy and speak with your agent to understand your specific coverage should a loss happen.

Understand When New Factors Impact Your Rate

Moving can also significantly affect the price of your homeowners insurance rate. Each home has unique characteristics and risk profiles based on square footage, location, age, and entertainment features.

  • Size: Square footage has a major impact on your premium. Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, you’ll likely see that reflected in your rate.

  • Location: Insurance companies assess factors like your vicinity to emergency services, natural disasters, and flood zones. You may even need to purchase separate, additional coverage like flood insurance or earthquake insurance depending on where you move to.

  • Age: If you’re moving to a new construction home or a newer home built to the latest standards, it’s likely you’ll see this positively reflected in your premium. However, if you’re moving to an older home, you should be aware of how this might impact your rate if you encounter issues like asbestos, lead paint, and wiring that is not up to code.

  • Risky entertainment features: Your new home’s pool and hot tub may have been a selling point for you, but it will increase your home insurance premium as insurance companies consider these risky. Understand how this might impact your rate as you’re shopping for new insurance. Before they’ll insure you, insurance companies will likely also require you to invest in fences and other safety features for your pools, hot tubs, and trampolines, which could come at an additional cost if not already installed.

Take Stock and Strive for Accuracy

Moving is an excellent opportunity to take inventory of what you own. This is helpful not only to track your items during the moving process, but also to update your home insurance policy with an accurate record of your possessions and their value.

If you've acquired new valuable items or gotten rid of old ones, your coverage needs may have shifted. Keeping an updated inventory list ensures that your coverage levels are appropriate. If your move results in a significant increase in the value of your personal property, you might need to discuss additional coverage options with your insurance provider.

Remember, moving isn't just about packing and transporting your belongings; it's also about making sure that your investment in your new home is fully protected from day one. Reach out to your agent before moving to discuss these details as you start this new chapter in your life.

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. You should not act or refrain from acting based on this information without first consulting a Goosehead licensed agent at We disclaim all liability for actions taken or not taken by you based on the contents of this article which is provided "as is." Goosehead makes no representation that this content is error-free.

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