As we all know, moving can be a pretty stressful event by itself, and the things for that are often quite obvious. There’s simply a myriad of things you need to consider, heaps of packing to do; there’s paperwork to do, a lot of checking and inspecting to take care of, and so on.
As a matter of fact, some experts in the Big Apple actually agree: if you don’t hire a reliable moving service in New York, you’re in for a hectic ride, and chances are, you will forget something important in the moving process.
And movers insurance certificate or COI is one of those.
The Importance of COI
The main reason you should get a certificate of insurance for movers is rather apparent. It’s a necessity. The vast majority of buildings won’t let movers set foot on the premises if there’s no COI for moving involved. The problem is that a lot of people who plan to move aren’t aware of this until it’s too late (i.e., on moving day), ruining months of careful planning.
COI for moving simply covers a more extensive scope and money than apartment insurance, giving protection even against common area damages on-premises (such as elevator damage). So, COI for movers is crucial: it works as a safety net both for the building and you if anything gets damaged during moving. You will also need COI even in cases when the apartment is under insurance.
Furthermore, COI for moving also protects against worker injury, potentially avoiding even many legal problems down the road.
What is a Movers Insurance Certificate?
In essence, a COI is a legal document issued by an insurance company that protects both the person who moves and the moving company if any damages or injuries are caused.
A COI acts as an assurance that the building will be legally protected in case of damages. The insurance company will pay the necessary worker’s compensation in case of injury, and they have to take a few days off.
What Kind of Information is in a Certificate of Insurance for Movers?
As mentioned above, a moving company certificate of insurance acts as a legal document that covers the expenses of certain damages and injuries that may happen during the moving process.
Here’s what is inside a document such as this:
- Insurance Confirmation: the document states explicitly that all movers are insured for that specific building.
- Building Manager Details: A COI for moving will also give the manager’s details such as name, contact info, email, office address, and more.
- Building Address: The document will have the address of the building you are moving out of and the address of the place you relocate to.
- Details of Coverage: The COI will also consist of info regarding the ways the certificate should be used and how much it covers.
- Date of issue
- Insurance agent information
- Policy number
- Insurer list
- The coverage that the policy provides
- Cancellation notices
- Description of locations, operations, vehicles
- Signature of the insurance agent
A certificate of insurance for movers can cover several aspects of moving, and there will be buildings that require the COI to cover a particular amount of money.
Generally, a moving COI will cover cargo insurance, umbrella coverage, automotive liability, liability insurance, and workers’ compensation. Also, the coverage amount will be around 1-2 million USD to meet every requirement.
What Happens When There’s Damage?
An experienced moving company knows what things could go wrong during moving, and it will take all the necessary precautions to ensure that there won’t be any problems. Still, accidents do happen, and this is where a COI for moving can be indispensable.
If anything happens, the moving company should meet the state’s required minimum moving company insurance, and they should reach out to the building manager as soon as possible.
Still, you owe it to yourself, your new and old buildings, and your possessions to work with the best experts in your area. We don’t say that a certificate of insurance won’t be necessary with a reliable moving company, but seasoned experts are less likely to cause damage. And even if things do go haywire, they always remain on top of the situation and continue with the necessary steps to ensure that the insurance coverage will take effect.
What if You Can’t Get COI?
If you are unable to get COI for moving, unfortunately, you won’t be able to move if both building management companies require you to have the document. In other words, you won’t be able to start moving from one building and won’t be able to set foot in the other with the movers.
If you simply forget to get the COI, you will need to consult your moving company for a reschedule until you get the document. Technically, the moving company could come out but won’t be able to get started, especially if the building you’re moving out of requires you to have a certificate of insurance.
On the other hand, when neither of the buildings requires you to have COI, then you can commence with the moving process, but you’re in for a lot of disappointment if an accident happens. In these cases, you will have to face liability for the damages that occurred. And even when the chances are slim for things to go that bad are small, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get a COI for moving day.
The worst thing that could occur is that the movers injure themselves or damage the building. As mentioned above, you will be held responsible for mitigating damage costs and any hospital fees.
Additional COI Tips
Before you pick up the phone and start asking around for a COI, please, read these tips to identify any possible red flags.
- Don’t hire those moving companies that require you to pay a fee for the certificate. Most insurance companies don’t charge movers for producing a COI, meaning that customers shouldn’t spend money on their copy.
- Check the coverage to make sure they cover the bare minimum that’s required from the buildings you’re moving out of and into. In some cases, commercial spaces and luxury buildings may even require high coverages, as much as $10 million.
- Ask for an extra copy of the document that can be sent to you, which you can give to the building manager if the moving company doesn’t email it automatically.
- Note any restrictions that the building might have (like not allowing moving throughout the weekend).
Remain Calm and Hire Professionals
As we’ve mentioned countless times, moving can be pretty stressful. There are a lot of things you must consider as it is, and accidental injuries and damages shouldn’t be one of them. Getting this certificate is often required actually to commence the moving process. On the other hand, it can give you the necessary peace of mind, as you know that you won’t be held responsible if anything wrong happens.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding insurance or moving, feel free to reach out to us – we’ll be more than happy to assist you.