It might be your grandmother’s baby grand piano, or a painting you’ve had in your family for generations. No matter what kind of household goods you have to move, an important part of getting them overseas is beginning with the right documentation, knowing any shipping regulations, and getting the proper insurance.
Shipping regulations for Household Goods
The first thing you should know is that your shipping rules and regulations for household goods will vary depending on the country you are moving to. In most cases, you can ship your household goods duty free provided the goods are used and were in your possession for at least six months to a year prior to your move.
Typically, electronics and new items are restricted and you will need to pay duties and/or list these items separately.
- It is not advised to pack household shipments by yourself for international moves – especially artwork or antiques – for the following reasons:
- Your items will be traveling a long way, and you’ll want experienced professionals to pack and ship your goods to avoid any damage.
- Many countries will not accept “PBO” (Packed By Owner), which could cause a delay at customs.
- It may be difficult to obtain an insurance policy that will cover shipments that are not professionally packed. And if you can find one, it will likely be expensive.
- Before you have a surveyor come to your home to give you your moving estimate, you should have your artwork, antiques, or any other valuable items appraised – this will give you an idea of each piece’s value.
- Upon having your valuables appraised, you should then have a better idea of how to insure your items.
What type of insurance should I get?
Each international moving company offers different types and degrees of protection, so be sure to have a thorough conversation about the available coverage and what each type provides. Be sure to discern the difference between insurance for air shipments versus ocean shipments.
Here are some types of coverage many companies do offer (names may vary), but you also may want to contact a third party provider to weigh your options:
- Legal liability: This is your most basic insurance for many international moving companies, where your goods are automatically covered under a legal liability standard based on what the transportation industry sets. Most of the time, the ocean carrier is responsible for approximately $500 per package (coverage for air shipments is determined by weight). This insurance does not cover partial loss.
- Total loss coverage: Your entire shipment must be lost, destroyed or damaged for this type of coverage to apply, and does not cover any partial loss or damage.
- All-Risk Cargo Insurance: The safest (and most expensive) bet when it comes to shipping your goods covers any possible loss or damage during ocean transit. Usually, this includes water or fire damage, theft, partial loss, breakage and more. Additionally, it covers non-delivery of goods and improper stowage by the shipping company This type of insurance is recommended for all household goods and automobile shipments.
What will it cost?
Your pricing on extra insurance will vary depending on the type of policy you choose, the value of your goods and the extent of coverage. If you have $25,000 worth of goods, you will probably want to take out a policy that covers at least that, right? In this case, you may be looking at price of somewhere around $200 to $250.
Need an international moving company that offers top-notch insurance at affordable prices? We can help! Call International Sea & Air Shipping to schedule your in-home survey and find out more about what we have to offer!