You’ve made your list and checked it twice. No, it’s not Christmas time, it’s PCS season! Of all the things to consider when moving, changing insurance companies or policies is not usually at the top. Insurance may not be the most fun item on your moving list, but it is one task that could impact you in a huge way financially–either saving you or costing you thousands of dollars. There are a few things to consider, of course, and we’ve compiled them all right here for you. 

When to change insurance

You will want to update your insurance when you move, but don’t change it too early! It’s absolutely essential that you keep your policies active throughout your entire moving process. This will protect your belongings in between Home A and Home B. Renter’s insurance can protect your household goods, even when they are on the moving truck or in storage containers. Auto insurance will cover some damage to your vehicle during transport. It’s best to contact your insurance company or companies before your move and discuss the moving dates and locations. Make sure you understand what your policy covers, and what damage it doesn’t. Make sure your policy will remain active in all the states you travel through during your PCS journey. Then, once you are settled into the new location, you can contact the company again to update the policy. 

Yes, you have to change your address

One thing we constantly see around the military community is the question of whether you must change your address upon moving to a new place. The only answer is – Yes! Your auto insurance company and homeowners or renters insurance company must be given all the information. I know this often causes budgeting issues if the insurance goes up when you move, but it’s essential to keep your coverage active. There are so many stories of PCS nightmares. You want to prevent your own horror story by keeping your policy information up to date.

Shop around

A move is a great time to shop around for different services, in all areas. You may consider dropping cable after a move or changing internet providers. You may also consider shopping around for a new insurance company. It is highly suggested that you make sure you understand your coverage and how it may change upon a move, especially if you switch companies. You also don’t want there to be a gap in coverage, ever. When shopping around, consider asking your current company if they can match any lower costs or give you any discounts, they may be willing to do so to keep your business. 

If you do choose to switch from your current company, make sure that you get any money owed you from the previous policy. This is especially important if you paid in full. Also, be sure to ask for discounts related to the military, student status, or any professional associations you may be a part of. Sometimes, even membership at a credit union can qualify you for a discount. It never hurts to ask! Also, be sure to ask if there are any penalties for stopping your policy before it ends. Of course, most contracts and policies will have a military clause. Read the fine print so you aren’t surprised.

Catastrophe Insurance

Are you moving to Florida or another coastal duty station? Will your current insurance cover hurricanes or flood damage? Anyone can get flood insurance added to their policy, even if they don’t live in a flood plain. According to Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, 25% of claims related to floods are for homes not located in a flood plain. Make sure you double check your homeowners insurance to be sure it covers floods if this is an option you’d like to have coverage for. Research other types of catastrophe insurance if you are moving into an area with frequent storms, earthquakes, wildfires, or even volcanos. 

Tips & Tricks

Here are a few extra tips and tricks to make sure you are getting the best deal, both financially and coverage-wise.

  • Pick a top-rated insurer
  • Maintain good credit
  • Set the right deductible
  • Accurately report your annual mileage
  • Choose the right car
  • Ask questions

For additional questions regarding insurance options during or after a PCS move, call and speak with an agent!

 

Rebecca Alwine is a freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. Over the past 10 years, she’s discovered she enjoys coffee, running, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. Her writing experience includes military family topics, research pieces, guest blogging, and much more. She’s a contributing writer for ARMY Magazine, a regular contributor for several publications including to Homefront United Network, PCSgrades, ESME, and has also been published in Ms. Magazine and The Atlantic. You can follow her online at www.whatrebeccathinks.com or on Twitter (@rebecca_alwine) and Instagram (@rebecca_alwine).