Insurance and Risk
“Whenever one moves house, there is always an element of risk. To overcome the consequences of that risk ever eventuating, the intelligent thing to do is to take out adequate Insurance cover; otherwise if the unthinkable happens (as is often the case), one will likely end up being up the creek without a paddle”
IMAGINE THIS FICTITIOUS SCENARIO
You’re moving house and the moving day is getting closer.
You recently obtained quotes from a couple of Removals Companies in your area. When you inquired about their Insurance, one of them (the more Professional one) said he was able to provide you with a Full Cover Insurance which would cover you for just about any eventuality; what you would need to do is fill out some paperwork and a small charge would be payable. The other one (we’ll call him Wally) said he’s covered by a Marine type Transit Insurance, and he gives it away free with every move.
You decide to save a bit of money and go with Wally (why pay for Insurance if you don’t have to, right?). So you engage Wally to do your move, and he turns up with a mate and they load Wally’s big truck with all of your possessions.
Now imagine you’re on route to your new house; you’re following Wally’s truck which has all of your furniture and possessions in the back and it is nearing a bridge that looks too low for his high truck, and you note that Wally isn’t slowing down for the bridge. You get that sinking feeling as you watch the truck plough into the bridge. It opens up like a can of sardines, revealing all of your worldly possessions as they are smashed to pieces before your very eyes; your clothes are flying through the air (seemingly in slow motion). Then, out of the corner of your eye a small flame flickers from somewhere inside the carnage; before long the flame turns into fire, and within minutes the truck and everything you ever owned is burned to the ground (read more).
Now, you’re sitting there absolutely devastated, but then you feel relieved when you remember the Insurance that Wally said he had.
But pretty soon you get that feeling that something’s not quite right; Wally didn’t get you to fill out any paperwork with stuff on it like what do you own and how much it’s worth. Come to think about it you don’t even know who his Insurance Company is, so how could they know who you are?
Then your head really starts to spin when it dawns on you that an Insurance Company would never pay out a cent to anyone without having any paperwork prior to the event.
How could you have believed for one minute you were covered when you accepted his Insurance on a verbal assurance, on a nod and a wink?
The next day you visit your lawyer (who is a family friend). You tell him your story, and he informs you the Insurance that Wally said he was covered by was most likely an indemnity policy, one that Removalists often take out to cover themselves against the customer in the event that they are sued in a court of law. Furthermore, that is probably exactly what you are going to need to do (take him to court and sue him) if you want to get compensated for your loss; and the 2 problems with that he said, was that it will likely be very expensive with little chance of success, because you didn’t take out Insurance.
BACK TO REALITY
None of this really matters unless there is an accident; but accidents can and do happen, and once they’ve happened it’s too late to go back and do things differently.
So remember when choosing your removalist, be sure to address the Insurance issue with them first.
Be in the driver’s seat right from the start and understand that for any Insurance to be legal, you must first receive the following:
- FSG – Financial Services Guide
- PDS – Product Disclosure Statement
- Policy Wording Document (explains the terms and conditions of the cover)
- Certificate of Insurance – (must have your name on it as the beneficiary of the cover – NOT the company moving you)
Unless you have been given access to the first 3 documents, you’ve filled out everything correctly and then received your Certificate of Insurance, there is no Insurance; simple as that!
BTW, did you know that any Removalist that offers you Moving Insurance must be an Accredited Mover with the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA)?
So if you know of any Removalist who offers any form of Insurance and they’re not a member of AFRA, they are breaking the law. Call AFRA immediately on 1800 671 806, or ASIC on 1300 300 630.
You should also know that only an AFRA member is only legally permitted to discuss Insurance with you if they are an Authorised Representative of a Licensed Insurance Broker; in the case of Acrobat Removals, our LIB is Aldridge and Street, a division of Cowden (Vic) Pty Ltd AFSL LICENCE NUMBER 245658.
Now you know everything about Transit Insurance, you’ll probably agree that it’s a good idea to make sure you move only with an AFRA Accredited mover; and for total peace of mind, to make sure your belongings are Insured before the move.
Remember, the only way to have total peace of mind is to take out Full Cover Insurance, not just Restricted Cover (which basically covers only while everything is sitting inside the truck), so that you can be confident it is covered for just about any event, including whilst it is being handled; and if moving into a storage situation, to consider taking out Storage Insurance.
So next time you’re planning your move, be smart and get your facts right about Insurance; get good advice from an Authorised AFRA member and take care.
Please note: The information given above is only general advice and does not take into consideration your individual situation. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement carefully before you decide whether to take out Customer Goods in Transit and Storage Insurance, and choose from the various options available. It is up to the customer to choose the correct cover to suit their needs.