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Is it better to pack your own things when you're moving for insurance reasons?

You’ve got a moving date. Congratulations. You’re so close to owning your new home, you can smell the coffee. But before you can truly relax there’s one big job still to do – the packing.   

Do you get stuck in with the bubble wrap and pack-it-yourself or will you trust the job to a professional house removal packer?

Before you decide, you need to consider who will be insuring your treasured possessions during transit.  If you use a professional packer, most companies offer comprehensive removals insurance for items that get lost, damaged or stolen in the move - and any claims won’t affect your home insurance premiums.

But what insurance cover will you have if you decide to pack things yourself?

While the savings you can make from DIY packing is tempting - it’s cheaper and you can declutter first – removal companies can’t guarantee the condition of the items you’ve packed. For self-packed boxes they will only offer limited liability for owner-packed boxes. You will also need to take extra cover for certain valuables or breakables, such as mirrors, glass tables and china as these may only be insured if an expert has packed them. Our biggest house moving tip for packing yourself, is to give yourself plenty of time in advance to get organised and remember you may have to purchase your own packing materials, which could bump up the costs.

Should you do your own packing?
Should you do your own packing?

Once you are packed, you will need to check if your home insurance policy will cover your possessions while they are in transit. In a survey, 81 per cent of insurance providers covered possessions during a removal as standard but only if you’re using a professional to transport them. So, if you’re planning a DIY move where you pack all your worldly goods into the back of a friend’s van – it won’t be covered. You will need to take out extra insurance cover.

Before you start unrolling the bubble wrap, check your home contents cover for goods in transit first. It may be included as standard as “items carried outside the home’ or as an extra option, and if you do have to claim, remember your premium may increase on renewal.

Whether you opt to move yourself or employ a professional firm, you’ll need to contact your home contents insurer well in advance of your moving date to let them know your plans. During a move it's not uncommon for heavy items of furniture or fragile objects to be damaged, so a DIY move could prove costly if your belongings aren't insured

Ben Wilson, Gocompare