For military families, the minute you get settled into your home at your new duty station the countdown begins until your next PCS move. One year? Two years? Three years? Regardless of how long you have, it is inevitable, you will move again.
Right now, that is the case for many families as PCS season is here. Whether it is your first move or your fifth move, questions will come up. We get a variety questions on PCS moving topics such as: How can I best prepare for a move? Where do most military families live at our next duty station? Where are the best schools? The list can go on and on.
The one question we often get here at the MilHousing Network is: How can I best protect my property during a PCS move?
That is a very good question. We have all heard the PCS moving horror stories or experienced them for ourselves where our property has been lost or damaged in transit. Everything from the moving truck catching on fire to boxes of values arriving in pieces, or not arriving at all. No matter what happens, protecting your personal property is extremely important for any military family.
For this question, I reached out to Bryce Palmer at Armed Forces Insurance. Bryce has spent that past several PCS seasons helping to educate military families on how to use insurance to best protect their personal property during a PCS move.
Bryce said he gets asked all the time how to best protect personal property during a move. He explained that first, the good news is that if you are doing a government move, the military will cover your personal property at $6/pound up to a maximum of $75,000. He said this is a good start to coverage but for many families this may not be enough. For families doing a DITY move, there is no coverage for your personal property though the military.
Bryce explained how many families underestimate the amount of personal property they own. You spend a lifetime slowly accumulating household items, but rarely, do you ever have to buy or replace them all at once. Every room, every dresser drawer, the crawl space, the basement storage room, all of them have items that add up quickly. Replacing an entire household worth of clothes and furniture is something most of us cannot even imagine.
For many families, the $75,000 is not enough, especially if you have children. That is why Bryce recommends making sure you keep an insurance policy in place during your move. An insurance policy can give you that peace of mind to know that you have another layer of protection in case something terrible happens during your move.
Now not every insurance policy will cover everything. There are limitations on all policies. That is why Bryce strongly encourages everyone who is about to move to reach out to their insurance company to advise them of their situation. Some companies like Armed Forces Insurance have different endorsements that can be placed on renters’ insurance policies that will expand the coverage of a basic policy and provide protection for events not normally covered by insurance including damage caused by flood, earthquake, mysterious disappearance, and possibly breakage depending on the cause.
His final advice was to encourage everyone to keep a record or inventory of your personal property that you are moving. Keep records of all high value items including receipts is if you still have them. Take pictures and videos of everything you own prior to a move. Document the condition of your property by taking pictures at multiple angles. You may even want to go as far as taking videos of appliances working such as your washer, dryer, and even your coffee pot. The more documentation you have, the easier it will be if you have to file a claim with your transportation office or your insurance company.
Having to navigate a PCS move can have its challenges, and each move is different. But doing some pre move planning can help reduce the stress that often comes with a PCS move. Making sure you have an insurance policy in place can help you even more.
Those are just a few tips from Bryce and the team at Armed Forces Insurance on how to prepare for the PCS Season. For a more tips on how to prepare for a PCS move, head over to Armed Forces Insurance – Resources and Tools page to learn how to take the stress out of your next move.
As a military family, you need insurance that matches your needs and protects what you value most. You deserve an insurance company that is committed to serving you. MilHousing Network is proud to partner with Armed Forces Insurance to bring military families reliable homeowner’s insurance options when buying a home. Contact them today at 800-313-1936 or visit www.afi.org/milhousing to learn how they can support your unique military lifestyle.
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