It’s that time of year again: PCS season. It is no secret that a PCS move can be stressful for everyone even in the best of times. Now imagine if your spouse is deployed and you were having to make all the arrangements for your upcoming PCS move by yourself. Sounds too much to handle, right? For many families, this is the reality they face as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives.
Many questions can arise regarding a PCS move. One area of focus that some families may forget about or not think of is making sure their home and personal property are protected through the PCS move. Each year we get several questions such as: Can a spouse make a change on a policy? Do I need a power of attorney (POA) filed with the insurance company? Is all of my property protected in a move?
For guidance, I reached out to our contacts at Armed Forces Insurance and spoke to Lisa. Lisa is a licensed insurance agent who has been in the industry for nearly 15 years, helping families with insurance questions year after year. I was able to ask her some of the questions we get on a regular basis; here are some of her answers.
The first and best thing you can do is reach out to your insurance company once you get those orders. Each one of your insurance policies may need to be handled differently depending on where you are moving to. Your insurance agent will be able to help best advise you on what coverages you do and do not need.
The answer to that is maybe but not likely. As long as both spouses are listed as “Named Insureds” on the insurance policy, either spouse has the right to make any changes to the policy (including canceling the policy).
A POA would be needed if one of you wanted a third party to have the ability to make changes to the policy. This would be someone such as your parent, child, significant other, or another person who is not your spouse.
For those military families who are recently married, it is important to add your spouse onto your insurance policies or have your policies combined to include the both of you. That way your spouse can make changes as needed, and you can often get a better deal on your insurance if you are married.
As mentioned earlier, yes, if your spouse is listed as a “Named Insured” on the insurance policy. Being a “Named Insured” allows a spouse to ask any questions and make any adjustments to the insurance policies as needed while the service member is deployed.
Though the military may provide some coverage for your personal property while you are in the moving process, there are gaps in that protection that could cause you financial hardship if there is a loss. This is especially true if you are doing a DITY move. With a DITY move, the military will not cover any of your personal property —you are on your own.
Talk to your insurance company about how to best protect your personal property to ensure you are taken care of if there is a loss while your property is en route to your new home. If you don’t currently have coverage, consider getting a personal property policy to cover your belongings, not only during your move, but once you get to your new duty station.
Document, document, document. The best thing you can do is to document all of your belongings. Not only write them down but also take pictures and videos of each room. This will absolutely help you in any situation where your property is missing, damaged, or destroyed. Keeping receipts for high value items is also extremely important.
No. Not unless you have another policy starting that will cover your personal property through your move. Check with your insurance agent but it is often best to leave your insurance policy active until you arrive at your new home. Then the new insurance policy will take over. If you have a personal property policy through Armed Forces Insurance, then there is no need to cancel your policy at all. Just pick up the phone and let us know your new address. Our renter policy covers your personal property worldwide, regardless of the location or address on file.
The short answer is yes. If you are going to rent out the home that you are currently living in, you absolutely need to call your insurance agent. Living in a home and renting a home are completely different and require different policies. A homeowner insurance policy is needed for a home you own and live in, a Dwelling Fire policy (Landlord policy) is needed for a home you are renting to others. The Dwelling Fire policy has different provisions in the policy to best protect you and your home while you are renting it.
Those are just a few tips from Armed Forces Insurance regarding insurance coverage during a PCS move. For more tips on this and other topics, head over to Armed Forces Insurance – Resources and Tools page or give them a call at 1-800-313-1936.
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.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Visit our blog page to read other similar articles.