Understanding your removals insurance

Insurance FAQ

Why do I have to pay for insurance?

We do everything in our power to reduce the risk of damage during a move. From professional training for our moving crews;  specialist packing materials; air ride vehicles and years of experience in planning and executing moves we take every possible step to protect your items and your home. 

However, no moving company can ever completely eliminate that risk and accidents do occasionally happen, including situations outside of our control. 

We have to pay a fee to our insurers to provide cover in the event of any damage claim, and this cost is charged back to customers as part of our fees for moving you. 

At the time of quoting we don't know the value of the items you own - some customer's belongings are in line with the average value of most households, while others may be significantly more or less valuable.  This means if we spread the cost of insurance over all moves, some customers would be unfairly over paying and others underpaying.

Like many other BAR movers Bournes have chosen to make our costs for insurance visible instead of building them into higher rates to allow YOU to make the choice whether you would like us to carry the risk in the event of an accident by paying an insurance premium or if you are happy to carry the additional risk yourselves. 

If you are comparing our quote with other movers please check carefully that you understand the level of cover you are being offered by reading the terms and conditions carefully, including any limits in total move value/per item value and requirement to prove negligence. If this is not clear be sure to ask. Some quotes may say they include full insurance but may have limitations that are not in line with your expectations or needs. 

If you'd like to understand more about why insurance cover is offered please check out our blog post Understanding Removals Insurance for moving house.


What happens if I don't take insurance and something is damaged?

Limited Liability is the default protection in place for our customers if no optional insurance cover is selected. 

Under our Terms and Conditions, in the event that you do not take out optional removals insurance, the amount of liability we accept, reflected in the cost of your move, is limited to a maximum claim of up to £40 per item and up to £40 for the contents of a carton that is lost or damaged as a direct result of our negligence or breach of contract, unless agreed otherwise in writing.

  • Negligence means being able to establish that the damage was caused as a result of a failure to perform our duties in a way that would reasonably be expected of a removal company in similar circumstances. A good example could be if a neighbour's dog escapes and trips a crew member over when carrying an item of furniture, it may be difficult to identify if they were negligent or if this was an accident that could have happened to any reasonable person. 
  • Breach of contract means we did not perform a service that we had agreed to perform to a professional standard. A good example is if we did not use appropriate packing material to protect items within a carton when we were contracted to provide a packing service. 

Bournes operate under the British Association of Removers Terms and Conditions as approved by the Trading Standards Institute. 

Does insurance provide new for old cover?

Our standard policy is based on indemnity cover - this means the value assessed by the insurer takes into account age and condition when settling a claim.

New for old cover is available at an additional cost. If you'd like to consider new for old cover please ask your move consultant. 

Is insurance cover mandatory?

No, you are not required to accept our insurance, however, please ensure you are aware of your rights under our terms and conditions in the event of a claim. 

If you are arranging insurance with a third party we can provide supporting documentation on request. 

Is there an excess?

As with most insurance policies our removals insurance carries an excess.

UK Moves: A £50 excess payment will be deducted from any settlement offer. 

European and International Moves: A €100 EUR excess payment will be deducted from any settlement offer. 

My belongings aren't worth much, do I need insurance?

This can depend on your type of move.

Moves within the UK

Your risk is limited to the loss of your items or damage to your property so if you're comfortable you can cover that financial loss in the event of an accident you may choose to take that risk.

International Moves

When you move internationally in addition to the risk of damage/loss there is a risk called 'General Average' to consider, which is covered under our insurance policy but could mean significant costs to you if you do not take insurance. 

General average is a principle of maritime law that says all stakeholders (including individual shippers) in a sea venture proportionately share the losses resulting from actions taken to preserve the safety of the ship, its crew or the rest of its cargo and the voyage in case of emergency. 

This could involve the costs of salvage or recovery and/or the costs of compensating customers whose goods were jettisoned  (thrown overboard) for the common safety of the whole voyage. 

The famous case of the EverGiven which became stranded in the Suez canal is a great example of this risk. You can read more here



What are the valuation options for International Move insurance?

We offer 3 options for international insurance valuations. 

Lump Sum

This will be based on an industry average of EUR 3000.00 per cubic metre (the volume of your effects) plus any additional high-value items you identify (considered at any individual item valued over £1500.00). 

Itemised Value

This will be based on an itemised list of all of your effects providing a value based on the replacement value in the destination currency. (You are able to group like items, ie 15 t-shirts, 20 plates etc). 

Elected Lump Sum (Total Loss)

If you want to insure for total loss only (i.e., not individual item loss/damage) you can choose your own lump sum valuation figure, which will be the total amount you can claim if the entire shipment is lost.   


Please ask your move consultant or move manager if you'd like help choosing the best option for you.


For International Insurance do I have to list every item I own?

Yes, to ensure accurate and valid cover you'll need to include all items you are shipping on the valued inventory.

If you exclude any items the insurer may regard this as undervaluation and only pay out a proportion of any claim. 

What does your insurance cover?

Please visit our detailed guides to insurance for full information.

UK Moves Insurance Cover

International and European Moves Insurance Cover

Another company says they are insured. What's the difference?

If a removal company says they are including insurance, or that they are insured so you don't need separate cover it's always important to check what they mean to understand how you are protected and your rights in the event of a claim.

An insured removal company does NOT always mean an insured customer.

Most removal companies have to insure themselves with various policies to conduct their work so many will advertise they are ‘fully insured’. This means THEY are insured, but not always YOU.

Their insurance may include a basic level of coverage if you can prove they were negligent, but it may be limited. The level of liability should be set out in your removal company's terms and conditions and it’s very important to check you are comfortable with this level of protection before signing your contract. 


If you'd like to understand more check out our blog post Understanding Removals Insurance for Moving house.