Is it worth buying moving truck insurance?

Is moving truck insurance necessary? If your auto insurance policy doesn't already cover rental car insurance, you may consider buying moving truck insurance worth it. We recommend drivers purchase moving truck insurance or supplemental liability insurance to protect themselves and their belongings when moving.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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Moving is a lot of work. One of the most important questions you need to ask during a move is this: is moving truck insurance worth it? Companies like U-Haul might convince you that you need it. But do you really need moving truck insurance? Is it possible to find budget rental truck insurance? Understanding auto insurance can help you understand if insurance for a moving truck is something you really need.

What is moving truck insurance?

Rental truck insurance is an optional add-on when you rent a moving truck from a company like U-Haul. The insurance functions just like ordinary car insurance: it covers any damages to the vehicle along with any property damage you may inflict on others.

Rental truck insurance is always a good idea. You wouldn’t drive your car without insurance. So why would you drive a moving truck – especially if you’re an inexperienced driver navigating tight city roads in a 16-foot box truck? If you’re moving, you should budget truck rental insurance as part of your expenses.

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You Might Already Have Moving Truck Insurance

You should always get insurance when renting a car. Same goes for renting a U Haul truck. Moving truck insurance is a good idea – but that doesn’t mean you should always buy it from the truck rental company.

In some cases, your existing auto policy will cover rental trucks. However, this typically isn’t covered under the same area as rental cars. Your insurance policy might cover rental cars, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it covers rental trucks.

The same goes for credit cards: many consumers are accustomed to turning down rental car insurance when renting an ordinary car because they know their credit card covers it. That’s not always the case for moving trucks: your credit card might cover car rental insurance, but not moving truck insurance.

Read your policy and call your insurance company to make sure you understand exactly what’s being covered. Plus, you may be able to get one-day car insurance if you are just using the truck for a short period of time.

In general, however, it’s rare for your existing auto insurance policy or credit card to cover moving truck insurance.

Complete Moving Truck Insurance Coverage Versus A La Carte Coverage

Some insurance companies bundle all insurance policies into one package called “moving truck insurance”. Other companies, however, let you choose coverage “a la carte”. You can pick and choose the rental car coverage you need.

Insurance for moving trucks consists of multiple features, including damage waivers, supplemental liability insurance, cargo protection insurance, and even medical coverage. We’ll talk about whether each of these policies is worth buying below to help you decide on the best budget rental truck insurance.

Pay the Damage Waiver With Your Rental Truck Insurance

When you rent a moving truck, the company will give you an option to pay a damage waiver.

A damage waiver is typically priced at around $12 per day. By paying that fee, you avoid liability for any damage to the truck during the rental period – whether that damage is deemed to be your fault or not.

Accept the damage waiver on your truck rental, and you get peace of mind throughout the move. Regardless of what happens to the vehicle, you won’t be covered. Remember that trucks are larger, more unique vehicles. Something minor – like a cracked windshield – can cost hundreds of dollars more to repair on a truck.

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Considering Taking the Supplemental Liability Rental Truck Insurance as Well

Supplemental liability insurance supplements the minimum amount of personal liability insurance required by your state (i.e. the minimum insurance required for all vehicles to legally drive on the road). Basic liability coverage is automatically included in the cost of your rental. However, supplemental coverage increases that protection.

This is important when you injure someone in another vehicle while driving. Keep in mind that some states have unusually low liability coverage requirements. Also, remember that you’re driving a larger truck, and that truck can cause a lot more damage than a smaller vehicle.

If you’re taking a long haul road trip, you may want to consider supplemental liability insurance.

Think About Cargo Protection With Your Rental Truck Insurance

In general, moving truck rental companies will cover up to $25,000 worth of damage to any cargo that you’re carrying. However, high-value items like jewelry and TVs may be excluded from this rule.

In any case, the moving truck rental company will ask you about cargo protection insurance coverage when you’re renting the vehicle. It may not be necessary for same-day moves. However, if you’re driving across the country and parking the truck overnight, then it can give you valuable peace of mind.

Nevertheless, the fact that high-value items are excluded from insurance coverage can make cargo protection insurance a poor buy. It’s also important to check your homeowner’s policy: many of your items might be already covered during the move.

Should you buy medical coverage?

Rental truck companies in the United States will often offer medical coverage. This coverage pays for any medical expenses you incur as a result of an accident.

If you already have health insurance coverage, this policy is unnecessary. Your existing health insurance should cover any medical expenses incurred during the move.

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Moving Truck Insurance: The Bottom Line

You might have a perfectly safe driving record. Maybe you’ve never been in an accident. But when you rent a moving truck, you’re driving a totally different rental vehicle. That vehicle has a different turning radius, different sight lines, and different everything compared to an ordinary vehicle. If this is your first time driving a 20 foot rental truck for a move, then there are all sorts of things that could go wrong. You might clip someone’s car turning into a tight city road, for example. A rock might fly off the highway and chip your windshield. Someone might break into your rental vehicle while it’s parked at a hotel halfway to your destination.

In general, it’s a good idea to get moving truck insurance – if for nothing else than peace of mind. Before you buy moving truck insurance from your rental company, call your insurance company to check if rental trucks are covered under your existing plan. In some cases, rental trucks – just like a rental car – will not require supplementary insurance. You can find insurance for budget rental trucks, but you may not have to. You’re already paying for it on your existing plan or credit card. In most cases, however, existing auto insurance plans and credit cards do not cover insurance for a rental truck – even if they cover rental cars.

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