When moving, it's important to make sure your valuables are properly insured -- especially fragile ones like fine china. Your heirloom dishes might be covered by your homeowners or renters insurance while they're in your house or apartment, but whether this coverage extends to while they're in transit will depend on your policy's terms and conditions. If they aren't, you'll need to purchase additional insurance for them from your moving company. Here's how to find out if your own insurance will cover your china during the move, along with what type of policy to look for if it isn't protected.

Checking Your Homeowners or Renters Insurance

To find out whether your homeowners or renters insurance will cover your fine china while it's being moved, you'll need to look at your policy's fine print. First, you'll want to make sure there aren't any exclusions that limit coverage on valuables. You should have already done this when you purchased the policy, though, so your dishes shouldn't be excluded on account of their value.

Second, you'll want to make sure that the coverage extends beyond your home. Look for the term "worldwide coverage." Worldwide coverage, Investopedia explains, protects your personal belongings, including your fine china, no matter where they are in the world.

Without worldwide coverage, your insurance policy might not protect your belongings while they're being moved. They might only be covered when in your home.

With worldwide coverage, your belongings will be insured everywhere—in your home, a moving box, a moving truck or even a ship if you're moving overseas. Should something happen to your china while it's in the moving company's care, your insurer might make the moving company pay for the loss or damage. Your insurer will help you get reimbursed since they insure your belongings.

Purchasing Worldwide Coverage

Some insurance companies include worldwide coverage in their standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Others offer this as an additional coverage. If your policy doesn't include global protection, you may be able to purchase it for a nominal fee. You can cancel it after the move if you only need the coverage while your belongings are in transit.

Looking for Moving Insurance

If you don't have worldwide coverage and it's prohibitively expensive to purchase, you'll need to insure your china through your moving company. There are three different types of moving insurance:

  • declared value insurance covers your belongings for a fixed dollar amount per pound
  • full value insurance provides comprehensive coverage for all of your belongings
  • assessed value insurance protects your possessions for a specific amount that was declared and agreed upon prior to your move

Declared value insurance doesn't provide enough protection for valuables like china. It only insures a small amount per pound, and china often exceeds these limits.

Full value insurance, which is similar to renters or homeowners insurance, might provide enough coverage. A policy will have its own deductibles, limits and exclusions, though, and your china might not be completely protected.

An assessed value policy can be used on its own or in conjunction with another policy to ensure that your dishes are completely protected. This type of insurance lets you select whatever level of coverage you'd like for your china. To purchase an assessed value policy, you'll need a written appraisal of your dishes' value. Present this to the insurer that your moving company works with, and they'll be able to write a policy that protects the china up to that amount.

Fine china is both fragile, which makes it important to insure when moving, and valuable, which makes finding insurance slightly complex. If you have fine china and are moving, make sure it's either insured with worldwide coverage in your homeowners or renters policy, or purchase assessed value insurance from your moving company.