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Is U-Haul Insurance Worth It?

Even if you’re moving into your dream house and can’t wait to start your new life, deciding to move without professional help can be an incredibly stressful event. There is all that packing up to do, the back-breaking lifting, and renting a van or truck to transport your possessions. U-Haul is one of the biggest moving companies you may consider using for your moving needs.

If you decide to use a U-Haul rental truck, you’ll need to figure out whether to purchase its insurance, which is called Safemove or Safemove Plus. Although there are exceptions, many car insurance policies don’t cover damages caused when you’re driving a U-Haul. That can be a high price to pay, and one that isn’t accounted for in your moving budget.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of buying a U-Haul insurance policy so you can decide whether to add it or skip the extra expense.

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What Are the Pros of Purchasing U-Haul Insurance?

If you’re wondering if U-Haul insurance is worth it, let’s consider the pros:  

  • Moving trucks aren’t easy to drive, especially if you aren’t used to driving bigger vehicles. Getting into an accident may be more likely if you don’t count on taking wider turns and slowing down more gradually than you would in your regular vehicle.
  • Insurance is clearly a much smaller price to pay than the cost of an accident would be. You’d likely be on the hook for thousands of dollars if you do have an accident.
  • U-Haul truck insurance covers the gaps you have if you rely on your regular auto policy to cover the accident. A lot of auto insurance policies won’t cover a vehicle that weighs more than 9,000 pounds or carries more than 2,000 pounds.
  • A wide variety of losses are covered. With Safemove, you’re covered for most accidental damages to the truck rental and damages to your personal belongings if there’s a collision, fire, or overturning of the truck. There is also coverage for medical bills and any loss of life for you or your passengers. Safemove Plus has all of that, plus supplemental liability coverage with a $1 million policy for property damage, lawsuits, or bodily injury from third parties. If you do opt for Safemove Plus, you have to pay the deposit and rental by credit card.
  • Many segments of the policy don’t require deductibles. The supplemental liability insurance offered under the Safemove Plus policy has no deductible, and neither does the damage waiver. The cargo waiver only carries a $100 deductible. That means if you do encounter a problem, you won’t have to spend much out of pocket.
  • For a few dollars a day, you’ll be getting peace of mind. It will be one less thing for you to worry about on moving day.

What Are the Cons of Purchasing U-Haul Insurance?

Now let’s consider some of the possible drawbacks of obtaining U-Haul insurance:

  • You might not need it if you’re an experienced driver, which would make it an unnecessary expense at a time when you might be cash-strapped because of the moving process.
  • If you’re moving everything in a single day, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind, but if you are taking several days (as you would when moving across the country, for example), the cost of U-Haul insurance adds up. You’d be best served to have everything ready to go so you only need the insurance for a day or two at the most.
  • It’s likely a moneymaker for U-Haul because the vast majority of people renting U-Haul trucks won’t get in an accident. They’ll take in more than they’ll pay out, which is probably why they strongly encourage purchasing insurance.  
  • It’s hard to want to pay for something you won’t use, but unless you have a crystal ball, there’s no way to know for sure you won’t need it.
  • Your current insurance company may cover you, or you might be able to purchase a one-time policy with them to cover yourself. It’s worth a call to see if your provider will cover you and what the cost would be. You might be able to be covered for cheaper than with U-Haul.
  • Each category of insurance coverage comes with certain exclusions you should be aware of. For example, if there is mechanical damage to the transmission or drivetrain because you tried to rock it back and forth if you are stuck in snow, mud, or ice, you won’t be covered with Safemove or Safemove Plus.
  • Safemove Plus isn’t available in every state. You can’t obtain the policy in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut.

Bottom Line

The odds are in your favor that you won’t get into an accident while driving a U-Haul truck, even if you aren’t used to driving bigger machinery. However, even though the odds are on your side, the risk is still there. And if you are in an accident, it will be a major expense and cause stress in your life. You’ll kick yourself at that point for not purchasing the relatively inexpensive insurance.

Because it is affordable and the results of an accident could be financially disastrous for you, it’s probably worth it to buy U-Haul insurance, even if you (hopefully) never have to use it. But every situation is unique, and only you know your competency level when it comes to driving a bigger vehicle and how much wiggle room is in your budget. Consider all of your insurance options before making your final decision.