3 Essential Considerations When Moving Overseas

10 December 2015
 Categories: , Articles


Moving overseas for work purposes can be an exciting adventure, whether you're striking out to further your freelance career or going to work at a foreign branch of your U.S.-based employer. Of course, along with the excitement comes a fair amount of inevitable anxiety about settling into a new culture. Planning the smoothest, most tension-free international move possible is a great start in the right direction. Here are three essential considerations for optimizing your overseas move.

1. Selecting an International Relocation Company

Just as you would look first to a local mover for in-town relocation or a interstate moving company for cross-country moves, an overseas move calls for the services of an experienced, reputable international relocation company. If you're lucky, your employer already has such a company on hand for your move, but in many cases you may be selecting the mover yourself. To ensure that you're choosing wisely, always ask prospective movers:

  • How much experience they have in international relocations
  • Whether they can provide you with a list of satisfied clients
  • How moves are priced, and how estimates are carried out
  • Which company serves as the destination agent (the agent that handles the other end of the overseas move)
  • Whether your overseas cargo will go straight to your destination or get switched to a different ship en route

2. Buying International Moving Insurance

When you think about the number of elements involved in making an overseas move come off without a hitch, it becomes clear that you need to protect the value of your personal possessions, from your vehicle (if you're shipping it) to any precious keepsakes you wish to take with you. That's why you must purchase a sufficient type and amount of international moving insurance to cover the value of your items.

The simplest solution is to purchase this insurance through your international relocation company. Having the mover and insurance carrier rolled into one entity can make for quicker, smoother reporting and renumeration in the event of damage or loss. Even if your employer is handling some of the necessary coverage, you may still need to purchase additional coverage for items that the existing policy doesn't include. You can obtain any or all of your international moving insurance through a third-party provider if you like.

If you're moving your possessions overseas by ship, you'll be purchasing a particular type of coverage called marine cargo insurance. The principal options within this category include:

  • "All Risk" - This comprehensive marine cargo insurance covers the full replacement value of your items. You may have to decide whether you want to be covered for the full declared value at your destination (based on local currency rates) or for a lump sum predetermined before launch.
  • "Total Loss" - This category applies only when your entire inventory of cargo is destroyed through the destruction of the ship or other cataclysmic disasters. Individual items on your list will not receive any special consideration.

3. Smoothing the Financial Transition

Even if your employer has paid for your international relocation company, transportation to your new home and other costs, moving overseas can stir up a hornet's nest of potential financial issues. First and foremost, you need to have some understanding of the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the currency at your destination. But even a favorable exchange rate is no guarantee that you'll continue to live at your former standard of comfort. Accommodations that you've always taken for granted may come at a premium in your destination country, if they've available at all. 

While you may settle into a seamless pattern of collecting paychecks at your new overseas job, tapping your U.S. savings accounts and other financial resources can prove a tricky business. The smartest strategy is to have someone overseas handling essential transactions for you. To achieve this, you'll want to assign power of attorney to a family member or personal lawyer before you embark on your journey.

Take command of your overseas move and steer it through friendly waters, and this major transition in your life and career will prove that much easier. Have a safe journey!

For more information about international relocation services, contact a company like Hollander Storage & Moving.