Many movers often claim they are providing you with insurance but below is an explanation of how to know if it’s really insurance or merely valuation. Moving Right Along recommends purchasing insurance which will provide you with an actual insurance policy as opposed to just declaring the value of your shipment on a Bill of Lading.
Local Moving Valuation
The minimum coverage required by law (and it’s free) is called Limited Liability. If an item is lost or damaged, you would receive $0.30 per pound per article to a maximum of $2500. This does not cover the actual value of the item. For instance, if the mover dropped an antique vase that you bought for $500 and it weighed 5 pounds, you would receive only $1.50 as compensation. This is not an option Moving Right Along recommends as this does not cover you in any way and, in essence, releases the mover from any responsibility or liability.
Added valuation is an optional coverage. The amount you collect in the event of damages is based on the actual value of the item at the current replacement cost, minus any depreciation, up to the limit of the coverage. (The charge is $10.00 for each $1,000 of coverage, and can be purchased for a minimum charge of $50, which means you will be covered for $5,000). If the mover damaged that same $500 vase and the current market value was still $500, the claim would be settled for $500; but if the repurchase price had depreciated to $400, that’s the amount you would receive. This is not insurance. This covers the mover’s liability for the value of your belongings, which you declare before the move as the coverage amount. (This is not a recommended option since a mover is not a licensed insurance agent and does not give a written legal policy listing terms and conditions.)
Long Distance Moving Valuation
The contract that you will sign with your mover provides two options for placing a value on your shipment:
- Released value of 60 cents per pound per article is the most economical option available. This level of protection is provided at no additional cost. However, it only provides minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per article for loss or damage. This means that claims are settled based on the weight of the individual article(s) multiplied by 60 cents. For example, if a 10-pound stereo component valued at $1,000 were lost or destroyed, your mover would be liable for no more than $6.00 (10 pounds X 60 cents). This is not an option Moving Right Along recommends as this does not cover you in any way and, in essence, releases the mover from any responsibility or liability.
- Full (Replacement) value protection is a plan available for the protection of your goods. When you select this option, articles that are lost, damaged or destroyed will, at the mover’s option, be either repaired or replaced with articles of like kind and quality, or a cash settlement will be made for the repairs or replacement of the articles at their current market value, regardless of the age of the lost or damaged article. Under this option, you have two choices for establishing your mover’s maximum liability on your shipment:
- You can declare a value based on the weight of your shipment multiplied by an amount less than $4.00 per pound OR
- You can declare a higher lump sum amount (for example $30,000)
This is not an option Moving Right Along recommends as this does not cover you in any way and, in essence, releases the mover from any responsibility or liability.
Regulations Applied To Valuation Coverage
Valuation coverage does not automatically pay for damaged articles. It must be clearly shown that the mover was responsible. Items in boxes not packed by the mover are not covered unless there is clear evidence that the entire box was dropped or mishandled during the move. Similarly, the mover is not responsible for any electronic item that does not function after the move, unless there is clear evidence that the entire box was dropped or mishandled during the move. You have the right to file a claim up to nine months after the move.
What Is Insurance?
Insurance is a system of comprehensive protection against loss or damage, in which an individual agrees to pay a certain sum for a guarantee that he/she will be compensated, under stipulated conditions, for the loss or damage of the specified possessions. It is a contract and insurance policy confirming such protection.
Why Should You Choose Insurance Over Valuation Coverage?
There are many reasons to consider insurance instead of valuation coverage. The following are some of them:
- An insurance policy ensures that you are covered from a licensed insurance agent in lieu of a mover’s “promise”. It is a binding contract and insurance policy between you and the insurance company.
- Taking out an insurance policy enables you to insure high-value items.
- Insurance will offer you protection against an “Act of God” (e.g. floods, tornadoes, lightning, etc.)
- It will cover the items listed on your contract at their full replacement cost.
- Insurance is usually more comprehensive than many homeowner policies, which limit personal property coverage to only 50% – 75%. In many cases, a homeowner’s policy does not cover a move “in transit”.
Please contact any member of our sales staff with any questions you have.