Moving Insurance

Extra Ordinary Value Items

Items in your shipment with a value greater than $100 per pound per article are considered has having “high” or “extraordinary value.” You must advise your van line agent in writing that they are in your shipment to be considered for replacement value protection. Examples might include antiques, currency, cameras, video cameras, jewelry, collectibles, furs, and oriental rugs etc. Check with your mover about the terms and conditions and written declaration required for this level of protection.

Moving in State — Another Option

In some states, Declared Value Protection is available for intrastate/local moves. This coverage is based on depreciated value of an item regardless of current replacement cost. The whole shipment is covered at a value not to exceed the dollar amount that you, the customer, declare to the moving company.

With this option, the mover assumes liability for the entire shipment at an amount equal to 1.25 times the weight, or whatever the given amount is in a particular state, of your shipment.
For example, if your shipment weighs 8,000 pounds, the mover will be liable for loss or damage up to $10,000. Though you have made no specific arrangements for this plan, you may automatically default to it, if you have not chosen another option. Again, this is subject to an individual state’s regulations. The mover is entitled to charge you for this protection.

Prices will vary; however, it will probably be around $7.00 for each $1,000 of liability assumed, In the case of a shipment weighing 8,000 pounds and a minimum declared value of $10,000 a charge of $70 will be added to your bill for the additional protection.

Some states may require a minimum amount of coverage or so much per pound, whichever is greater.

Under this arrangement, if a 20-pound item with a replacement value of at $1,000 is damaged, but it is three years old, the mover is liable for the damage based on the replacement cost less three years depreciation. The normal depreciation is around 10 percent per year. Your valuables are somewhat protected under this plan, but you pay for it. The cost will, most likely, not be that much less than full-value replacement protection, so the full-value replacement protection is probably still the best option to choose.

Ask your mover for additional charges and rules.

DIY Moving Options

Consumers who choose one of the do-it-yourself moving options put their possessions in the greatest jeopardy. Equipment rental insurance and homeowner’s policies may cover some catastrophic losses but both have limited application and well-defined exclusions. Basically – if you bend it, bust it, break it, or burn it – you buy it. Read the fine print and then ask specifically about insurance claims.

How to Make a Claim

In the unlikely event you have loss or damage as a result of your move, you have nine months to make a claim on interstate moves. The time period may be different for intrastate/local moves. Again, it depends on the regulations in a particular state. Even if you have a claim, you are still responsible for paying for the move in a timely fashion. This is usually cash on delivery on the day of unloading or, if using a credit, a few days prior to the loading of your shipment.

There are rules and regulations for the time in which the mover is required to respond to your claim and the time when the issue must be resolved. In the event you and the moving company cannot come to terms and arbitration is chosen to resolve the issue and you are not satisfied with the outcome of the arbitration process, you may sue for damages. Check with the local Better Business Bureau to get information on how the mover has handled claims in the past.

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Why Should You Hire Only Licensed Movers?

States have regulatory agencies that qualify and license members of certain professions to protect the public. Doctors, dentists, lawyers and, yes, even movers are among those who must be licensed to operate a practice or business serving consumers. Professional licensed movers spend time learning their profession. They follow state and Federal rules regulating their business, train their workers and invest thousands of dollars establishing a real place of business, paying experienced help and operating expensive trucks and other equipment.
Unlicensed operators may make you an attractive offer but think about letting people into your home who are not back-ground checked, not legitimate employees, and not insured. They most likely would not qualify to work for a legitimate employer who pays for workers’ compensation insurance, health insurance and other benefits that tend to attract solid citizens. You have little recourse if there is a problem with an unlicensed operator as they are insulated by cell phone numbers, no real place of business, rental trucks and no internet posting. Understand that allowing people like this into your home comes with significant risk and no recourse.
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