Despite everyone's best effort, accidents can and do happen. Damage to your property can happen when it is being carried in or out of the moving truck and during the transit. The moving insurance is important part of your move and it is very important that you choose the right coverage that will cover your household goods value. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all local movers to provide liability insurance in order to operate and transport household goods. However, the coverage provided by local moving companies is different. Many people think that a moving company provides full insurance to cover loss and damages. The truth is a little more complicated. Many moving companies provide some protection to their clients in the form of mover's valuation.
Released Valuation - Most licensed movers automatically provide released valuation, not insurance. Released Valuation coverage, or the basic liability insurance as it is commonly called, is usually available as part of your standard moving fees at no extra cost, but you have to sign for it. Under this plan, the moving companies assume liability for your items up to a value of $0.60 per pound per article. So if an item weighs 100 pounds, the mover's liability is $60 on that item regardless of actual value of the item. The basic liability insurance will not provide full coverage for damaged goods.
Declared value - The value of your possessions is based on the total weight of the shipment multiplied by a specific amount per pound (minimum charge of $1.25 times the weight). You decide the dollar amount. For example: if the specific amount is $1.25 per pound, and your household goods weigh 5000 pounds, the moving company would be liable for a maximum of $6,250. In case of damage the insurance will be based on the depreciated value of the damaged item up to the maximum value of all the items that you shipped. The amount of the protection is limited by the depreciated value of the item
Lump sum value protection - The lump sum value insurance gives you the option to insure your items by the actual value of the items, usually per $1,000 of value and not by the weight of the items. You decide item's value and the mover is liable for that value. To choose this option, you must make a declaration in writing on the moving contract.
Full-value protection - This coverage will cover all damaged or lost article by replacing, repairing or providing full cash value for the item. Usually there is a minimum coverage amount with applicable deductibles. This is the most expensive option and must be purchased in advance. This is good options for high-value items.
In addition to all of the options listed above, extra insurance can be purchased through an independent insurance company which will cover you for the duration of the move. Your mover should be able to assist you to an insurance company that will insure your move.
Some homeowner or renter insurance policies cover approximately 10 percent of the value of your personal property; including coverage for breakage and theft in transit, minus the deductible. Check with your insurance provider if your household goods are covered during the move.
When meeting with the potential moving company, make sure to ask the representative about their insurance options. Know the total number of items you are moving. Write down all valuable pieces of furniture, glassware, appliances, electronics, etc. while taking into consideration the total weight of what you are moving and the replacement value of each item. Take photos of all high-value items. This will help to track your inventory and will help if you need to make a claim.Written by Margarita Hakobyan
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