Moving can turn into a stressful experience. One thing you can do to make it less painful is to carefully evaluate your options for protecting your household possessions while they’re in the hands of a moving company. A great amount of options are available from moving companies, private insurers and your existing Homeowner’s or Renter’s insurance. They can propose varying levels of insurance or valuation protection for different causes of loss.
No matter which mover you select, it pays to prepare in advance. So you’ll have time to evaluate your moving insurance and valuation options. Before considering the difference between moving insurance and valuation you need to understand that there are two basic categories of loss that might occur during a move. Both types of loss are the exception and not the rule, but either or both could occur during your move.
Most homeowners and renters provide the second type of loss and usually have either a Homeowner or Renter’s insurance policy that covers their personal property. Insurance policies typically carry a deductible and provide coverage either on an all-risk or a perils basis:
Most Homeowner’s policies provide all-risk coverage for buildings and named peril coverage for personal property.
All moving companies offer two types of coverage to consumers on out-of-state moves.
The first coverage is a released value protection and is set at 60 cents per pound. This means that you will be recovered for everything at 60 cents per pound. All of your material belongings are certainly worth more than 60 cents a pound. For that reason, long-distance movers also offer full-value protection. The coverage is based on your valuation of the contents you transport. So if you decide all of your belongings are worth $30,000, you would pay about $300 for full-value protection while shipping.
Full-value protection allows the moving company two options if they lose,destroy or damage any articles during the move. This is also a full replacement value. The moving companies can repair the item so it is in the same condition as it was before the damage. They can also replace the item with one similar of the same cost. Movers are not required to reimburse you for any item that value more than $100 per pound unless it is in the special shipping documents. This is set by the Surface Transportation Board, the federal organization that oversees moving companies.
There are several options available to consumers to upgrade their coverage. You can ask the moving companies for other valuation options. If your moving company is covering your belongings, it is not insurance. Moving companies cannot sell insurance. Instead, you are paying for stated liability, in other words, you are setting the limits for your moving company’s liability if they damage, lose or destroy your belongings . Some moving companies offer expanded valuations. Declared value allows you to set a per-pound amount for your belongings.
Don’t forget about scammers and always stay vigilant when you hire a new company. Remember, the cost of the move shouldn’t be the primary factor in choosing a moving company; it should be the quality of service and their reliability.
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