Moving? There are some things you should know about protecting your goods during your move.

If something were to happen to your goods during the moving process, you should know what you can do to replace or fix your damaged or lost belongings.

Here are the options available for you by your movers:

Option A: Full Value Protection:
Under this option, which is not considered to be insurance, articles that are lost, damaged or destroyed will be (at the mover’s option) either repaired, replaced with like items, or a cash settlement will be made for the cost of the repair, or for the current market replacement value. No depreciation applies to this option. The exact cost for full value protection, as well as the settlement amount, in case of a claim, is determined by the moving company.

However, under this option, movers can limit their liability for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value, unless these articles are specifically listed on the shipping documents. An article of extraordinary value is any item whose value exceeds $100 per pound. Ask your mover for a complete explanation of this limitation before your move.

Option B: Released Value:
This is the least expensive protection option available and is not considered to be insurance and provides minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 30 or 60 cents per pound, per article. Loss or damage claims are settled based on the weight of the article multiplied by 30-60 cents. For example, if a 10-pound stereo component, valued at $1000 were lost or destroyed, the mover would be liable for no more than $6.00 (10 pounds x $.60). There is no extra charge for this protection, but of course, it provides very minimal compensation.

Here is the option offered by your Homeowners insurance policy:

Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not provide coverage for your household goods for moving purposes. However, you may check with your own insurance agent to see if your existing homeowner/renters’ policy covers your goods while in transit. Often, you will find that your goods are covered against damages while the movers are in your home packing, but not while the goods are in the movers’ possession.

To be sure that your goods are protected each step of the way, including if your belongings need to go into storage, you must purchase an actual moving insurance policy. Some of the moving company offers two main policy types:

Full Replacement Value – Valued Inventory—is offered for Interstate (moving from state to state), Intrastate (moving within the same state) and International shipments. It provides coverage based on an itemized and valued inventory prepared by the assured (the customer buying the policy) prior to the shipment date. Please note that the value assigned to the articles should be the cost of replacement at your new destination. Any settlement based on this type of coverage would be the lesser of repair costs or the amount declared on the valued inventory.

Example: You have purchased a sofa in 1999 for $400. The current replacement value to purchase a like/kind sofa is $900. You should list the sofa’s value at $900. If you list the value at the $400 purchase price, and the sofa is damaged or destroyed during the move, you would be limited to a maximum repair or replacement settlement at the amount you declared on the high value inventory.

This option is the most comprehensive and is the best coverage available, as it does not reduce the settlement amount for depreciation or a co-insurance penalty. This completed inventory could also act as a base for your Homeowners’ or Renters’ insurance policy at the new location.

Full Replacement Value – Lump Sum—is offered for Interstate (from one state to another) and International shipments only. This option provides coverage based on the total declared value/lump sum of the shipment. To avoid being under insured, it is required you declare a value equal to at least $8.00 times the total weight of your shipment and that high value items be specifically declared and valued. In other words, if your shipment weighs 3,000 pounds, you need to insure it for a minimum of $24,000 and indicate the individual value of your high value items.

With this option, items valued at less than $500.00 per item do not need to be specifically declared and listed on the inventory list, however, to be sure that these items are covered, you MUST include their value in your total Declared Value.

About Tamara Lund

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