Moving companies, private insurers and renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policies offer a lot of moving insurance options. Not sure what they are and what you should choose? All these policies provide different levels of protection, so we understand your ordeal. In the end, they exist because they cover different causes of loss. You should do your research before moving. Check for movers credentials and what level of insurance they provide. We will help you organize the rest.

Some Moving Insurance Tips You Should Know: Damage, Loss, and Perils

Before considering which moving company to choose, it will help you to understand that there are two basic types of loss that might happen during a move. Both classes of loss are not common but both could happen during your move.

Breakage, damage, tarnishing and similar kinds of losses caused by the mover’s or shipper’s negligence, or by accident.
A fire, windstorm or a kind of damage that is no fault of the moving company.

Piles of coins and little wooden house.
Moving insurance has many forms, so do your research.

Basic moving insurance

Federal law requires the movers to offer two types of coverage to clients on out-of-state moves.

Released value protection is a type of coverage that pays you 60 cents per damaged or lost pound. This means that you will retrieve a portion of damaged items at 60 cents per pound. Same applies for your expensive china and for socks with holes in them.

Because your material belongings are of course worth more than 60 cents a pound, long-distance movers have full-value protection. What applies here is your own valuation of your items. Then you pay about 1 percent of your valuation. If your belongings are worth $50,000 to you, the fee will be around $500 for full-value protection.

Full-value protection

Full value protection offers the moving company two options if they lose, damage or destroy your articles during transport. The mover decides what the compensation will be and not the client.

The moving company can either repair or replace the item with one as similar as possible. So if your five-year-old couch brakes, the mover will not replace it with a new one. You will probably get the fair-market value of a five-year-old sofa.

Be warned

Movers don’t have to reimburse you for any item that is valued at more than $100 per pound. The item has to be distinctively listed in the contract. Surface Transportation Board is the federal organization that oversees these regulations. For example, you have to declare a necklace that weighs eight ounces and worth more than $40 ($100 per pound). Otherwise, you can’t get your money back.

Note that this is a very overwhelming task when you start looking through your belongings. But our advice is that you keep your luxurious and valuable items with you. Transport them in your car, especially if you are moving long distance because you need to keep an eye on these items at all times.

Form, hammer, measure
Read the tiny print.

Expanded moving insurance

Consider upgrading your moving insurance depending on the value of your items. Use our tips to see what are the available options.

Now this one is important. You can ask the moving companies that are offering their bids if they have other valuation options. Beware that if your mover is giving you coverage for your belongings, this is not insurance. Selling insurance for moving companies are is illegal. Actually, you are paying for stated liability, which means you are allowing certain limits for your moving company’s liability. If your belongings are damaged, lost or destroyed, you get reimbursed for the portion of the value or you get the replaced items by the company’s choice.

Moving companies that offer expanded valuations are a good option

They will give you full value protection and that is what you could consider. Like we said, if you decide your belongings are worth $5 per pound and your shipment is 10,000 pounds, you are setting a valuation of $50,000 on the total shipment. That’s the maximum you would be receiving if the entire load was destroyed or lost. Items would be replaced with similar ones. Two-year-old dishwasher for a two-year-old dishwasher. It is important to remember this since a lot of clothing items could weigh a lot but not have the greatest value.

You can also check for moving companies that offer lump sum value, also called assessed value. The coverage is based on the same concept, except the client sets the amount by value instead of weight. This is great if you have a lot of high-value items that don’t weigh much in total.

Logo House glowing, in hands
Not all moving companies have you covered.

What’s not covered by valuation coverage

With valuation coverage, movers are not responsible for items in boxes they did not pack. Only very visible and major damage to the box could make the mover consider assessing the items inside. Natural disasters are also not covered: you will not be reimbursed for fire, hurricane, tornado, windstorm or hail damage. Same, if items are broken while in storage, which is not rented by the moving company, you will not be covered.

Other options

You likely have some insurance coverage through your homeowner’s policy. However, this is probably not worth much. Usually, homeowner’s policies cover your belongings while they are in the house, not on the road.

Some insurance companies offer relocation insurance. These policies are similar to a lump sum and declared value coverage that the moving companies offer.

However, there is insurance coverage that will supplement movers’ coverage. With moving insurance, you can protect your belongings even up to 90 days.

Moving insurance is covers main losses or damages to your items during your move. Typical damages include damage that occurs while loading or unloading the truck, as well the damage due to forces of nature like lightning or tornado strike.

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