If you’re getting ready to relocate, you’ve probably wondered whether moving insurance is something you should consider. Every year, thousands of underinsured relocators post negative reviews for items damaged during transport. Understandably, those experiences can make anyone feel nervous about trusting a moving company with their valuable belongings. Fortunately, though, when it comes to protecting your move, you have a variety of options. Below, our Ace Moving & Warehousing team discusses what you need to know to properly protect your move.
Valuation & Moving Insurance: What’s the Difference?
Understanding the difference between valuation coverage and moving insurance is integral to conducting a successful relocation. While many people (mistakenly) use the terms interchangeably, these two coverage options are vastly different. Here’s how:
● Valuation Coverage. You’ll typically notice multiple levels of liability coverage offered in your moving contract; these liability options are known as valuation coverage. Valuation is simply the amount of liability your moving company will accept should your possessions incur damage or get lost during transport.
Each liability level offers a corresponding level of financial reimbursement, but keep in mind: Valuation is not moving insurance, which means it only provides limited coverage.
● Moving Insurance. Valuation coverage comes standard (you’ll pay extra for higher coverage levels) when you work with a professional moving company, but full-fledged moving insurance does not. Purchasing additional moving insurance protects you from financial loss should anything happen to your belongings that valuation does not cover.
If you’re transporting valuable items, it’s almost always in your best interest to opt for full-fledged moving insurance.
What Are Your Valuation Options?
As discussed, valuation only provides limited coverage in the event of item damage or loss. However, there are escalating levels of valuation coverage, which you can select based on your needs. Under federal law, all moving companies are required to provide the following liability options:
● Released Value Protection. Professional movers include released value protection in the cost of your move. The federal mandate for RVP coverage is $0.60 per pound per item, so if a 20-pound item incurs damage in transport, your movers are liable for $12. However, minimum coverage amounts can vary from state to state. Keep in mind that the amount of reimbursement you’ll receive with this option is irrespective of the item’s original value. As such, RVP is considered bare minimum coverage.
● Full Value Protection. While Full Value Protection offers more liability coverage than RVP, it’s still not as comprehensive as moving insurance. With FVP, your moving company is liable for the depreciated value of your belongings, should they incur damage or become lost. Regardless of the item’s original cost, the movers are only liable for the current cash value of the item.
With valuation coverage, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allows your moving company a few different options for reimbursing you in the event of damage or loss. These include:
● Providing cash reimbursement (Actual Cash Value coverage) for the item’s market replacement value or for the cost of repairs.
● Repair the damaged item.
● Replace items that were lost or damaged beyond repair.
**Keep this in mind: If you’re transporting items of extraordinary value (meaning they’re worth more than $100 per pound) you must explicitly inform your moving company in writing. Unfortunately, without a written notice, your movers cannot be held liable should those items become damaged or lost.
What Does Valuation Coverage Exclude?
Essentially, anything that happens to your belongings that is out of the moving company’s control will not be covered by valuation. A few examples include:
● “Acts of God.” If your belongings incur damage as a result of a hurricane, tornado, fire, or earthquake, your movers are not liable.
● Do-it-yourself packing. According to FMCSA, if you pack your own items, and they incur damage, it can be difficult to determine whether the damage was due to improper packing, or if it was the fault of the moving company. For safety’s sake, consider hiring professional movers and packers, so you get the benefit of liability coverage.
● Late reporting. If you fail to report damage or loss in a timely manner (typically within nine months) your moving company may not be required to reimburse you.
● Non-allowable items. If you pack your own boxes and include perishable, hazardous, or dangerous materials, your movers may not be liable for damages. Check out this full breakdown of non-allowable items, so you don’t pack anything that could rob you of your reimbursement.
Moving Insurance: What’s Covered When You Purchase Additional Insurance?
Purchasing additional moving insurance is always the safest course of action, but coverage stipulation and limits will vary according to the provider. Generally, though, full-fledged moving insurance covers damage or loss, regardless of the circumstance.
If a tornado unexpectedly takes out your moving truck, that’s covered. If you pack your own boxes and something breaks during transport, that’s covered, too. But here’s the kicker: Most moving insurance policies provide reimbursement for the actual depreciated value of your belongings, so don’t assume you’ll receive compensation in the amount of the item’s initial worth.
Many insurance providers also offer add-on policies that extend additional coverage for certain types of damage. Be sure to discuss your coverage requirements and insurance options with your moving company to ensure you select the most fitting policy for your needs.
Ace Moving & Warehousing: A Moving Company You Can Trust
Looking for a moving company you can rely on? Then it’s time to get in touch with our team at Ace Moving & Warehousing! Whether you’re in need of local movers or long-distance movers, storage solutions or full packing services, our team is here to ensure your relocation is as smooth as stress free as possible. To learn more about our moving services and how we can help you, give our team a call at 763-755-2045. Ready to get started with a moving estimate? Feel free to request your free, no-obligation quote today!