Should I obtain moving insurance for my belongings from the moving company?
To think about protection and insurance about your belongings when moving is nothing new. Moving could be risky no matter how good the company is and how prepared is the customer. Accidents can happen in or out of the house, while loading or transporting your household goods. Just like with the health coverage, we don’t like to believe that something may happen, but it is always better to be protected. Thus, most customers often purchase additional moving insurance policy that would cover their goods with full value protection in case of loss or damage. Customers like to know that their goods are protected during all stages of the moving process. Most moving companies talk about two main types of coverage clients can get. By law, moving companies are required to offer valuation to each customer. Moving valuation is the basic limited liability stated on the moving contract, which in the moving industry is called “Bill of Lading”. The additional types moving insurance are options and are purchased by request of the customer. Some companies offer additional insurance while others may advise you to contact your insurance agent or recommend moving insurance company for you. Keep in mind that Moving companies do not offer insurance directly, they can only offer you Full Value Protection (FVP).
Moving Insurance Options and Types
Moving Valuation – Basic Limited Liability Protection
Set by federal regulations, basic limited liability coverage customers get automatically when they sign their contract (Bill of Lading). This type of coverage is called moving valuation. It comes at no extra cost, but in most cases it does not match the actual value of the customers’ belongings. The rates at which the moving companies cover under the valuation start from $0.30 to $0.60 per lbs for local or long distance moves per lbs per article. Some clients stay with this coverage only because they trust the moving company and do not wish to pay extra for expanded insurance. However, many consumers opt for a full value moving insurance coverage protection.
What is the difference between Liability Valuation and Moving Insurance?
Please note that Liability Protection is not moving insurance. Valuation provides loss or replacement for goods that were damaged during a move. Valuation does not allow punitive damages. For example if the moving company damages your crib during the move you cannot file a punitive damage claim for loss of sleep. You could file for compensation for the broken item.
Additional Moving Insurance
Clients can find a lot of information about all these types of insurance, which may be confusing at times. The additional moving insurance companies may call Full Value Protection (FVP) or Declared Value Protection, whatever they want to call it, keep in mind that it is the one customers pay for out of their pockets. Under Full Value Protection your moving company will be liable for the replacement value of every damaged, missing item in your shipment. “Full Value Moving Insurance” is a popular term used by many consumers and actually they mean “Full Value Protection”.
Typically, like with any other type of insurance, there is a minimum amount of coverage and applicable deductible. You can choose the amount for which you would like to be protected and the deductible. The valuation again is based on the weight of customers’ inventory, but they decide on the amount cost per pound.
There is also an option where people can choose to insure their valuables based on their cost rather than the weight. This is called the Lump Sum Value and it means that you insure your household for a specific amount. This must be added in writing to the Bill of Lading.
Many moving companies do not offer additional insurance options, just the minimum basic limited liability, but they can often direct you to moving insurance companies. Now that you know, the minimum coverage is really minimal, talk to your insurance company or search for the best moving insurance companies because your “life” has to be insured at home or on the road.
Third Party Moving Insurance Cost and Rates
The moving insurance price varies depending on the items you are insuring, the moving insurance declared value and the company you are insuring with. Some insurance companies take into consideration the moving company damage history. If the moving is performing well and does not have frequent damage claims by customers moving insurance price will be lower. You will have to sign your moving insurance policy in prior to the move date. You can check for insurance companies that can provide you with the best moving insurance cost. Most third party insurance provider will give you an option to purchase your moving insurance online directly from the insurer’s company website.
How does moving insurance work?
The very first thing to do after you purchase insurance is to take pictures of the items that are insured with date and time stamps. This way you will be prepared if a claim needs to be filed. After you have purchased the FVP or the third party insurance policy your moving company will have inventory forms on the day of the move and will be taking detailed inventory for every item they pack and load on the moving van. This way every item is accounted for its condition prior to the move. After the move is delivered, based on your insurance options you have up to 9 months to file a claim for damages per government regulations. Third party insurance providers might have different time frames. We suggest that you file claim with your moving company or insurance provider as soon as the damaged have been discovered.
You can also visit FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) website for detailed info on the two most popular moving insurance options.
What do you think?
Do you think you need moving insurance and protection for you move or you will go with the moving valuation options? What moving insurance options did your moving company offer? Do you know another way to protect and preserve your furniture during the move? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Posted on Aug 3, 2011; Last updated: Dec 16, 2011