One of the biggest fears when it comes to your move is damage to your belongings. While being smart about finding trustworthy, experienced movers and securely packing your items can go a long way toward safeguarding them, you should be prepared and know what to expect if your stuff gets damaged during your move. It’s especially important to understand your mover’s policies before you move so there are no surprises when it comes to your coverage and the mover’s liability.
Most movers offer two levels of liability agreements: Full Value Protection and Released Value.
Full Value Protection works like it sounds. If an item is lost or damaged, the mover must repair it, pay you for it or replace it in full, or to the market value equivalent.
The cost for Full Value Protection varies by mover. Refer to the Rights and Responsibilities guidebook to read up on “items of extraordinary value” which need to be specially designated in an inventory and are subject to different assessments of compensation. Take the time to learn a mover’s policy for Full Value.
The other type of coverage is known as Released Value. This coverage is free, but the mover will only be liable for 60 cents per pound of your cargo. What does that really mean?
Let’s say your favorite guitar gets damaged during your move. If it was worth $1300 and weighed 15 pounds, under released value, your mover is only required to reimburse you $9.00.
Besides these two choices, you can also opt for insurance. Most moving companies aren’t licensed to sell your insurance directly, but often you can arrange for third-party insurance with your current provider or another one that fits you and your movers’ needs.
In the event that things go terribly wrong, movers are required by law to inform you of arbitration processes that they must comply with. This is usually a last resort for movers and their customers.
We know it’s not fun to plan for the worst, and we hope your move goes smoothly, but like most things, it’s best to be prepared!