Accidents, loss or stolen goods can happen to even the most careful and precise home owner or professional moving company. Getting insurance on your goods while relocating is your best protection. However, if you are not familiar with some common insurance terms, you might end up buying too much or too little to cover your needs.
Most moving companies provide valuation. It is part of the contract at no extra fee. Don’t be confused. This is not insurance. Valuation is a pre-determined limit of liability that is listed on your moving contract or on your Bill of Lading. Valuation is broken down into three main categories:
- Declared Value – The value of your possessions based on the total weight of a shipment and multiplied by a stated amount per pound.
- Assessed Value – This is also sometimes called a lump sum value. If your goods are valuable but don’t weight much, you can assess a value to the items and buy insurance for a specific amount.
- Full Value Protection – This covers damaged and lost items. The coverage usually pays for repairing or replacing the goods once it has met any deductible or minimum coverage requirements.
Pay close attention to the value that is placed on your items. The amount that the items are assessed at when the moving van door is shut is the maximum amount of liability the moving company will be required to pay out should anything happen to make you file a claim. Before your boxes are loaded onto that van, be sure you understand what kind of insurance you have and that you have a detailed list and pictures of any valuable items.
Your first course of action is to be sure you list all of your original inventory in great detail before it is loaded on the truck. Check with your home owner’s insurance to determine if your household items are covered during a move. Some policies will cover a percentage of your personal property value on loss or damaged items. Ask your moving company or personal home owner’s insurance agent about Goods in Transit insurance.
Hopefully it will not come to this, but the real test of how good the insurance is will be discovered if you have to make a claim. Most claims need to be submitted within nine months after completion, and the mover must acknowledge that they received your claim within thirty days or deny it within 120 days upon receipt of the claim. The best rule of thumb is to report any damage or loss as soon as you discover it.