Might be the most problematic and misunderstood part of any moving contract. You can buy three levels of insurance/valuation coverage:
Is the minimum coverage required by law, and is included in the base price. You will receive 30 cents per pound (60¢ per pound if moving long distance) for any lost or damaged item. While this coverage is better than nothing, limited liability insurance places your more valuable objects at a greater risk. For example, if your mover were to drop an antique crystal glass that weighs half a pound, all limited liability insurance would pay is 15 or 30 cents. If the moving truck disappears into the mist and is never seen again, the most the insurance company would ever pay is the legal maximum, $2,500.
Lump Sum Value...
Coverage requires that you declare how much each of your items is worth. Based on this valuation, you pay a premium that is generally less than 1% of the value covered. For example, if the value of your shipment is more than $1.25 per pound, you pay $7 per $1,000. Therefore, the premium for a 4,000 pound shipment valued at $5,000 would be $35.
Full Value Protection...
is the Rolls-Royce of insurance coverage. This policy guarantees that the insurance company will replace any article that is lost or damaged beyond repair with either a like item or a cash settlement. Any cash settlements made will be in the amount of the current market replacement value. The exact cost for full value protection varies from mover to mover.
Check your homeowner's insurance. Some policies cover property in transit.
Consider purchasing short-term insurance that covers the move if your property is very valuable.
Unlike most property insurance, valuation does not automatically pay for any damage. It must be clearly shown that the mover was responsible for the damage.
Items in boxes not packed by the mover are not covered, unless the outside of the carton provides clear evidence that the entire box was damaged during the move.
The mover is responsible for any electronic item that does not function after the move only if there is clear evidence that the item was dropped or mishandled during the move.
The customer has nine months after the move to file an initial claim against the mover.
The mover is legally obligated to acknowledge any claim within 30 days and to resolve it or offer a settlement within 120 days.
The customer is legally responsible to pay for the move, even when claiming extensive damages. The customer must go through the claims process to receive compensation for any damages.
If a settlement cannot be reached, the customer either can sue the mover or seek arbitration.
Check with your Better Business Bureau; often it will be able to provide you with a company's track record in handling claims.
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