For those utilizing a moving company for a significant move, insurance coverage will be an important consideration. There are a few relevant terms that you may hear in this area, including what’s known as valuation.
At Mesa Moving and Storage, we’re happy to help with a wide range of residential moving services in Boise and surrounding areas, including high-value items that may require significant insurance coverage. What do we or other professional movers’ factor in when considering insurance coverage and moving valuation, and what do you need to know about it before getting started? Here’s a primer.
What is Moving Valuation?
A moving valuation is an estimate of the value of property such as a single-family house, which might be put on record when your possessions are moved to document their actual value in case they’re ever lost or stolen. In some cases, depending on state laws and insurance rules, it may also cover damage that occurs in transit.
In many cases, a moving valuation must be requested by the homeowner. For some types of property, it may also be required according to local laws and regulations.
In addition, though this is not always the case, a moving valuation is sometimes used in conjunction with a moving inventory for larger moves. In these cases, the moving company may conduct an inventory of all furniture, personal property and belongings in the home. It may then document any important information about each item, such as make, model or serial number in case there’s any loss or damage later on.
All this documentation can help with insurance claims later on if there is any kind of loss that occurred during transit. With a moving inventory, for example, if a piece of furniture is damaged in transit it’s much easier to make an insurance claim.
Levels of Protection
In particular, the US government requires every moving company to offer two specific levels of protection to clients:
- Released valuation: Also known as basic carrier liability, this is the most basic form of coverage. It mandates that for anything lost or damage during a move, the moving company must reimburse you at 60 cents per pound per article.
- Full valuation protection: Also known as full value coverage or full replacement value, this type of insurance mandates that if you file a damage or loss claim, the moving company must pay for repairs or replacement to actual cash value. This is often mandated by government moves and storage services. It may also be mandated in some cases for high-end personal moves. The cost of this valuation is usually around 5-6% of the total weight of your shipment.
For most moves, it will be necessary for you to select one of these two levels of coverage. If you are being charged extra for the second level, this is because your possessions may have more value than usual or there may be certain high-value items that need additional protection during a move.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you need additional security and not necessarily replacement value, there may be other types of insurance available as well. For example, for high-value art collections or antique furniture, art or antiques insurance may offer additional coverage options.
This type of insurance is different from a moving company’s standard insurance, which will cover the equipment and vehicles used to move your products and belongings. Moving valuation or art/antique insurance doesn’t necessarily cover this sort of damage, though sometimes an adjustment can be made if it’s related to a loss that occurred.
In other cases, you may have the option of declaring the value of your moving items rather than basing valuation on the weight of the shipment. Most moving companies will allow you to do this if the value of your items is extremely high (over $100,000). However, there are usually limits of $100 per pound here unless you’ve specifically arranged otherwise.
If you do not place a declared value on the shipment, however, the maximum liability taken on by the moving company will be $6.00 per pound times the weight of your shipment, at a minimum value of $6,000.
Before purchasing coverage for moving valuation, you should go over your homeowner’s insurance policy in detail. Depending on your insurance company and the level of coverage you have, you might be eligible for riders for relocation protection. There are cases where you can get separate relocation coverage directly from your insurance company.
Is Moving Valuation Worth It?
It’s fairly standard to have at least some level of moving insurance coverage when you’re getting ready for a move. The value that this sort of protection offers is primarily peace of mind.
This will depend on several factors and should be discussed directly with your insurer before making any moves. Valuation is something that can increase the cost of a move, so you may want to reconsider.
Additionally, if your belongings are not extremely valuable (or valuable at all), then paying for additional valuation coverage might not be worth the expense. On the flip side, moving valuation coverage is often beneficial in cases where you have many high-value items.
For a deeper understanding of valuation and insurance options when moving your residence, please refer to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration pamphlet.
To learn about any of our moving services in Boise or nearby locations, speak to the staff at Mesa Moving and Storage today.