It seems that many people think that procuring moving insurance is only required for small and local moving because long distance carriers are already insured. To some degree, this is true however you might want to know the facts about long distance damage coverage before you decide on whether you want to buy additional insurance or not.
Law on Damages Caused on the Road
Long distance carriers are required by law to accept some degree of liability for damages caused on the road and have insurance to cover these damages, however, what most people do not know (often until it is too late)is that standard protection payment is issued at around .60 per pound. This is not really that much when you consider if damage or loss occurs to an item weighing 50 pounds, it would equal a payment of only $30.00. When that item happens to be a $1000.00 family heirloom, the compensation does not justify the means. Taking out your own moving insurance guarantees that you are covered whether you use a long distance mover or a small local company. When your goods are insurance damages are paid based on the original proven value and therefore your expensive items are covered in the event of loss or damage.
Here are some quick tips for protecting your valuables when moving:
- Ask the insurance agent to provide you the exact amount and type of insurance you want to have. Full coverage usually covers loss, theft or damage.
- Make sure all your valuable items are appraised and insured. Present receipts to prove that these items are expensive and need to be replaced exactly as they were. For items that are not covered by insurance try to make other arrangements such as bringing them yourself or shipping via. Your agent will notify you if certain items are not insurable.
- Make sure to label and box all your items. Take photos or a video of them before they leave the premises, in the box or container on the truck or van, and when they arrive at the final destination. In the event of any damage or loss, the insurance agent will have proof of damages incurred.
- Create an inventory of all boxes and its contents for verification purposes and have the moving company sign that they acknowledge these items are in fact in the boxes. This will help in the event of loss or theft of your goods.
File a Damage Claim
You must file a damage claim within a reasonable time period as explained on your insurance or moving contract. This prevents moving companies for being liable for damages incurred after moving. There is a claim date in effect and if you notice damages after this date and attempt to make a claim, you will not be compensated, even if it was caused by the moving company. Make note of this date. The best course of action to ensure your goods are safe when moving is to hire a reputable moving company and purchase additional insurance so you are guaranteed to be covered either way. Make sure to always purchase separate insurance for local or cheap movers as they are not necessarily required by law to have insurance, however, most of them are reputable and will have some. Always make sure to ask this question before signing a contract, but you also make sure to ask at what rate they will pay for damages. If it is only going to cost 10.00 to replace a box they might not care that the contents are 50.00 crystal glasses that your grandmother bought you for your wedding anniversary.