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Keeping it Simple

According to the US Census Bureau, about 43 million Americans move each year. In fact statistics have shown that the average American is likely to move at least 12 times in their lifetime.

Last updated June 30, 2016
  • Understanding Moving Insurance

    Better to be Safe than Sorry

    You can search for the best movers that money can buy, but you can never truly be safe from accidents and unexpected events. Like it or not, there are some instances when goods may get damaged, lost or broken during shipping and transport. To protect your assets, you can choose to avail of moving insurance that will at least give the movers some liability over your belongings.


    Types of Insurance that You Can Avail:

    • Basic Carrier LiabilityCarriers are required by the law to offer insurance but only for a limited amount. According to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) moving companies’ basic coverage can only cover ($0.60) sixty cents per pound per article when the relocation happens from one state to another. Local moves are a different story because each state has their own set of guidelines. To give you an idea, a local move’s basic insurance coverage is on average ($0.30) thirty cents per pound per article. For you to be sure, it’s best to check with your local government agencies to check just how much basic insurance you can get.
    • Declared Value ProtectionWhen it comes to Declared Value Protection, your mover will be held liable for the entire shipment at an agreed amount that is usually equal to $1.25 per pound times the weight. Should the goods get damaged during shipping and transport, the settlement will be based on the depreciated value of the items. 
    • “Lump Sum” or Assessed ValueIf your household belongings do not weigh a lot but are of high value, you may want to consider getting this type of insurance. This is applicable for items of extreme value (antiques, art collections etc.).This kind of coverage is usually purchased based on $1000 increments. The breakdown should be recorded clearly on the moving contract of bill of lading.
    • Full Value InsuranceCustomers that with this type of insurance have the best coverage and the most comprehensive packages. They also usually carry a deductible. Full value insurance covers property that is lost, damaged and destroyed, inclusive of the cost needed to repair or replace them. However, it must be noted that this type of insurance is not available from moving companies. They are usually offered by third party insurance providers (such as Baker International Insurance).

    Some Tips Regarding Moving Insurance

    • Pack your items properly
      If you are going to pack your items yourself, make sure to do it properly. The first line of protection rests in your hands, way before it falls on the movers’. Basic carrier liability from your mover may not include the boxes that you will pack yourself so it’s a must to use padding and proper sealing procedures for your boxes.
    • Keep track of your possessions
      Make a comprehensive list of everything that you own. List down all of your furniture, electronics, as well as all the items stored inside boxes. You can also include the estimated value and weight of each item. Before signing anything during moving day, compare your list with the movers’ shipment list and make sure that they match. Double check everything! If you don’t know what you had to begin with, you won’t notice the difference if anything gets lost. 
    • Take lots of photos
      Aside from making a complete list, it’s also advisable to take photos of your critical possessions. Use a digital camera or even the one on your smartphone. Take as many angles as possible because this way, you have documented proof in case they argue that the chipped glass in your cabinet or the big scratch on your television was there when the movers came to your house. Your photos with digital date signatures can serve as your evidence.
    • Don’t sign!
      Never sign any document unless you’re sure that you understand every single thing that’s in it. The simplest and most harmless looking statements could spell trouble for you in case of an emergency. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or seek professional counsel.
    • For company-sponsored relocations
      If you’re moving due to a company mandate, make sure to check if your items are covered with insurance because most of the time, a company will not go to great lengths to protect the material possessions of an employee. It’s very likely that your items will only be assured of the least possible amount of coverage. If this is the case then you may want to avail of a better policy even it means paying for it yourself.
    • Get several insurance quotes
      Whether you’re getting additional insurance from the moving company of your choice or availing full coverage from a third party provider, make sure to get several quotes first before you decide (we suggest 3 to 5). This will give you a chance to compare their policies (and payment schemes) and eventually choose the best providers.

    Insurance is crucial for any relocation. Just think about how badly your life will be affected if your belongings get lost or damaged? If you value your possessions and see them as good investments, it’s probably a great idea to look into a comprehensive insurance coverage.

    Written By

    Expert Moving Advisor

    Ariane is a proficient moving advisor. She has experience in corporate, individual and special relocations, and is well-versed in coordinating moves, packing tips and shipment estimations.
    Ask me a Question
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