Sending off personal belongings with a long distance moving company is usually safe when a person has contracted with a skilled, well-known moving company. Yet accidents do happen and even in the most careful of conditions, items can be damaged. To prepare for this possibility, it is important to have the proper long distance moving insurance in place. Nobody ever truly plans on their items being damaged; however, even the homeowner who takes every possible precaution to protect their belongings needs the ultimate protection that moving insurance provides in case the unexpected does happen.
Does A Moving Company Provide Insurance?
As required by the federal government, both local and long distance moving companies provide basic insurance coverage for the items they move. This basic coverage is offered to customers in two different ways:
Released Value Protection - This type of insurance is included in the moving fee and covers a loss at the rate of 60 cents per pound based on the weight of the moving load, regardless of the items and their actual value. This is the most basic coverage provided when no other insurance is requested.
Full Value Protection - This insurance coverage is also called full replacement protection. It is an additional coverage paid by the customer in the form of an additional fee, so that any loss is covered at the actual value of the item, rather than based on weight.
Understanding Full Value Protection
When a loss occurs and full value protection has been purchased, a customer receives much greater coverage than with released value protection. Still, there are important details and exclusions to know about. How a loss is dealt with is the decision of the moving company that may choose to either repair or replace the item, or reimburse it at its value before loss or damage occurred. So an item that is a few years old, yet still in like-new condition, will likely be reimbursed based only on its depreciated value, not for the cost of a brand-new item.
Additionally, local or long distance moving companies are not required to reimburse a customer for any items valued at more than $100 per pound. This includes things such as expensive jewelry, electronic equipment, and other high-dollar items, unless these items have been individually inventoried on the moving contract. This means that in order to obtain the complete coverage paid for when the full value protection policy was purchased , a customer must inventory all of their belongings item by item. Only by doing this can a customer ensure lost or damaged items will be appropriately covered.
Expanded Coverage Moving Insurance
If needed, it is usually possible to pay for additional coverage for specific items or general expanded coverage for the entire shipment. This must either be negotiated with the long distance moving company as expanded valuation, or obtained separately by the person moving in the form of a relocation insurance policy. Some homeowners insurance policies also provide coverage for moving; however, the coverage is usually minimal, which makes purchasing a moving insurance policy a worthwhile cost.
Homeowners must understand that certain items may be excluded from coverage. This often includes self-packed items or those stored in a facility not owned by the moving company. Excluded items may also be items that are damaged by natural disasters or other specific exclusions. For the safest transport of personal belongings by any long distance moving company, it is essential for customers to discuss insurance options with the moving company so they fully understand what is covered and for what amount and what is excluded. If the options offered by the long distance moving company do not provide enough protection, a customer can always reduce their risk with individually purchased moving insurance!