Moving Valuation and Claims: How Does it Work?

Moving is stressful on a good day — without any extra considerations — but when you hire a moving company you can trust to transport your household goods with care, you reduce your level of anxiety for any residential or commercial move. If you have been calling around to a few movers, you may have heard some of them advertising that they are “insured.”

When you go with a legitimate, licensed moving company, you are given a few different options when it comes to valuation so you are able to select the coverage that fits your needs best.

So what is moving valuation, what does it cover and not cover, and is it worth it for you to secure full value protection for your move?

Moving Valuation

Moving valuation is essentially coverage for items that have been lost, destroyed, or damaged during your move. This is the carrier’s maximum level of liability. The federal government says that all licensed moving companies must offer two levels of protection for the value of the items they carry when moving household goods from one home to another.

Released Valuation: Free

Also known as “basic carrier liability,” released valuation means anything lost or damaged during the move must be reimbursed by the moving company at 60 cents per pound per article, according to Moving.com. So while the company is liable for lost or damaged goods, in the end, this doesn’t cover anywhere near the actual value of the lost or damaged items. Most moving companies include the released valuation option in their base rates at no additional cost to the customer.

Full Replacement Value: 5% to 6% of Total Weight

An option that comes at a higher cost but that offers more protection is known as “full replacement value. With this option, your possessions are covered for their current replacement value, based on a value of $6 per pound and a minimum shipment value of about $6,000, according to Relocation.com. Multiply the weight of your shipment by $6 to determine the carrier’s maximum liability in case of loss or damage. So, let’s say you have a shipment that weighs 10,000 pounds…the carrier’s max liability for loss or damage will be $60,000.

The cost of this valuation is usually between five and six percent of the weight of your shipment.

Separate Liability Coverage: Variable

To be clear, valuation is not insurance. That being said, many movers offer insurance coverage on top of the valuation options that are called for by the federal government. The costs and amounts of coverage as part of these plans depend on the state you’re in and the individual moving company’s policy.

Declared Value and Other Considerations

If your move contains items that are of very high value, you will want to declare the value of your total shipment. Talk to your mover about the valuation options available to you. Keep in mind, the moving company’s liability for items of high value is limited to $100/pound unless you tell the mover in writing prior to the move that those items are to be included in the shipment. If you fail to place a declared value on your shipment, the mover’s max liability is limited to $6/pound multiplied by the weight of your shipment.

Relocation Valuation

Before purchasing any coverage from the moving company, always check your homeowner’s insurance policy. Depending on the level of homeowner’s insurance you have and the source, your policy could have riders for relocation protection. Or, they could provide separate relocation coverage that’s a much better value than anything you can get from the moving company.

Is Moving Valuation Worth It?

It all comes down to the value of your move and belongings, and how willing you are to accept risk. Most people don’t need moving valuation for an average move, but if you have high-value items, it can’t hurt to obtain an extra level of coverage.

Contact Moving Proz

To learn more about moving valuation and to book your move, contact us in Overland Park, Lawrence or Kansas City.