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Moving Coverage vs Moving Insurance: Myths and Facts

As you know and probably feel any move is a stressful thing. Besides running errands changing billing and mailing address you may need to look for another school for your kids, look for a new gym and a new favorite coffee shop in a new neighborhood. Of course you need to find a moving company you can trust to move your valuable goods to a new place… to move them safely! Thinking and overthinking about this matter adds extra stress to people. Here are at Got2Move we believe that relieving you from such stress starts with our commitment to provide you as much accurate information about moving insurance and coverage options as possible; so, you could decide which moving company to hire and which option to choose to cover possible losses during the move.

My items are already 100% covered if I hired a ‘fully insured and licensed‘ moving company

This is simply not true. In reality, licensed moving companies in California as well as in the majority of other US states must provide the valuation coverage of $0.60 per pound per article at no extra charge for every move. This minimum coverage for lost or damaged items is based on 60 cents times the weight of the article. For example, if a 100-pound item (even if it is worth $2,000) gets lost or damages during a move, a moving company must pay $0.60 x 100 = $60. So, even though you are goods are covered during a move (if you hire licensed movers), the value is not covered up to 100%. Got2Move helps you to replace most people’s wrong perception with our expertise and knowledge. Please invest some time now in reading this article to save more time in the future.

Moving companies can’t sell moving insurance polices anywhere in the US

Instead, they may provide different valuation coverage options. Intrastate moving companies in California must provide a Basic ($0.60 per pound per article) Coverage at no additional charge. Also the companies may provide either an Actual Cash Value or Full Value Protection coverage options at their own discretion. Any company in the US performing interstate moves must provide their clients an option for Full Value Protection coverage; however, companies moving goods within California don’t have to do so. Unlike most California movers, Got2Move offers Full Value Protection coverage for its clients.

There are good movers out there who never damage anything.

Accidents happen even to the most careful moving companies. In the same way that people get health insurance coverage to safeguard their personal health, this is where a third-party insurance or Full Value Protection coverage can help them to feel calmly until their goods are safely delivered. We would lie to you if were to say that Got2Move employees have never damaged anything. It simply impossible to do thousands of moves for more than a decade and have no damages at all. What differs us from other movers is that

1) we honestly explain people the details how moving insurance and valuation coverage work
2) we offer Full Value Protection in-house
3) we take extra steps to improve our flaws if we are at fault.
Tip: when choosing a moving company ask them directly how they handle any damages and if they provide Full Value Protection.

Insurance company is responsible for the damaged goods

Neither a moving company nor a third-party insurance company is responsible for the damaged goods if they were packed by an owner and no outside physical damages were indicated and documented upon delivery. Unless a damaged box packed by an owner shows significant damage, you are not likely to be covered for damage to anything inside the box. Read our self-packing tips here to reduce the risks of damages to your boxes.

It is possible to get your things covered up 100% of the value.

Read further, please.

Moving Insurance and Valuation Coverage Options

1. Commonly Referred By Movers Specialized in Moving Insurance Companies: Baker and Movinginsurance.com (Got2Move DOES NOT Recommend These Options.)

As stated before many moving companies do not offer Full Value Protection valuation coverage option. As a rule such companies would advertise themselves as ‘fully licensed and insured’ claiming that ‘your goods are all covered.’ Well, yes, they are covered… $0.60 per pound.

The difference between us and those moving companies is that here at Got2Move we explain you what that ‘all covered’ means. Eventually, if you decide that you might need an extra coverage thus ask that companies directly about other options most likely you will be referred to one of the 3 companies:

2. Renters and Homeowners Insurance. Third-Party Moving Insurance Options.

Start by calling your current home insurance provider if you have one. Some renters and homeowners include coverage for moves; in some cases you will be able to add on moving coverage to your existing policy. If your current provider doesn’t offer insurance for your relocation, several reputable national companies should be able to help you. You may want to call ‘your’ insurance company – the one you may have your vehicle covered with.

Got2Move strongly recommends exploring this option. However, please, be very careful reading terms of agreements.If the shipper chooses a third party to get an insurance coverage for his/her goods, it is the shipper’s responsibility to follow the instructions and terms of agreement provided by the chosen insurance company. In a case if the insurance company may require the company to handle any items in a specific way, the shipper must contact the company prior to the moving date to check if such requests may be accommodated or not.

3.  Basic Coverage.

This option is required to be offered for each move in California by law. It offers only minimal protection at no additional cost. Claims for losses or damages are based on the item’s weight multiplied by $0.60 per pound. In a case of a 200-pound gets damaged or lost, the company will pay 200 lbs x $0.60 per lb = $120.

4.  Full Value Protection (FVP.)

With this valuation option, if any article is lost, destroyed or damaged while in the hands of the Got2Move employees, the company at its own discretion, offers to do one of the following for each item:

  • repairing it
  • replacing it with a similar item
  • making a cash settlement for the cost of the repairs or the current market value

Under this option, the company is permitted to limit its liability for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value unless the shipper specifically lists these articles on the shipping documents. An article of extraordinary value is any item whose value exceeds $100 per pound (such as jewelry, silverware, china, furs, antiques). 

Declared value has to be realistic and supported by the inventory list and other documentation (original invoice, receipt or current price value for the damaged item.) For example, if the whole shipment is worth $40,000 but the shipper declares only $20,000 the company’s insurance company may not fully satisfy a claim. 

The FVP price options (as of March 2018) are:

  • $1.75 per each $100 of declared value with no deductible
  • $0.45 per each $100 of declared value with $250 deductible
  • $0.25 per each $100 of declared value with $500 deductible 

Minimum declared value has to be $10,000.

Maximum declared value is $50,000 per each truckload.

Packing has to be done by the company’s employees and company materials, in order to get coverage. 

If the shipper needs storage-in-transit service (SIT) up to 90 days, then FVP will be calculated twice for two different moves (the first one from the pickup location to the company’s storage; the second time for the move from the company’s storage to the delivery location); in addition, FVP for the goods being in the company’s storage will be applied at the rate of $0.25 per each $100 of the declared value with no deductible; $0.10 per each $100 of the declared value with $250 deductible; and $0.05 per each $100 of the declared value with $500 deductible. FVP can’t be obtained for the goods stored in the company’s storage for more than 90 days.

The company may deny providing FVP for some items. A few instances of such cases are

  • the item has preexisting damages at the pickup
  • the furniture to be moved is antique
  • any plants will not be covered
  • simulated wood furniture which includes particle board furniture, pressed wood furniture etc. (IKEA furniture is the most popular example of this kind of furniture.)

CONCLUSION

Be on the lookout for shady moving insurance companies that are happy to sell you a moving coverage but will not process your claim. Take your time to read the terms of agreement and search online for reviews for each specific insurance company you consider to work with.

Be careful and cautious choosing a moving company as well:

  • Check if the company is licensed at cpuc.ca.gov/tmis (California movers only)
  • Ask what the insurance terms for the move are.
  • Ask if the company would dispatch their own employees or subcontractors.
  • Ask what kind of documents the company will sign.
  • Ask about any possible fees the company may charge for a describe upcoming move.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING I CAN DO TO PROTECT MY VALUABLES?

  •  Hire Got2Move.  Please note that no matter which moving coverage option you choose Got2Move employees will be extremely careful with your boxes and furniture. We will use moving equipment and supplies ensure good quality moving service. We try to be very reasonable at each and every step working with our customers. In fact, we have very low number of claims. We are in business to work with you but not working you.
  • Use brand new boxes of high quality for packing if you decide to pack boxes yourself.
  • Hire Got2Move to pack your valuables. This will provide you with the top level of coverage, if you get a moving insurance through a third party or pay us for FVP.