Relocating brings many opportunities. Among them is the opportunity of being able to fully inventory your belongings and determine their value.
Understanding the value of your belongings is critical for making sure you possess enough coverage from your insurance carrier in the event of fire, burglary or catastrophic event in your home. It is also important to know when moving. While safety and care of your belongings is one of our primary commitments, accidents can and do happen. For this reason, it is highly important that you understand the value of your belongings and the liability your mover or carrier is required to provide in these circumstances. After you have determined the value of your belongings, you have a number of options for placing value on your shipment depending on your move type.
Interstate (a move that crosses state lines)
The contract that you sign with your mover provides two (2) options for placing a value on your belongings. The value that you select sets the limit of your mover’s maximum liability for loss or damage to your goods. These optional levels of liability are not insurance agreements that are governed by state insurance laws, but instead are authorized under Released Rates Orders of the Surface Transportation Board of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Before you sign the contract (bill of lading) with your mover, you must decide how much your articles are worth and declare a value for your shipment.
Option A – Full Value Protection (FVP) or Maximum Value Protection (MVP) is the most comprehensive plan available for protection of your goods. When you select this option, articles that are lost, damaged or destroyed will, at the carrier’s option, be either repaired, replaced with articles of like kind and quality, or a cash settlement will be made for the repairs or for replacement of the articles at their current value, regardless of the age of the lost or damaged articles. Under this option, you have two choices for establishing the carrier’s maximum liability on your shipment:
- You can declare a value based on the weight of your shipment multiplied by an amount of not typically less than $6.00 per pound, or
- You can declare a higher lump sum amount (for example, $70,000).
An additional charge applies when you select this option (ask your Relocation Consultant for specific charges), but this higher level of valuation is much more likely to cover the value of your entire shipment and all of the articles included in your shipment.
Option B – Released Value of 60 Cents Per Pound Per Article is the most economical option available. This level of protection is provided at no additional cost; however, it only provides minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per article for loss or damage. This means that claims are settled based on the weight of the individual article(s) multiplied by 60 cents.
If a 10-pound stereo component valued at $1,000 were lost or destroyed, your mover would be liable for no more than $6.00 (10 pounds multiplied by 60 cents).
Obviously, you should think carefully before agreeing to such an arrangement. This value option is considerably less than the typical value of household goods. There is no additional cost for this minimal protection and you must make a specific statement on the bill of lading agreeing to it.