Even with the best precautions, things sometimes happen when you move. Perhaps your dresser got scratched, or your glass table top broke. Fairprice Movers has one of the best reputations in the industry, but even we occasionally make a mistake. What happens next depends on you, and is probably the most misunderstood aspect of the moving industry.
Do Movers Cover Full Replacement Value?
On its face, the moving industry is pretty much like the Post Office or any shipping company. It’s our job to deliver items from one place to another. Now, let’s say you mail, for example, an expensive painting, and the painting is damaged, the maximum the Post Office will give you is $100, unless you purchase additional insurance.
While that may not sound fair, it makes perfect sense if you think about it. Even if your package is professionally packed by a Post Office employee, they have no way to verify the value of what’s inside the package, and the small shipping fee won’t even come close to covering the cost of the painting.
Similarly, moving companies have limited liability. Federal law and many state laws mandate that a mover is liable for just $.60 per pound. That means if that same painting gets broken, and it weighs 10 pounds, the customer would receive $6.00.
What Can a Moving Customer Do?
After reading that last paragraph, you’re probably about ready to throw up your hands and cancel the whole thing altogether, but there’s good news. As with the Post Office and every other shipping service, you can purchase insurance. Most moving companies offer third party full replacement value coverage.
You might be able to purchase a policy for your move through your homeowner’s insurance company (most homeowners and renters policies do not cover moves without purchasing an additional rider).
At Fairprice Movers, we work with Baker International. Baker International specializes only in moving insurance. Their policies are underwritten by A++ Superior insurance companies, so they always make good on their promises. Their coverage starts at about 1% of the value you declare, with varying deductibles.
While that may sound a little expensive, it’s a bargain compared to having to replace your valuable goods. That being said, you may not need to have 100% coverage. The odds of an entire shipment being damaged is very low, and even if that were to happen, some items might not be worth the insurance. It’s up to you.
What if I don’t Want to Purchase Insurance?
Many moving customers decline purchasing extra insurance, and that is their right. Just know that if something does happen, you will receive just $.60 per pound per item.
How do I Make a Claim?
If you choose not to purchase third party insurance, you can start the claims process by going to www.MovingClaims.net. After you fill in the information (which must match the bill of lading given to you by your moving foreman,) you will receive an email. If you’d like to contact them by telephone, you can call 1-800-513-6060 – Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM; Eastern Standard Time.
What if My Home is Damaged?
This is where it gets confusing. Baker International does not cover damage to your home, either inside or out, and movers have no liability at all. However, your homeowners or renters insurance probably covers damage by movers. Contact them before the move to see what kind of coverage you have.
Fairprice Movers takes our reputation very seriously, and if there is something we can do to repair an item, we will. We will also do anything in our power to support you with Baker International or your insurance company.
Insurance by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images