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Insuring Your Shipment

When planning your move, one of the most important items on the list after finding the best mover, is figuring out the amount of protection you may need for your relocation.

Movers are liable for damages or losses happened during performance of services associated with moving. However, the movers are liable to the extend provided by California Public Utilities Commission (for moves within California), or Surface Transportation Board (for interstate moves). Both agencies have the same basic level of protection requirement for movers.

All movers require to provide you with Basic Valuation Protection/Release Value at no cost to you, however it has very limited protection coverage over your items. To get more protection, you need to purchase additional Valuation Insurance from your mover, or from an insurance company. A reputable mover will do its best protecting your goods, however accidents happen and if you have articles of extraordinary value you need to make certain that you purchase the right amount of valuation protection.

Here are the different options of insurance available to moving customers:

- Basic Valuation/Release Value is a protection of your goods at 60 cents per pound per article. There is no extra charge for this level of protection, however if an article is damaged - the mover's liability is based on articles weight not its value. Example: a TV that is damaged weighs 50 lbs. The mover is liable for $30.00 only.

- Actual Cash Value is a replacement of articles at today's value, based on it today's fair market value.

- Full Value Protection (FVP) is the most comprehensive option for protection of goods. The damages accured while covered under this protection, the customer/shipper will get:

  • Article repaired to its working condition;
  • Replacement of the article with an article in kind; 
  • Payment for the replacement of the article.

Basic Valueation is FREE, it is included in the cost of any move.

Actual Cash Value is $0.95 per $100.00 of insurance coverage.

Full Replacement Value has three options:

   No Deductible  -    $1.65 per $100.00 of insurance coverage.

   $250 Deductible - $1.45 per $100.00 of insurance coverage.

   $500 Deductible - $1.10 per $100.00 of insurance coverage.

A mover can figure out the minimum protection for client's shipment. For smaller shipments the minimum FVP protection is $25,000. If the shipment size/weight is over 5,000 pounds (larger than a 2 bedroom condo), the minimum FVP protection is figured out by $5.00 per 100 lbs of shipment. Example: a shipment that weighs 9,000 lbs (3 bedroom or small 4 bedroom house) will require to get $45,000 coverage or greater. 

The cost of premium varies depending on deductible customer/shipper will choose. Most carriers/movers carry a maximum $500 deductible.

With this deductible premium multiplier is $1.10 (also varies) for $100 of insurance. $45,000 x 1.10 / 100 = $495.00 premium payment.

Customer can always choose higher level of coverage. 

Here is the section of Valuation Protection from Mover's Bill of Lading

(ZOOM IN to read fine print)

Valuation Local_001

Customer must fill out a list of items of extraordinary value:

  • Art effects,
  • Paintings,
  • Crystal,
  • Antiques

The list must be submitted and the amount of protection selected prior to commencement of the move. The boxes with fragile and items of extraordinary value must be packed by movers. As they need to inspect their condition prior to boxing them. 

The long distance movers (relocation over 100 miles or going out of state) will inventory all items and mark their condition on the inventory form. Make sure to inspect the forms and the notes made in them. Mover and customer will sign inventory forms. Customer needs to hold on to the copy of bill of lading and inventory forms until the delivery day.

At the delivery - inspect the condition of your items, especially on the extraordinary value list. If you find any damages or losses indicate them on the inventory forms, this will help you when you file an official claim.

Here is a not from PUC booklet (provided to moving customers)

Booklet Loss_Damage


 Booklet How_to_file_Claim

Booklet How_to_file_Claim_2