OOPS, something was broken during my move, what do I do now?
Although our crews work diligently to protect your belongings during transport, in some cases you may have something damaged or broken during a move. It is important that you notify one of the crew members, immediately during the move, so said damage can be noted. In the event the damage isn’t visible during the move, don’t panic. You have up to 3 days to notify us and file a damage claim.
In our industry, it is not typical for moving companies to provide you the in depth details of their policies and procedures for claims. For instance, when most moving companies tell you they are “insured”, this does not imply that your belongings are insured for transport in any way. Unless the company had given you a written valuation and with a separate insurance company, policy plan, and has named you as “additional insured” regarding goods being transported, you do not have an “insurance” plan. It is up to each moving company you deal with to provide compensation as they see fit. In other words, the reputation of any company being considered should be fully evaluated to insure they are taking care of their clients.
Damage claims are reviewed, accepted, and processed on a case by case basis. We are fully licensed and insured, however, the terms ‘licensed’ and ‘insured’ simply imply we have sufficient auto, general liability, and cargo coverage that the Department of Transportation requires. Most companies offer a 60¢ per lb. waiver and release for their standard moves. It is important to know that this type of coverage is not the same as full value replacement insurance. However, it is the most standard coverage in the moving industry because there are no additional fees to the client, descriptive inventory requirements, or value needed to be assigned to the move. Moving companies use these contracts to offset the huge amount of liability that the company faces while handling household items. For example: An average local move costs around $500. The average cost of a sofa set is around $1000.00. Multiply this liability by the rest of the typical household items and you can quickly see that the liability would far exceed not only the potential net profit, but would far surpass the gross charges. With the waiver and release, movers are able to balance the amount of liability to potential earned revenue. However, the result is that the customer is left with considerable exposure. Below are a few options of insurance coverage for your move:
Coverage Option 1 (we extend this coverage at no additional cost):
As mandated by the Department of Transportation, we offer the $0.60 per pound waiver and release (that is described above) for damages. Again, this is most common coverage throughout the moving industry. Like most companies, we extend this coverage at no additional cost. In any case this is not full coverage insurance. Although the standard coverage is 60¢ per lb., when a damage claim is accepted and processed, typically our company will have the damaged furniture piece repaired by a professional furniture repair company we contract. In the event an item cannot be repaired, a replacement piece can be purchased (in the same condition as the item damaged). Should an item be difficult to locate for replacement, our customer would be reimbursed for the item, as determined by fair market value (the amount expected at a local auction house).
In any case, claims of damage will not be entertained unless there is some visible damage/neglect apparent. This mostly applies to electronics as often older electronic components no longer work after the process of moving (example: DVD player worked properly prior to move, however isn’t working after your move, and there is no evidence of negligence, this item would not be covered). This can be due to the surges from “plugging and unplugging” into outlets and/or heat and exposure during transport (none of which would constitute negligence by the crew).
Claims on any furniture assembled from “particle board/wood” will not be accepted. Particle wood does not hold up over time, thus deteriorating during changes of humidity. The glue holding this wood together degrades over time as well. In addition, the cam locks typically used to hold multiple pieces together fail often.
Load Only Services: claims of damage on items transported via equipment NOT driven by our crew will not be entertained. This mainly refers to rental trucks (loading of).
Boxes: Please pack carefully. Any items packed in a box/container, that is NOT packed by one of our team members, that incurs damage, will not be covered.
Unload Only Services: Damage claims must be made on site at the time of unload.
Storage: If we are moving you in or out of a storage unit, damage claims must be made on site during the move.
Coverage Option 2:
The other coverage option would be to contact your personal homeowner’s/renters insurance carrier to inquire whether they offer coverage above the standard 60¢ per lb. coverage. If offered, this is typically done in the form of a rider added to the policy (the cost varies, however will typically fall between $50.00-$100.00).
These guidelines are in no way an attempt to avoid negligence on our mover’s part. We feel it extremely important to be transparent as these guidelines are in place to create an environment of honesty and integrity