Pray tell that your items will be delivered unscathed. However, there is always a risk that somehow, somewhere, some of the items you will be transporting will be lost or damaged. Will you be recompensed if it is not your fault?
You won’t have to think about this problem if you hire true professionals like Lowe’s or U-Haul. But in case the mover is not as professional as he claims he is, you need to arm yourself with the knowledge of your rights and how you can be recompensed for anything that happens to your belongings while they are being transported.
Here are some of the important things you need to know about your rights and how you can be compensated for any damage that happens to any of your household items.
1. Full (Replacement) Value Protection
That is, unless you choose an alternative level of liability. If any item is lost, damaged or destroyed while they are in the custody of the mover, he will either repair the item so that it can be restored to its original condition, or pay you for the cost of the repairs, or replace the item with the same item of similar type and quality, or pay for such a replacement.
This may or may cost you additional charges. If you don’t want additional charges, you can choose the alternative level of liability. The exact cost of full value protection depends on the mover and is subject to different deductible levels of liability. You need to ask your mover about the details of these things.
2. Alternative Level of Liability – released value of 60 cents per pound per article.
If you want the most affordable protection, this is what you need to consider. However, although it is an inexpensive option, it can only provide you minimal protection. Under this option, your mover will assume liability that will not exceed 60 cents per pound, per item.
In other words, loss or damage claims will be settled based on the weight of the article multiplied by 60 cents. For instance, if a 350-pound refrigerator with a value of $2,000 were damaged or lost, your mover will only recompense you for no more than $210. That is only equivalent to less than 10 per cent of its original value.
Therefore, if you really want to be protected, you should think twice before going into such an arrangement. You will not be charged with any extra fees, but the protection is very minimal.
But take note: if you do not accept this arrangement, your belongings will be under the full (replacement) value level of liability, which would incur additional charges.
3. Requirement for All Moving Companies
You should keep in mind that all moving companies are required by the government to assume liability for the value of the items that they transport. This is your right and no mover should claim that they are not liable for any damage that happens to your items.
Generally, there are two types of liabilities in moving, which is already explained above. But you need to know that these liabilities are not insurance agreements. They are not governed by state insurance laws, but are contractual tariff levels of the US Department of Transportation.
It is the responsibility of your mover to inform you about these alternatives. So, you need to ask him about their details before you sign your name on the moving contract.
4. Two Kinds of Quotes
In moving, there are two kinds of quotes that the mover will offer you: a non-binding offer, and a binding estimate.
A non-binding estimate means that the mover cannot require down payment of more than 10 per cent above his original estimate of the cost of moving. This is due within 30 days of delivery.
A binding quote is the guaranteed price for all the moving services including all the extra charges. Should you request additional services, the extra fee is due within 30 days of delivery.
5. Time Limit of Claims
If your mover has completed his delivery, you have only nine months to pursue your claim for any damaged or lost item. Within this nine-month period, you have to report any problems to the mover and file the appropriate insurance claim.
So, you need to really unpack every box that the mover has delivered. This is the only way you can determine if any of the items inside them are still there, or damaged.
Nine months can surely pass by faster than you think, especially if you lead a very busy life. So, don’t ignore this provision of the moving contract if you want to be recompensed for any damaged or lost item.