Protect Yourself from Moving Scams: Understanding Insurance and Valuation Protection

There are plenty of ways for an unscrupulous moving company to wring every single penny out of desperate families in the midst of a move. Moving scams continue to plague the industry.

With approximately one out of nine people changing residences in recent years, moving companies are receiving plenty of business nationwide. Most of these relocations go smoothly, with homeowners relocated without any issues.

However, there are still those moves that come with numerous complaints, and some households fall victim to moving scams.

To protect yourself and your loved ones from a moving scam, you need to understand the most common scams: in particular, those having to do with valuation and insurance protection.

The Issue with Valuation and Insurance Protection

Your personal belongings mean a lot to you, and there is a lot at stake when you allow a professional company to relocate those belongings for you. Your prized possessions, including family heirlooms, are packed away in a large semi-truck and will be hauled across town or the country.

While most moves go without issue or accident, there are instances where accidents occur. The moving company is liable for the value of goods you pay them to move, but that liability extends only as far as the level you choose. Protection and insurance offered through moving companies are one of the biggest scams.

Two Moving Protection Plans Governed by Federal Law

1. Full Value Protection

Full Value Protection makes the mover liable for replacing the value of any lost, stolen, or damaged goods in your move. This is an extensive plan overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If anything is lost, destroyed or damaged, the mover will offer to repair the item, replace it with a similar item, or make a cash settlement based on the value of that item.

The cost of Full Value Protection will vary depending on the mover, and you may be subjected to a deductible.

2. Released Value Protection

The federal government also regulates Released Value Protection, and it is offered at no additional fee to you. Under this plan, the mover assumes liability for no more than $0.60 per pound per article of items moved.

You are required to sign a statement on your contract agreeing to Released Value Protection, even if it is a free form of compensation.

Just remember that Released Value is very limited. If you have a ten-pound stereo unit worth $2,000, but it is damaged, the mover then pays only $0.60 per pound, which equates to $6.00 for your much more expensive unit.

Moving Companies and Third Party Insurance

Moving scams are notorious for offering secondary liability insurance. Federal law does not govern this insurance, and it is an optional insurance that is regulated by the state.

Working with a Reputable Company is Critical

Often working with a reputable, reliable moving company is all you need to avoid the standard moving and insurance scams. Excellent moving companies go above and beyond to protect customer belongings, and they will not hide the fees for insurance or try to reimburse items for pennies on the dollar.

For your next move, Sinclair Moving & Storage should be your first call. As agents for Mayflower Transit, our company offers professional moving services that treat your products as if they were our own.

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