Insurance in the moving industry is referred to as cargo protection. Moving companies do not "sell insurance", only insurance companies do that. What moving companies offer you is an option to be compensated for certain losses or damage that may occur while in transit. They are accepting a degree of liability in return for a premium paid. The moving company simply asks you if you want to be protected under their policy or not and to what degree.
Lost items are NEVER a concern when you use our services since your goods are never unloaded from our trailer until it arrives at your new home. We never mix loads (put your goods on the same trailer with someone else's) for the purpose of reducing the cost of your move without your prior approval. Damages do occur from time to time, however, and for this reason companies in the USA are required to carry "standard" basic coverage. This coverage is calculated at a rate of .60 cents per pound per article. For example, if damage or loss occurs to an item weighing 50 pounds occurs, then the carriers (movers) liability is $ 0.60 x 50 lbs. = $ 30.00. This "basic'" coverage is included FREE OF CHARGE. There may be other amounts of coverage that are available upon request. Many times a person's homeowners insurance would provide adequate protection in this situation and rather than sell you protection you don't need, we would like to help you explore these possibilities first.
If you choose to do your own packing, you relieve the mover, in most cases, from any liability for those items you packed. Upon examination a person will see that this is a fair practice. A mover and it's insurance company can not insure contents of boxes that they have never seen. They also don't know if the contents were packed properly. The general rule is, if you pack it (or unpack it), you nullify any insurance coverage.
An exception to this rule would be if obvious mishandling on our part caused the damages, the coverage would still be in force. Having said that...normal jostling during transit is not considered mishandling.
There are things that are not insured, even if you pay for coverage. An example would be jewelry. Best to pack them up and take them with you. Other items not normally insured are coins, stamps and documents. Other collectibles may be in this group as well so if in doubt talk to our agent about them. "Sentimental" value is nice but definitely not insurable. For example, A photograph will be insured up to the cost of the film. The same goes for software or data. These items are intangible and therefore not covered, so back up your hard drive before moving!
Generally, the mover does not cover the interior workings of appliance, televisions, stereos, etc. unless the mover does some obvious physical damage to the piece. If the item was handled properly and something does not work after the move, it would not be the responsibility of the mover.
Sets of furniture and appliances are not covered. That is, if you have a matching couch, love seat and chair and the chair gets ripped, the mover is only liable to repair or replace the damaged piece. They are not responsible to do anything with the other pieces, even though they may not match perfectly after, repair, recovering or replacement of the one piece.
You will have to declare items of extraordinary value. For example, if the movers are taking your car, they will need a value for the car. You may have a painting or a sculpture worth a fair amount. The idea is that despite all the cargo coverage, there will be a limit on the amount the insurance company will pay out on one given item. Ask your moving consultant what the limit is. If you have any items that exceeds this value, then you must declare those items. The item(s) of extraordinary value will be noted on the bill of lading and arrangements will be made to assure coverage.
Do not pack and item classified as dangerous goods. If a damage resulted from a dangerous good, your insurance would be void. You would not even get $ 0.60 per pound. Ask your moving consultant where your local disposal site is.