UNDERSTANDING INSURANCE

Liability insurance, cargo insurance, valuation, bonded, in-house guarantee, and 60 cents per pound. ??Trying to understand moving insurance can drive you nearly crazy. ??It is complicated. ??People think that they are covered only to find out that the movers insurance does not cover this or that; or worse yet, that they only have protection at 60 cents per pound. ??There is much to consider before the first box is loaded onto the moving truck.

 

60 cents per pound is the industry standard that is mandated by government. ??Every licensed moving company has this basic coverage.

 

Cargo insurance covers your household goods while in transit, meaning, while your furniture is in the truck and on the road. ??Cargo insurance includes theft, accidents, fire, et cetera.

 

Liability insurance covers damage to your home and/or if someone got hurt by the actions of the movers. ??Example: ??the moving truck backed into your house. ??This does not cover flooding by faulty plumbing in your laundry room. ??That would be your homeowners insurance. ??The condition of a house???s plumbing is always the responsibility of the home owner.

 

???Bonded??? covers any property that was stolen by the crew. ??Most service companies are bonded. ??This is the same kind of bonded that cable guys, maids, and movers have. ??The bond will only pay if there is an actual conviction. ??It is much better to use a mover that has quality crews in the first place. ??Ask if the company does a thorough background check and drug screenings.

 

Valuation is like insurance, but without the underwriter. ??You pay the mover a premium, and if there is a damaged item, you pay a deductible before the movers repair or replace the damaged item. ??This is a common additional service with the national van lines. ??Valuations can be a good deal under the right circumstance.

 

Actual furniture insurance is rare in the moving business, but it is available; normally through a third party. ??You buy a policy, pay a premium, and if something gets damaged, you make a claim and pay the deductible. ??The adjuster is sent to your house to handle the repairs or offer you a settlement.

 

If you own anything of extraordinary value, you should buy supplemental insurance on a per item basis. ??People with art or antiques valued over $10,000 normally buy or already have this type of per appraised item insurance.

 

The in-house policy or guarantee is a company policy not backed by an insurance company. ??Some reputable moving companies offer to repair or replace anything that their movers happen to damage. ??Moving companies with poor or inexperienced crews simply cannot offer this kind of guarantee, and hide behind the 60 cents per pound industry standard. ??The movers that repair or replace anything that their movers damage typically do itemized moves. ??Crews with the skill that comes from experience, and have a record of minimal or no damages, prefer to work for a moving company that charges for what is actually done. ??Not how long the move takes. ??In the moving industry, hourly movers and 60 cents per pound insurance go hand-in-hand.

 

In review, make sure that the moving company that you hire is licensed, bonded, and has both cargo and liability insurance. ??For small damages that are typical of a household move, get a moving company that has an in-house guarantee to repair or replace anything that their crew happens to damage. ??Not only will it be easier to settle a claim, the crew will be of much better quality, so you probably won???t have any damages to worry about.

 

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About Jack Grant

I got my start in the moving industry as a driver for a budget apartment mover. I owned my own one ton pick-up truck, or should I say, Bank of America owned the truck. It was a hot summer and I made ok money. It didn???t take long before I started having problems with this company. Nothing affected me directly, not at first. I showed up at 6 am, hitched my truck to a trailer, picked up my move tickets for the day, and kept to myself. Then I started having problems with the way the company treated its customers, as well as, some of its movers. There were days I was overbooked, and could not get to all the jobs on time. There was also moves that were underbooked. Customers were given a low price just to get their business, then on move day they would be over charged on additional items that they wanted moved. I would arrive at a $600 move, call in the additional furniture only to find the move price to be doubled, but there didn???t seem to be twice the amount of items. The real problem I saw from the customer's point of view was what kind of crew they got. It was the luck of the draw. I considered myself to be a professional, treating the customers??? furniture with the same respect that I would want to receive if I was the one being moved. It seemed that they would hire anyone that could pull their trailers; no experience, no background checks, no drug tests, no English, no ethics???no problem. I started to feel out of place. I remember that one of their drivers lost a trailer on the highway. The budget apartment mover tried to make him pay for all the damages, even though it was a worn out trailer hitch that was to blame. The equipment was not properly maintained. After three months pulling for the budget apartment mover, I resigned and went to work for a local independent moving company. The trailers were well maintained, as well as, the moving equipment. The quality of the movers was a lot better too. I worked there as a driver for a little over three years. In 2001 my friend started a moving company, a new kind of moving company. A moving company with upfront pricing, an instant online quoting system, and online testimonials. In 2001, no one that I knew had an online message board for folks to post their comments or an actual instant online quoting system. Email forums were all that was used and is still the standard in most moving companies to this day. ???We will get most of our business from repeat customers and referrals if we set the benchmark for quality,??? he told me. I started at MoveCo.net as a driver in spring 2001, just in time for the moving season. Soon I was running packing crews, and doing onsite bids as well. MoveCo did not have a sales force; the drivers did all the in-home estimates; Having the actual driver do the bid eliminated lots of misunderstandings. I became proficient at everything from crating nine foot sailfish, to moving grand pianos. I was able to see the country, moving folks coast to coast. I have met a lot of interesting and good people along the way. MoveCo.net is proof a good deal of stress and all the horror stories can be eliminated with fair pricing, quality service, and no misunderstandings. MoveCo started adding box trucks to the fleet early on. Box trucks were more capable and I always felt gave a better image. I started going to the industry conference and discovered there really is a wide range of moving companies and service levels. The budget apartment movers might be a step up from a guy and a rental truck off craigslist, but on the other end of the spectrum you have the National Van Lines and top notch independents. In the moving business you are only as a good as your reputation. MoveCo has built that reputation over the last 15 years. I am proud to be a part of the MoveCo family. I hope you find this information in this blog useful. I may not be a professional writer, but I am a professional mover with over 18 year???s experience.