What Those Moving from Dallas Ought to Consider about the Valuation of Their Belongings.

The valuation of possessions being trucked in any transfer of a person, family, or business from Dallas to another locale – or from anywhere to anywhere – is stringently regulated by the federal government.

man putting books in a moving boxYes, in most cases, your moving company is legally liable for any loss or destruction of your possessions at any time during the haul. It’s also liable for loss and damage while its crews are physically touching your items in fulfillment of any other Dallas moving services you selected. Such services should be described on the bill of lading: packing, unpacking, disassembly and reassembly, for instance.

There are, however, limits to your moving company’s liability. Those limits are established by the federal Surface Transportation Board’s Released Rates Order. You can get your hands on a current copy of it here.

The important thing is, know what choices are available to you for the protection of your belongings. And know your Dallas moving company. Just because a mover puts it out that his firm is “fully insured and bonded” is no guarantee that your possessions themselves are automatically covered. Also, your local mover being associated with a major national van line is no assurance that you’re protected either. In both events, you could be forced to buy additional third-party liability insurance. Your mover may offer to sell it to you, but he has no legal obligation to sell it to you. Ask questions when you first talk in order to learn  exactly what’s what.

Keep this in mind when you’re researching your various avenues here in Dallas: Two different levels of moving-company liability are relevant to interstate moves – Full Replacement-Value Protection and Waiver of Full Replacement-Value Protection, or Released Value.

 A-1 Freeman Moving Group Dallas Moving Terms Infographic

 

Without doubt, Full Replacement-Value Protection affords you the most comprehensive coverage. But choosing it means your move costs will rise. With this measuer of liability (subject to allowable exceptions in your mover’s tariff), your mover will either arrange for whatever repairs are needed to reinstate a damaged article to the condition it was in when you first turned it over to him and his crew … or he’ll don’t mind paying a higher price. No matter what valuation you and your mover come to terms with, it must be included in your mover’s tariff. Note also that movers are authorized to limit their Full Replacement-Value liability for loss or damage of pieces valued exceptionally high. Those would be goods valued at $100 or more per pound, such as jewelry, antiques, silverware, china, oriental rugs, and the like. Seek further details on all this from your mover. Ultimately, though, it lies with you to declare accurately.

If you opt to go with a Waiver of Full Replacement-Value Protection, or Released Value, you will, of course, be getting minimal liability protection. But it won’t cost you a cent. What this degree of protection does is limit your mover’s liability to no more than 60 cents per pound, per article. Obviously, that won’t give you enough of a reimbursement to replace any piece valued above 60 cents per pound! Things like stereo equipment, gym equipment, computer hardware, and computer software are therefore considerably more at risk. That’s something to ponder before you sign on the dotted line!

You could, however, have one additional option: your current homeowner’s policy. Take a look at it and get together with your insurance agent to discover if there’s anything in it regarding coverage of goods during a relocation. If there is, you could find the minimum level of mover liability coverage – Released Value – acceptable.

Just make sure you’re clear about what level of protection your moving company is including in his quote: Full Protection or Released Value. That way, you should be totally prepared for nearly anything your move throws at you!

 

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