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The answer to that question can only be answered by YOU, the customer. Please review this page, in its entirety, for a detailed explanation.
Southeast Elite Movers is a member in good standing of the Florida Movers Association. As a result, all of the following information would be applicable when placing a value on your possessions, if and when you secure our relocation services.
You are relocating soon. You have qualified several movers. You have received your estimates and chosen your professional mover. Congratulations, your due diligence should result in a stress free move.
There is at least one more important factor you need to evaluate and be prepared to make a final decision on. That factor is known as “Declaration of Value”, “Declared Valuation” or “Limitation of Liability” in the moving industry and more specifically on the mover’s bill of lading. (The bill of lading is the contractual agreement that you enter into with the mover.)
The moving company you have qualified and ultimately chosen is most certainly insured. But insured means he carries workers compensation, automobile liabily, general liability and cargo insurance. (These are are mandatory minimum policies that your mover should have in place.) However, none of these insurances protect the items a/k/a your possesions that the mover actually packs or moves for you.
When moving with a professional moving company you will be required to place a dollar value on your possessions. Free and included with most movers’ pricing is a value of only 60 cents per pound per article. This by itself is usually grossly inadequate. I would equate this extremely limited valuation with no insurance or self insurance. (Please note: Declared Valuation is technically NOT insurance, but rather a limitation of the moving company’s liability.) Most movers will offer a variety of increased declared valuation options, such as, depreciated and full replacement valuation.
The following information derives from The Florida Movers Association Consumer Affairs Committee and is specifically relevant to all persons moving within the state of Florida who utilize the services of a professional moving company that are members in good standing of the Florida Movers Association. (Although this information is representative for a general understanding throughout the moving industry, please consult with your moving company directly to understand any differences that may affect your individual relocation situation.)
This is minimum coverage, and you pay no extra. If your goods are damaged or lost, the Mover’s maximum liability to you under this option is 60 cents per pound per article. If your goods are damaged or lost, you will be entitled to recover the lesser of the decrease in value of the item lost or destroyed, or 60 cents multiplied by the weight of the lost or damaged article.
In any event, no matter what happens, if your goods are damaged or lost, the Mover’s maximum liability to you under this option is 60 cents per pound per article. Example: 10 pound chair x 60 cents = $6.00. You would be allowed a maximum of $6.00 for that particular chair. To choose this option, you must, in your own handwriting, write the letter “A” in the box on the bill of lading, and sign and date below.
Under this option, you declare a lump sum value for your entire shipment, subject to a minimum of $1.25 per pound times the weight of your shipment (you may declare more, but not less). For example, if your shipment weighs 10,000 pounds, the lump sum value would be $12,500 (10,000 x 1.25). That amount will be the Mover’s maximum liability to you. Ask the Mover about the charge for this coverage. If there is a claim, the Mover is not obligated to write out a check to you for the entire declared shipment value! Each damaged item will be repaired, replaced, or a cash settlement may be offered, according to its depreciated value, not to exceed the shipment’s declared value (in this example the declared value is $12,500). The Mover will apply depreciation to any claim made under this option.
This is the option which will apply if you do not select any option. If your signature does not appear in the valuation section of the bill of lading, the Mover will automatically apply option “B,” and the Mover will charge accordingly.
Example: 4,000 pound shipment @ $1.25 per pound = $5,000 of declared value.
Any damaged item will be reasonably repaired, replaced, or a cash settlement may be offered, at the option of the Mover. Remember, the Mover will charge for this option.
Full “replacement” value protection is non-depreciated coverage. Not all Movers offer this option. This option provides for the repair or replacement of the item, whichever is less, to restore the piece to its condition immediately before the loss.
This option is based on a minimum declared value of $4.00 per pound (you may declare more but not less). The Mover will not apply depreciation under this option.
Example: 4,000 pound shipment @ $4.00 per pound = $16,000 of liability coverage.
Remember, ask the Mover about the charge for this option.
Not all Movers offer this option. Your Mover can arrange for transit insurance coverage in the amount you specify. A Certificate of Insurance should be provided to you. You may be able to choose either depreciated or “full replacement” insurance; be sure to ask if there is a deductible. You may also want to check your own homeowner’s policy to see if it provides coverage.
Not all Movers can give you a Certificate of Insurance. This is not Movers’ liability, but an agreement between a licensed insurance company and you. There will be a charge for this coverage.
If you don’t make any notation on the bill of lading, the Mover’s maximum liability to you under the tariff is $1.25 times the weight of the total shipment. Example: Your shipment weighs 10,000 pounds x $1.25 = $12,500 value. It works the same way as a declared value (see Option B). This is depreciated value, not replacement coverage. Unless the Movers’ tariff provides otherwise, there will be a charge for this coverage.
The above information represents a summary of each option. It is not intended to address all of the issues or provisions of the movers’ liability. Nor is an employee or sales representative authorized to make recommendations as to the type of coverage or the amount of coverage you may require. You should consult an appropriate insurance or other professional to assist you in this decision.
Your Mover will do the best job possible and try to avoid any loss or damage. Accidents do happen, so remember: