Moving Insurance - Everything you need to know about movers' liability

Moving Insurance - Everything you need to know about movers' liability

Dumbo Moving and Storage has compiled a list of helpful guidelines on how to keep your possessions safe and covered through the household relocation. Probably many people are wondering whether paying extra for the moving insurance is worth the cost and what could possibly happen to their goods on the way to the new home. The truth is that accidents may happen even if you handle your goods with the utmost care or hire top rated movers. A moment of distraction may lead to a serious damage to your goods, not to mention what could possibly happen if you hire a suspicious moving company. By purchasing an appropriate moving insurance you can get your peace of mind and rest assured that even if something goes wrong during the move you will be reimbursed according to the policy.

Hiring a reputable moving company brings multiple benefits and buying an appropriate moving insurance offers some sort of guarantee in case your belongings get lost or damaged during the moving process. Whether you are moving locally or long-distance, a moving insurance is something you should take into account when organizing your move and calculating moving costs. In some cases a homeowner’s insurance may suffice, but it’s always recommended to double-check if it provides enough coverage for your household belongings.

Moving company’s liability

A fully insured and licensed NYC moving company is a prerequisite to a successful household move.  You should choose carefully the company you will entrust your valuable possessions so as to ensure they will reach the final destination in one piece.

Moving company’s liability

If a moving company loses or damages your goods, there are two different standards for the company’s liability based on the types of rates you pay. By federal law, moving insurance must contain an estimate of the cost of a move for which the moving company is liable for the full (replacement) value of your goods in case they get lost or damaged. This form may also contain an estimate of the cost of a move in which the moving company is liable for FAR LESS than the replacement value of your goods, typically at a lower cost. Before selecting a liability level, please read “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” provided by the moving company, and seek further information at

C.O.I – A certificate of insurance is often needed for most office and residential buildings in NYC. Dumbo Moving & Storage will provide the certificate with no additional fee.

When moving house you should be familiar with your rights and moving company’s responsibilities they are obliged to comply with. During the household move a lot of things are at stake (your valuable possessions, money, peace of mind) and it’s in your best interest to find a reputable moving company that will act according to the federal law and local regulations. Therefore, fully insured and licensed moving companies are your best ally during the relocation process.

Understanding moving company liability

Although everyone hopes for the best, accidents happen during the relocation process and the items unfortunately get lost or damaged. In order to better understand your movers’ liability, you should find out which options you have at your disposal. Professional moving companies usually offer two different types of valuation coverage:

  • full value protection
  • released value

Full value protection moving coverage

Full value protection provides the total protection in case something unexpected happens

Full value protection moving coverage provides the total protection in case something unexpected happens to the items during the relocation. According to this liability level, movers can replace the missing item, repair it if possible or offer proper compensation. It’s up to the moving company to decide how to make amends for the damaged or lost goods. Also, movers are allowed to limit their liability. In fact, they are not obliged to compensate you for any item whose value is greater than $100 per pound, unless you have a written agreement. All valuable items whose value exceeds $100 must be listed on the shipping documents, otherwise movers won’t be held accountable if they get lost or damaged during the move.

Released value protection moving coverage

Tools for calculation
Calculate which type of moving insurance suits your needs

Released value protection, also called limited liability provides basic or minimal coverage. According to this type of protection, NYC movers are offering compensation based on the weight of the item, not on its current value. Released value protection is an economical option you won’t be charged additionally. But, in case your items get lost or damaged, movers will offer only 60 cents per pound. If you opt for this kind of coverage, you might want to consider purchasing additional third-party insurance. Although it is not compulsory, you can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your items during the relocation process. An additional insurance can be purchased either from a moving company or from a third-party insurance company. In that case your movers are obliged to pay 60 cents per pound of damaged goods, while the third-party company will cover the remaining amount. Also, check if your homeowner’s insurance provides proper coverage.

Moving insurance limitations – what’s not covered?

Moving forbidden items sign
Movers may refuse to reimburse you if you happen to pack forbidden items in the truck

Provided that your movers do all the packing you will be entitled to the released protection. Otherwise, they are not responsible for the boxes that you packed yourself. Also, they are not responsible for the consequences of natural disasters, therefore they are not obliged to reimburse you for the damage caused by tornado, hurricane,… In addition to that, each moving company has a list of non-allowables, items that they refuse to transport in the moving truck. So, if you happen to pack potentially dangerous items, your movers may refuse to reimburse you for the damage. If you cannot reach an agreement with the moving company, you can always file an official complaint. This is why it is extremely important to be very attentive while choosing the moving company. If you fall victim to fraudulent movers you may put the whole relocation process at risk. So, it’s extremely important to stay away from suspicious moving companies that would like to take advantage of you and your goods.

How to file a complaint against a moving company

Should your items get damaged while in transit you are entitled to make a claim against the moving company. If you don’t reach an agreement, you can even seek a legal advice in order to get a satisfactory outcome. Hopefully your moving company will amend the situation by reimbursing you or repairing the damaged items so you won’t be forced to take further steps.

If you end up with damaged goods you may consider filing a claim against the moving company that was in charge of your move. It’s a gradual process and it’s in your best interest to follow all necessary steps to make sure the claim is processed and to get a satisfactory resolution of the matter.

– Gather evidence by taking picture of the damaged goods and all the documents provided by the moving company that may back up your complaint.

Picturing items before moving for better insurance
Document all damaged items before making a claim

– Provided that you’ve got a signed inventory sheet before the move, use it to make an inventory of all damaged items along with their approximate monetary value and report it to the moving company as soon as possible. Also, keep copies of all relevant documents that you’ve delivered during the process just in case.

– Keep the damaged items untouched until the moving company representatives come to inspect the damage.

– After inspecting the damage, your movers may offer some kind of settlement, without involving any third party. Your main goal is to get a peaceful resolution of the matter, so if the offer is fair, you may want to accept it. If not, feel free to proceed with the claim.

– Movers are obliged by law to respond to a claim in up to 30 days and to provide the resolution within 120 days. If that doesn’t happen within the predefined time-frame, feel free to contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Afterwards you may want to contact the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General in order to resolve your claim.

Girl is sharing moving experiance
Share your moving experience through the online review

– In case you are not satisfied with the outcome and feedback from the moving company, you may take the matter to small court. But, consider it as your last resort, since the process will require more time, energy and money. As previously mentioned, a professional moving company will try to amend the situation and to offer a convenient solution for both sides in order to prevent further escalations. If your entire moving experience turns out to be bad, do not hesitate to write an online moving review explaining what went wrong throughout the process. People who are planning to move house and buy a moving insurance may find your review very helpful.

Planning a move?

Experience the peace of mind that comes from working with a trusted, affordable moving service. Our team of dedicated movers is committed to providing excellent customer service and making sure your items arrive in the same condition they were in before the move. We work hard to ensure that your move is as stress-free as possible and that your possessions are handled with the utmost care. With our competitive prices and commitment to customer satisfaction, you can be sure that your move will be an enjoyable and successful experience.

callout image

Moving Quotes from $295

Quotes are free - no contact info required!

Moving From
Moving To