CONGRATULATIONS! If you have chosen Husky Moving for your next move your choice should result in a great experience!
When moving day arrives there is a one more important choice you need to make. That choice is known as "Declaration of Value", "Declared Valuation" or "Limitation of Liability" in our industry and more specifically on the mover's bill of lading ("BOL"). The BOL is the contract that you sign with the mover before your move that lays out all of the rules and policies of that company.
Moving companies in Massachusetts carry the Insurance policies mandated by the State. However, none of these insurances protect the items that the mover actually packs or moves for you. Whenever you choose a licensed moving company you are required to choose one of three options that will dictate the moving company and their level of responsibility should something get damaged during your move.
Option A: 60 Cents Per Pound Per Article
The first option (Option A on a BOL) is typically free and offers a standard value of 60 cents per pound per article. (Please note: Declared Valuation is technically NOT insurance, but rather a limitation of the moving company's liability.) 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. Remember, Husky Moving will not charge for this option.
Option B: Declared Lump Sum Value
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, Husky Moving will charge for this option.
Option C: Full Replacement Value
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, Husky Moving will charge for this option.
What if I don't choose anything?
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. Remember, Husky Moving will charge for this option.
Warning: 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 of Husky Moving 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.
Points to Remember:
Your Mover will do the best job possible and try to avoid any loss or damage. Accidents do happen, so remember:
The "Bill of Lading" is your contract with the Mover. Both parties should sign the "Bill of Lading" in the appropriate places and agree to its terms and conditions.
In determining the value you declare, you should consult an appropriate insurance or other professional to assist you in this decision.
The examples given here represent the minimum amount that must be declared; you can go higher but not lower.
Be aware of the coverage option you chose at the time of the move and do not expect the Mover to change the coverage "after the fact." Your signature on the bill of lading and the option you select under Declaration of Value will determine your coverage.
If your goods are going into storage at a licensed storage warehouse, different coverages and contract terms may apply.
Be sure you have a copy of the bill of lading and (if applicable) inventory. Be sure any damage is noted on the bill of lading and (if applicable) inventory.
At the time of delivery, you or your agent must make notations on the bill of lading (or inventory, if applicable) showing any exceptions regarding the condition of the goods.
Keep the damaged article and packing material for inspection (it will help substantiate your claim). It may be possible to replace pieces (such as glassware or china).
The burden of proof is on you, the customer, to show loss or damage to your property.
All claims must be filed in writing within 15 days of the move. (Call your Mover's office if you need a claim form). Remember, the longer you wait to file your claim, the more difficulty you may have in recovering your losses.
All of the movers' charges must be paid prior to the mover processing your claim.
Before you choose:
Before you choose an option for loss and damage protection, give some serious thought to the value of your possessions. The time to consider coverage is before the move. Your selection of a valuation option on the bill of lading is confirmed by your signature. Mover's liability for loss or damage varies depending on how you release the shipment to the Mover. Generally, your goods are not automatically covered for loss or damage during the move; you must declare on the Bill of Lading the type of protection you desire. You should make sure that the Mover clearly explains the options that you have and the cost of each type of protection that the Mover makes available before the day of packing or moving. Unless you choose full replacement insurance, your coverage will be for depreciated value. Packing of fragile items. Any item that is packed by owner is generally not covered for damage unless the box is physically damaged.