Insurance / Valuation
CONGRATULATIONS! If you have chosen Husky Moving for your next move your choice should result in a great experience! Thousands of customers have been really, really happy with their experience, and I am confident you will feel the same way.
Please take the time to read the following so that you are completely aware of what is legally required of you (and us) before we start your move.
When moving day arrives there is a one more important choice you need to make before the move starts. Commonly referred to incorrectly as "insurance", that choice is actually known as "Declaration of Value", "Valuation Coverage", "Declared Valuation" or "Limitation of Liability" in our industry. Moving companies do not provide insurance and this is an important distinction. Every moving company has to provide you with a Bill of Lading ("BOL"). The BOL is the contract that you sign with us before your move that lays out all of the rules and policies of our company and lists off the expectations between us as a company and you as the consumer. This contract is used to protect both of us.
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. This page is titled "Insurance" because if I titled it "Valuation" you probably wouldn't have understood what this page contained. Whenever you choose a licensed moving company you are required by Federal Law to choose one of two options that will dictate the liability of our moving company should something get damaged or lost during your move. I am about as confident as possible in the services we provide. I'll put myself up against anyone in the country but the reality is we are humans and accidents occasionally occur. It is very important that you understand your rights and what you are signing up for.
In my roughly 25 years in the industry I have felt that explaining how valuation works to customers has been VERY challenging as it can be overwhelming to customers. The way that moving companies present it to customers was very flawed in my opinion. More often then not, customers are not made aware ahead of time that they will be signing an important contract first thing on moving day. What that means is during one of the most stressful days of your life two big guys in tank tops that you've never met before show up to your house and immediately pull out a contract with tiny writing and do a poor job of explaining how valuation works. It's confusing and overwhelming, it didn't seem transparent to me, and I watched countless people look at me in disbelief that they weren't made aware they were going to have to do this the morning of the move. I never understood why the office manager didn't go over this ahead of time with every customer as it seemed like a really crappy thing to lay on someone that was already filled with stress.
So I always thought that when I opened my own company I was going to try to do it better. So please bear with me as I try to explain how this works in a way that's easy for you to understand. I understand it can be confusing but if I do my job properly here, you will have plenty of time to go over our BOL (click here to view or print it out). You should also have plenty of time to make educated decisions long before we arrive. This should also give you plenty of time to ask me questions or do research on your own. I'd much rather have a difficult conversation before the move than after. And just as importantly, if you decide you don't want to sign our contract and want to cancel with us, that's ok too. (Just let us know well ahead of time so as not to incur our late notice penalties.) But please understand that this isn't a choice. Legally we are required to have a contract in place before we start any move, and it's important that we both have a signed contract with our policies in writing before we ever pick anything up so we both protect ourselves.
So what are your options? Under Federal law, interstate movers MUST offer two different liability options referred to as valuation coverage: (1) Released Value Protection and (2) Full Value Protection. Please be aware that Full Value Protection and Released Value are NOT insurance policies governed by state insurance laws; instead, they are Federal contractual tariff levels of liability authorized under Released Rates Orders of the Surface Transportation Board of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Moving companies are NOT allowed to sell insurance. Instead, you are paying for stated liability; in other words, you are setting the limits for your moving company’s liability if your belongings are damaged, lost or destroyed. Some moving companies offer a third type of valuation coverage by choice, but this is not mandated by law. Husky Moving does not provide this option, mainly because we do not want to further confuse you. I am making a genuine attempt to simplify options for our customers. You have the right to decline both of our valuation options and purchase your own third-party insurance to protect your move if you choose.
Here's how each option works:
(Option A.) Released Value Protection
This option is labeled Option A on the middle left hand side our BOL. To choose this option, you must, in your own handwriting, write the letter "A" in the box on the BOL, and sign and date it. We cannot choose for you. This is mandated as the minimum reimbursement required by Federal Law for all moving companies. This is minimal coverage, and you pay no additional fee if you choose this Valuation Coverage. It is very simple to explain: If something was to get damaged during your move, our liability would be at most 60 cents per pound. We would weigh the item and whatever the weight is gets multiplied by 60 cents. That is the maximum we would pay out. There are no other factors. The item weight is multiplied by 60 cents and that's our maximum liability.
Example: A ten pound chair gets damaged. 10 lbs. x 60 cents = $6.00. You would be allowed a maximum of $6.00 for that particular chair.
Remember, Husky Moving (or any other moving company) will not charge for this option and it works the same for every moving company and every item regardless of what you paid for it or what you think its worth: the weight of the item times 60 cents. This option provides the most ECONOMICAL protection available to you, since it is offered at no additional charge BUT WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND IS THE PROTECTION IS MINIMAL. And, if you do not select Released Value, your shipment will automatically be transported at the Full Value Protection level of liability and you will be assessed the applicable charge.
(Option B.) Full Value Protection
This option is labeled Option B on the middle left hand side on our BOL. To choose this option, you must, in your own handwriting, write the letter "B" in the box on the BOL, and sign and date it. We cannot choose for you. You must also let us know the TOTAL depreciated Valuation of your shipment. You will then be charged accordingly based on the valuation you give us. You pay extra for this option.
Under this option, you declare a lump sum value for your entire shipment, and we charge you $15 for every $1000 of valuation (1.5% of valuation). If there is a claim, Husky Moving 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 at our choice, according to its depreciated value, not to exceed the shipment's declared value. Before we process any claim you must pay your bill in full as is mandated by law. Husky Moving 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 Husky Moving will automatically apply option "B," and the Husky Moving will charge accordingly.
Example: You tell us your entire shipment is valued at $24,000, you would be charged an additional 24 times $15 or $360 for Full Value Protection. If you chose this option and something were to get damaged, that item would be reasonably repaired, replaced, or a cash settlement may be offered, at the option of Husky Moving. 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:
Husky Moving 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 us. There is a front and back to the Bill of Lading. Be sure to read both sides fully as you are responsible for knowing your rights and making educated decisions to protect yourself. Both parties will sign the Bill of Lading in the appropriate places and agree to its terms and conditions before the move starts.
In determining the value you declare, you should consult an appropriate insurance or other professional to assist you in this decision.
Be aware of the coverage option you choose at the time of the move and do not expect us 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 and it cannot be changed once the move has started.
If your goods are going into storage at a licensed storage warehouse, different coverages and contract terms may apply.
Any item that is packed by owner is generally not covered for damage unless the box is physically damaged.
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. Remember, the longer you wait to file your claim, the more difficulty you may have in recovering your losses.
By law, all of the movers' charges must be paid prior to the moving company processing your claim.
I understand this can be confusing and overwhelming. I am trying to be as transparent as possible with our policies so our customers can be educated in their rights. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text me at 781-354-5924 if you have questions!
LIMITS OF LIABILITY
We know, it's a lot to read! But it is very important information that we want to make sure every customer understands. Over the years we have been asked to do all kinds of things (some of which are not great ideas). Our job is to do whatever you want to accomplish. However, please be advised that certain things you may ask for come with certain risks, and we cannot be responsible for the results of all these requests. So please, as you read this, we ask that you respectfully put yourself in our shoes and be reasonable with your requests and expectations. These policies are for your protection as well as ours.
1. Husky Moving LLC’s (heretofore referred to as “Husky”) liability for lost or damaged items is limited to $0.60 per pound per article unless additional insurance has been purchased by the customer.
2. The condition of any item(s) boxed by customer (PBO/packed by owner) and not inspected prior to move are not insured by Husky and is the responsibility of the customer.
3. Husky shall in no way be responsible for the working condition of electronic equipment, grandfather clocks, or any other piece of mechanical equipment (MCU/mechanical condition unknown). Damage to cabinets and surfaces of such equipment will be treated as stated in condition #1 above unless additional insurance with appropriate add-on coverage (i.e. electrical and mechanical) has been purchased.
4. Liability is limited to $50.00 for damage to floors, walls, doors, and painted surfaces. Liability limit may be raised by written agreement of both parties prior to move.
5. The right is reserved by Husky to repair or replace any damaged item(s).
6. Husky will not be responsible for damage caused by non-routine moving including but not limited to, standing pieces on end, sharp turns, over-crowded work areas, difficult stairways, snags and sharp edges in work areas and doorways, handing over balconies, railings, etc., tight squeezes, and damage caused by weather.
7. Husky shall not be responsible for loss or damage to accounts, bills, checks, evidence of debts, letters of credit, passports, tickets, documents, manuscripts, notes, mechanical drawings, securities, currency, money, bullion, precious stones, jewelry, or other similar valuables, paintings, statuary, or other works of art; or property carried gratuitously or as an accommodation. The process of removing drawers must be done in the presence of the customer or their agent.
8. Husky shall not be responsible for damage resulting when moving household items that have deteriorated, such as, but not limited to, lamp shades, mattresses, electrical wiring, etc.
9. Husky shall not be responsible for glass, porcelain or ceramic items in any form, or damage resulting from breakage unless special packaging has been purchased.
10. Husky shall not be responsible for plants or pets.
11. Husky may use dollies to move heavy objects such as but not limited to pianos, appliances, treadmills, safes, items over 150 lbs., etc. Any floor surfaces including, but not limited to, parquet, hardwood, ceramic, marble, entrance halls, etc. and any damage that may result to soft floors, such as, but not limited to, indentation, scuffmarks, etc., are not the responsibility of Husky. If floor can be pulled by thumbnail, we are not responsible for damage. Husky may use water or soapy water to facilitate removal or placement of appliances.
12. Husky shall not be responsible for damage to items requiring special instructions if customer fails to provide such instructions including, but not limited to, disassembly or assembly of said items and any special preparation required.
13. Husky assumes no responsibility or liability for any items or cargo placed in the customers’ own vehicle or in rental equipment which Husky does not transport.
14. Any damage caused by incomplete floor areas, such as, but not limited to, subsequent damage to ceilings, will not be the responsibility of Husky.
15. Husky is not responsible for connecting or disconnecting water lines from washers, dryers, or ice makers. You or your representative must check or accept any plumbing connections. We will not do so unless the customer signs a waiver assuming all liability AND we make the decision it is safe to do so. Any assistance we give is as a courtesy only. Many homes in Massachusetts are old and oftentimes we come across neglected plumbing connections. Forcing these connections can cause breakage. We are not plumbers.
16. Husky can not disconnect gas lines as we are not licensed to do so by the State.
17. Husky will not touch or be near any live electrical wires.
18. Husky will not work in unsafe conditions. This includes but is not limited to, areas with mold, areas that have not been shoveled of ice or snow, areas without proper walking paths, or construction areas. Customer assumes any and all liability for any damage or issues arriving from these conditions.
19. Husky cannot be responsible for the working condition of major appliances.
20. Husky cannot be responsible for dents or scratches on major appliances. They are covered by a thin metal that has an extreme affinity to dent and scratch.
21. Husky will not repair or replace pressed board or simulated wood furniture. Much of the budget priced furniture today is made from a pressed wood or wood byproduct material with a photograph of wood grain attached. Some of the wood grain look is simply paper and some is very thin plastic material like on lower end kitchen cabinets. This type of material is not structurally strong, especially if it has screws, since the screw threads have no real grain to imbed into, just pressed wood chips held together by some binding agent. It is not repairable and we have seen it crumble from the smallest vibrations riding in a truck across town. Please do not ask us to repair or replace this type of furniture. We will do our best to move it successfully for you. This type of furniture is specifically excluded from basic and increased insurance coverage.
RELEASE OF LIABILITY - READ CAREFULLY - THIS AFFECTS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS
In exchange for participation in the activity of Moving, Packing/Unpacking, Disposal, Handyman and Assembly Services organized by Husky Moving LLC (heretofore referred to as “Husky“), of 82 Newport St, Arlington, Massachusetts, 02476 and/or use of the property, facilities and services of Husky, I agree for myself and (if applicable) for the members of my family, to the following:
AGREEMENT TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS: I agree to observe and obey all posted rules and warnings, and further agree to follow any oral instructions or directions given by Husky, or the employees, representatives or agents of Husky.
ASSUMPTION OF THE RISKS AND RELEASE: I recognize that there are certain inherent risks associated with the above described activity and I assume full responsibility for personal injury to myself and (if applicable) my family members, and further release and discharge Husky for injury, loss or damage arising out of my or my family's use of or presence upon the facilities of Husky, whether caused by the fault of myself, my family, Husky or other third parties.
INDEMNIFICATION: I agree to indemnify and defend Husky against all claims, causes of action, damages, judgments, costs or expenses, including attorney fees and other litigation costs, which may in any way arise from my or my family's use of or presence upon the facilities of Husky.
FEES: I agree to pay for all damages to the facilities of Husky caused by any negligent, reckless, or willful actions by me or my family.
APPLICABLE LAW: Any legal or equitable claim that may arise from participation in the above shall be resolved under Massachusetts law.
NO DURESS: I agree and acknowledge that I am under no pressure or duress to sign this Agreement and that I have been given a reasonable opportunity to review it before signing. I further agree and acknowledge that I am free to have my own legal counsel review this Agreement if I so desire. I further agree and acknowledge that Husky has offered to refund any fees I have paid to use its facilities if I choose not to sign this Agreement.
ARM'S LENGTH AGREEMENT: This Agreement and each of its terms are the product of an arm's length negotiation between the Parties. In the event any ambiguity is found to exist in the interpretation of this Agreement, or any of its provisions, the Parties, and each of them, explicitly reject the application of any legal or equitable rule of interpretation which would lead to a construction either "for" or "against" a particular party based upon their status as the drafter of a specific term, language, or provision giving rise to such ambiguity.
ENFORCEABILITY: The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this Agreement, whether standing alone or as applied to a particular occurrence or circumstance, shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision of this Agreement or of any other applications of such provision, as the case may be, and such invalid or unenforceable provision shall be deemed not to be a part of this Agreement.
MY SIGNATURE ON THE FRONT OF THE BILL OF LADING INDICATES I HAVE READ THE DOCUMENT IN FULL AND UNDERSTAND IT. I FURTHER UNDERSTAND THAT BY SIGNING THE BILL OF LADING I VOLUNTARILY SURRENDER CERTAIN LEGAL RIGHTS.