When you move, protect your household items with valuation protection
You've got a lot on the line when you're moving. There's the
cost. The memories you're taking from one place to another. And the
treasured possessions you've acquired over the years: furniture,
valuable collections and family photos. Most interstate moves go
off with out a hitch - but minor damage can occur when your
household goods are loaded, or unloaded, onto a moving truck or
during relocation to your new home. Wheaton World Wide Moving and
our agents will do everything in our power to minimize those
incidents, but the fact is, accidents happen.
The mechanism for providing you with financial recourse if your household goods are damaged in transit during an interstate move is referred to as valuation. Valuation is not insurance. It is an agreement between you and your mover regarding the declared "value" of a your goods before the move and what your mover will pay, or the actions it will take (e.g., repair or replace), if those goods are damaged.
Explore your options
There are, however, different levels of liability. The level of liability you choose on the shipping documents will determine the type and amount of reimbursement you will receive from Wheaton if an item is lost or damaged.
Full Replacement Value Protection
Under Full Replacement Value Protection (often referred to as RVP), movers are liable for the replacement value of lost or damaged goods in the entire shipment. This is the more comprehensive plan available for the protection of your belongings. There is, however, a cost for RVP. Unless you select the alternative level of liability on the shipping documents described below - Limited Liability - we will transport your shipment under the Full RVP level of liability and charge accordingly. If any article is lost, destroyed or damaged while in Wheaton's custody, we will offer to do one of the following for each item:
- Repair the item
- Replace it with a similar item
- Make a cash settlement for the cost of the repair or the current market replacement value
Shipments of customers who select RVP are automatically assigned
a value based on the weight of the shipment. Wheaton "releases"
value at $6 per pound. You can choose to purchase more RVP if you
believe your shipment has a higher value.
Here's an example of how RVP works:
Let's say your shipment weighs 10,000 pounds. Wheaton will automatically assign a value of $60,000 to the shipment (10,000 pounds multiplied by $6/pound [per article]).
The most economical protection available is Limited Liability
because it is offered at no additional charge. The protection for
you, however, is minimal. Under this option, Wheaton assumes
liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per article. For
example, if your 40-pound, 56-inch flat screen television valued at
$2,500 is damaged, you would only receive $24 in compensation (60
cents multiplied by 40 pounds) if the television were destroyed
beyond repair. To extrapolate further, a 10,000-pound shipment
released at 60 cents per pound (per article) may be worth
There is no additional charge for Limited Liability Protection. However, you must sign a specific statement on the shipping document agreeing to it. If you do not select Limited Liability, the shipment will automatically be transported at the Full RVP level of liability and you will be assessed the applicable charge.
Limits to the protection
Actions by you may limit the mover's liability. These include:
- Boxes not being packed by the mover. The mover cannot assume liability for boxes it doesn't pack because the mover cannot determine the condition of the items prior to transporting them. It may be more difficult to establish a claim against the mover for damaged items in boxes not packed by the mover.
- Packing perishable, dangerous or hazardous materials in the shipment without the mover's knowledge.
- Delivering belongings into public storage. If you choose to have the movers deliver your belongings into a public storage facility, the movers' liability terminates upon delivery.
If something happens
You will accept delivery of your belongings from the movers by
verifying each item and checking it off of an inventory list. It's
critical to notate missing or damaged items on the proper forms in
order to establish the basis for a claim.
In the case of loss or damage, you will use your valuation by submitting a claim form to the moving company. You should not repair or discard any damaged items without authorization from the mover, as movers reserve the right to inspect all items for which a claim is submitted. You also should retain all original packing containers and materials.
Understanding valuation and choosing the proper level of protection can ease your mind and your transition. For more information about valuation, visit the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) at www.moving.org or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at www.protectyourmove.gov.