The following is an explanation and discussion of moving company insurance and valuation coverage. This information pertains to all authorized Georgia household goods movers and their customers.
Background and Basics
All legally licensed household goods carriers, (movers), are required to provide their customers with a policy offering protection against transit related damage and/or loss. This policy is known as “valuation coverage” and is prescribed and regulated by state and federal authorities.
Customers often confuse insurance coverage with valuation coverage however they are not the same product. Insurance coverage provides comprehensive protection in high value claims. Insurance policies are regulated by the state Insurance Commissioner’s Office.
A legally licensed Georgia household goods mover is required to have a minimum of $100,000/$300,000/$50,000 Public Liability and Property Damage Insurance and a minimum of $50,000 Cargo Insurance. Mark the Mover, Inc. protects its customers by maintaining an insurance policy with coverage of $3,000,000 aggregate liability and $1,000,000 aggregate cargo.
Important to Know
Smaller claims typically occur when a customer’s furnishings receive nicks, scrapes, scratches or dents. These claims are quite common in the moving industry. The regulatory authority that oversees licensed movers has mandated that there must be a first tier level of protection. This protection is known as valuation coverage. Valuation is the liability that the mover assumes based on the level of protection that the customer selects on the damage contract, (valuation addendum form). For intrastate moves valuation is regulated by the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
The valuation contract offers the customer three options for protection against transit related damage and/or loss. The first option is Basic Coverage and comes at no cost to the customer. Basic coverage (Option 1) is the most economical coverage available to the customer. However it only provides minimal protection should transit related damage or loss occur. With this coverage the mover assumes liability for no more than .60 cents per pound per article. For example, if a 100 pound television valued at $1,000 was destroyed during the move then the customer would only receive $60.00 in compensation, (.60 cents x 100 pounds). The other two options are for Full Value Protection however they both come at an additional cost to the customer. Option 2 (a) is Full Value Protection with no deductible. The current government regulated cost for this coverage is $13.00 per thousand of declared value. Option 2 (b) is Full Value Protection with a $300 deductible. The current government regulated cost for this coverage is $4.25 per thousand of declared value. Both of these options require the customer to declare a value for his/her goods. The required amount for the declared value must be an amount equal to or exceeding $5,000 per room excluding halls, attics, garage, closets and baths. A self storage unit of 10 x 10 will constitute a room.
Filing A Claim
Should an item(s) be damaged or lost while in the care, custody and control of Mark the Mover, Inc. then it is required that the customer complete a Claim Form and provide a written account of the damage or loss. A claim is not established until this is done and the written form must be received by the mover’s Claims Department within ninety (90) days from the date of the move.
Once a claim has been established the customer can expect Mark the Mover, Inc. to offer one (1) of the following resolutions for each damaged or lost item:
- Repair the item(s)
- Replace the item(s) with a similar or like item
- Offer a cash settlement
The terms of the damage contract afford the mover the option of which method of settlement to provide. However, as a general rule Mark the Mover, Inc. will work with the customer in order to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. The proposed resolution to a claim will always be in accord with the level of coverage that the customer has selected. Additionally, it should be noted that the mover’s liability will be limited in certain instances. For example: If damage or loss occurs to an article of extraordinary value, (defined as an item whose value is greater than $100 per pound), then such items must be declared and specifically listed by the customer on the bill of lading prior to the move. Also, items that have been packed by owner, (PBO), do not generally fall under the mover’s liability.
Mark the Mover, Inc. educates and trains its crews on proper moving procedures in order to provide customers with a quality moving experience. That said human error can and does occur even with the best moving company. Therefore we strongly recommend that you call our Claims Manager prior to making your move. He will be happy to answer any questions that you have concerning transit related damage. He will also be able to assist you in selecting the level of damage protection that is appropriate for your move. As a Mark the Mover, Inc. customer we value you and your business. Moving your personal possessions is a serious endeavor and we want your moving experience to be positive and worry free. It is our belief that a customer’s knowledge, understanding and preparation are key components in achieving a successful move.