The valuation of goods being trucked in any relocation of a person, family, or business from Denver to another location – or from anywhere to anywhere – is strongly regulated by the federal government.
To be clear, your moving company is, in almost every instance, legally liable for any loss or destruction of your belongings during transit. It’s also liable for loss and damage while its crews are in direct contact with your items in fulfillment of any other Denver moving services you selected. Such services should be listed on the bill of lading: packing, unpacking, disassembly and reassembly, for instance.
But there are limits to your moving company’s liability. Those limits are established by the federal Surface Transportation Board’s Released Rates Order. You can get your hands on a current copy of it here.
The important thing is, know what choices you have for the security of your belongings. And know your Denver moving company. Just because a mover makes it known his business is “fully insured and bonded” is no insurance that your belongings themselves are automatically covered. What’s more, your local mover being related to a preeminent national van line is no assurance that you’re protected either. In both situations, you might be forced to buy added third-party liability insurance. Your mover may offer to sell it to you, but he has no legal obligation to sell it to you. Ask questions up front to learn exactly what your course of action should be.
Keep this in mind when you’re researching your choices here in Denver: Two different degrees of moving-company liability pertain to interstate moves – Full Replacement-Value Protection and Waiver of Full Replacement-Value Protection, or Released Value.
To be sure, Full Replacement-Value Protection provides you with the most complete coverage. But picking it means the price of your move will be higher. With this level of liability (subject to allowable exceptions in your mover’s tariff), your mover will either do whatever repairs are necessary to return a damaged article to the condition it was in when he first got it from you … or he’ll don’t object to paying more. No matter what valuation you and your mover agree upon, it has to appear on your mover’s tariff. Note also that movers are permitted to limit their Full Replacement-Value liability for loss or damage of possessions valued extraordinarily high. Those would be belongings valued at $100 or more per pound, such as jewelry, antiques, silverware, china, oriental rugs, and the like. Get further information on all this from your mover. Ultimately, though, it lies with you to declare accurately.
If you decide to go with a Waiver of Full Replacement-Value Protection, or Released Value, you will, of course, receive minimal liability protection. But it won’t cost you a cent. What this level of protection does is limit your mover’s liability to no more than 60 cents per pound, per article. Obviously, that wouldn’t provide you with enough of a reimbursement to replace any item valued higher than 60 cents per pound! Goods like stereo equipment, gym equipment, computer hardware, and computer software are therefore considerably more at risk. That’s something to ponder before you [[commit in writing to|contract with]150 any mover!
You could, however, have one more option: your present homeowner’s policy. Go over it and talk with your insurance agent to determine if there’s anything in it regarding coverage of goods during a relocation. If that’s the case, you could find the minimum level of mover liability coverage – Released Value – acceptable.
Just make sure you’re clear about what level of protection your moving company is including in his quote: Full Protection or Released Value. That way, your move won’t slap you with any totally unusual surprises!
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