The valuation of goods being shipped in any move of a person, family, or business from Wichita Falls to another locale – or from anywhere to anywhere – is severely regulated by the federal government.
To be clear, your moving company is, in most circumstances, legally liable for any loss or destruction of your household goods at any time during the haul. It’s also liable for loss and damage while its crews are handling your possessions in fulfillment of any other Wichita Falls moving services for which you contracted. Such services should be described on the bill of lading: packing, unpacking, disassembly and reassembly, for instance.
There are, however, limits to your moving company’s liability. Those limits are determined by the federal Surface Transportation Board’s Released Rates Order. You can obtain a current copy of it here.
The important thing is, know what avenues you have for the security of your household goods. And know your Wichita Falls moving company. Just because a mover asserts that his firm is “fully insured and bonded” is no irrefutable promise that your goods themselves are automatically covered. Also, your local mover being affiliated with a leading national van line is no promise that you’re protected either. In both cases, you might be forced to purchase extra third-party liability insurance. Your mover might offer to sell it to you, but he has no legal obligation to do that. Ask questions when you first meet in order to learn just what’s what.
Keep this in mind when you’re checking out your choices here in Wichita Falls: Two different levels of moving-company liability are relevant to interstate moves – Full Replacement-Value Protection and Waiver of Full Replacement-Value Protection, or Released Value.
Clearly, Full Replacement-Value Protection affords you the fullest coverage. But going for it means your move costs will rise. With this level of liability (subject to allowable exceptions in your mover’s tariff), your mover will either arrange for whatever repairs are required to reinstate a damaged item to the condition it was in when you first gave it to him and his crew … or he’ll ’re not unwilling to pay more. Whatever valuation you and your mover agree upon, it must be included in your mover’s tariff. Note also that movers are permitted to limit their Full Replacement-Value liability for loss or damage of pieces valued exceptionally high. Those would be goods valued at $100 or more per pound, such as jewelry, antiques, silverware, china, oriental rugs, and the like. Get an explanation of all this from your mover. In the final analysis, though, it falls on your shoulders to make the most accurate declaration.
If you opt for a Waiver of Full Replacement-Value Protection, or Released Value, you will, of course, get minimal liability protection. But it won’t cost you anything. What this degree of protection does is limit your mover’s liability to no more than 60 cents per pound, per article. Certainly, that’s not going to give you enough of a reimbursement to replace any item valued at more than 60 cents per pound! Things like stereo equipment, gym equipment, computer hardware, and computer software are thus much more at risk. That’s something to consider before you [[commit in writing to|contract with]150 any mover!
You could, though, have one additional option: your present homeowner’s policy. Review it and talk with your insurance agent to see if there’s anything in it regarding coverage of belongings during a relocation. If there is, you may find the minimum level of mover liability coverage – Released Value – adequate.
Just make sure you’re clear about what degree of protection your moving company is including in his quote: Full Protection or Released Value. That way, you should be fully prepared for just about anything your move throws at you!
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