Understanding Liability Coverage in Long Distance Moves

Learn about liability coverage for long distance moves, ensuring protection and informed decisions for a smooth transition.
Understanding Liability Coverage in Long Distance Moves - Adams Van Lines

Liability coverage protects your goods from unforeseen events during your move. In the event of damage to your goods, you’ll be liable for either full or partial reimbursement (based on your level of protection).

Along with choosing the best time to move, having liability coverage should be a top priority on your moving checklist.

Types of Liability Coverage

Although the cost to hire movers is higher than a DIY move, especially in long distance moves, it won’t always insure your belongings. Understanding the types of insurance and the types of protection they provide is essential.

Two basic types of insurance protection are currently available in the market: Released Value Protection and Full Value Protection. There’s also Third-party protection, which we’ll get into later in the article.

1. Released Value Protection

This is the most basic protection a moving company can provide. Released Value Protection provides compensation according to the item’s weight and not its value. Compensation is often minimal in case of property damage or loss, and the moving company’s liability is limited to a predetermined amount.

Consider the following scenario: A moving company has a contract stating that they must compensate 50 cents per pound. Let’s say you have an item worth $500 that weighs 300 pounds, and unfortunately, it gets damaged during the move. According to the contract terms, the moving company would only reimburse you $150 for the damages.

2. Full Value Protection

The much more comprehensive Full Value Protection is a moving company’s subsequent liability coverage. This liability coverage compensates for damages or loss according to the item’s value and not its weight. The moving company does it in either two ways: Repair the given product or replace it with a new one.

If replacement isn’t possible, they will reimburse the value to the customer. Remember, Full Value protection costs are significantly higher than those of Released Value Protection.

With Full Value Protection, you’re getting better protection for your valuables, but you must also be aware of some conditions. First of all, the movers aren’t liable to compensate you for any item valued at more than $100 per pound unless mentioned in the contract.

Ensure you include all those products that might fall under this category in your inventory and contract and inform the moving company. Ensure you ask your company about such caveats, as they may vary from company to company.

Declared Value Protection

Declared Value Protection is a coverage option provided by moving companies to customers during the moving process. With this option, you declare a specific value for your belongings before the move, and the moving company uses that declared value to determine the extent of compensation in case of damage, loss, or theft during the move.

For example, if you value your items at $5 per pound and your shipment weighs 12,000 pounds, your declared valuation is $60,000. If the entire shipment is lost or damaged, $60,000 would be your maximum compensation.

1. Third-Party Insurance

If your moving company doesn’t provide you with your desired insurance, or you are dissatisfied with the liability coverage, you can opt for third-party moving insurance.

There are also other types of insurance, such as relocation insurance and total loss coverage. Relocation Insurance is a type of coverage that offers protection for your belongings during a move, whether short-distance or long-distance relocation.

While Relocation coverage protects your items during a move, Total Loss Coverage is a specific aspect of insurance that focuses on providing compensation if your belongings are are entirely destroyed during the move.

2. Claims Process

Understanding the claims process before your move is recommended, as any delays later could be detrimental to your recovery. If you discover any items damaged or suspect that you might have lost something, you must immediately inform the insurer’s office in writing. You must include all the photographic evidence along with the inventory.

After due diligence, they should arrange for an in-person inspection. Always ensure you do not temper the package further and store it separately for the company to inspect. And if, for any reason, your claim is rejected, you must submit more evidence for your claim.

Tips for Securing Your Valuables

1. Documenting the Condition of Your Packages

The best way to document the condition of your package is by taking pictures of them. This will come in handy if there’s any change to the condition of the package.

2. Packing Carefully

While packing, you should give utmost care to items of significance. These can include items with high sentimental value to high cost products, like jewelry and antiques.

Try to use recyclable and bio-degradable wrap as far as possible. Also, remember to donate the packaging material once you’re done. That way, you also contribute to an environment-friendly move.

3. Report Any Damage

When unpacking, if you notice any damages or suspect any missing belongings, report it to the moving company immediately.

4. Look For Moving Companies That Are Reputable

Lastly, but most importantly, hire long distance movers that are reputable. Look for customer reviews online. Ask your family members and relatives if they have any recommendations.

When making a big decision like moving, ensuring you receive the best possible service is crucial.


Do you need Moving Insurance?

It depends on the type of goods that you have. If you have valuable items, you should consider an extra level of protection for their safety. If you’re moving long distance, it’s worth considering moving insurance. Moving insurance will definitely reduce some of that moving stress!

Does the moving company’s responsibility also include protecting my property?

Yes, it does! The moving company’s responsibilities encompass safe transport, proper handling, and adhering to agreed-upon terms to ensure a smooth relocation process. However, the moving company can’t provide free-of-charge protection in case of an unforeseen event. Thus, the importance of Insurance comes in.

Is it a costly affair?

Multiple factors contribute to the price of moving insurance. It depends on the value of the goods and the type of insurance. For example, if you are considering Full Value Protection, be prepared to pay a little bit more, since it provides much more coverage than other options.

How are deductibles important in liability coverage?

They are the initial amount you’ll pay before the insurance company pays their coverage. Deductibles affect the amount of compensation you are to receive.

How can I document my belongings?

Apart from taking photos, try to keep receipts, make an inventory and share it with the insurers.

What are the things not covered under moving insurance policies?

You must understand the full terms of your insurance before getting started. Things that may not be covered under insurance policies include:

  • Perishable items
  • Hazardous items
  • Any valuable or sentimental item that you didn’t inform the insurer about.

Is Liability Coverage Important?

Understanding the ins and outs of liability coverage is essential for protecting your valuables and to make your move easier. There is a spectrum of liability coverage that a moving company provides. From Released to Full value protection, understanding the different types of liability coverage will help you choose the right insurance type for your move!
Adam Palme - Author
Adam Palme

Adam grew up in military family, which meant he moved more than 20 times before he graduated high school. The experience taught him a lot about adaptability (and loading boxes), which he leveraged into a career in the moving and storage industry 7 years ago. He’s been working in sales and customer service management for 20 years, and he uses his own experiences to write content about moving, storage, leadership, and teamwork. Outside of work, Adam enjoys coaching youth football in Miami and enjoying some beach time with his dog. Go Dolphins!

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