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FAQs (2 pages)

Mover's Liability for Loss or Damage

consumer-protection1

Movers are legally liable for loss or damage that occurs during performance of any transportation of household goods identified on their lawful bill of lading.

The extant of mover's liability provided in the current Surface Transportation Board's Released Rates Order for interstate moves and California Public Utilities Commission in intrastate moves within California.

All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the goods transported. However, there are different levels of liability, and you should be aware of the amount of protection provided and the charges for each option.

In California moving companies are required to provide three levels of liability:

  1. BASIC COVERAGE is 60 cents per pound per article. This coverage ensures recovery at 60 cents multiplied by the weight of the item or the carton its packed in. Thus, if an item weighs 20 lbs is lost or damaged, you can recover $12.00 for that item ($0.60 x 20 pounds). This is a very minimal protection and your goods are most likely worth a lot more than that. This protection is included in the mover's rate at no additional cost.
  2. ACTUAL CASH VALUE is a protection that ensures recovery of the actual cash value (i.e. market value) of your goods, up to the total value you declare. There is an additional cost for this protection. The extra charge, associated with this protection will be described on the mover's bill of lading.
  3. FULL VALUE protection ensures recovery at the full value (i.e. replacement value) of your lost or damaged articles, up to the total value you declare. The mover may offer deductibles in combination with full value protection. The customer will be responsible for the deductible unless the item was lost by the mover. The mover will charge for full value protection and will indicate the cost on its bill of lading.

You must select the coverage you wish prior to mover's commencing their services.

Interstate movers offer two different levels of liability:

FULL VALUE PROTECTION (FVP) - This is the most comprehensive option available for the protection of your goods. Similar to interstate relocations there is additional cost associated with this protection, which will be described on the mover's bill of lading. Under this protection, if any article is destroyed, or damaged while in mover's custody, your mover will, at its option, either:

  1.  repair the article to the extent necessary to restore it to the same condition as when it was received by your mover, or pay you for the cost of such repairs;
  2.  replace the article with an article of like kind; or
  3.  pay you for the cost of damaged article.


RELEASE VALUE of 60 cents per pound per article. This is the most economical protection option available; however, this no-cost option provides only minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per article. The lost of damaged claims are settled based on the wight of the article multiplied by 60 cents per pound.

These two levels of liability are not insurance agreements that are governed by State insurance laws, but instead are contractual tariff levels of liability authorized under Released Rates Orders of the Surface Transportation Board of the US Department of Transportation.

LIABILITY FOR VALUABLES

Items of extraordinary value, such as antiques, art objects, gold or silver and other precious metals, jewelry, etc. should be separately described on the inventory and a value declared for each. It is best not to ship currency, jewelry, important and valuable papers and other valuable articles. It is best to keep such articles with you at all times during the move.