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What is valuation?

Insurance can cover any damage done to your goods during the move, while valuation is the amount of liability a moving company takes if your belongings get damaged during transit. Coverage under valuation is much more limited than insurance and usually refers only to how much a company will reimburse you on an item.

Different moving companies offer different types of valuation. 

Released value protection

Also referred to as basic coverage protection, this option offers bare minimum coverage and is included in intrastate moves and interstate moves. For local moves, it covers $0.60 per pound per item. For example, if you had a 100-pound dresser that broke during the move, you would receive $60 for it.

It’s important to note that your items won’t be covered as high as their market value, but this option is nice because it’s always included in the cost of your move.

What doesn’t valuation cover?

Anything that happens beyond the control of licensed movers (e.g., earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.) isn’t necessarily covered by valuation, and there are certain reasons why your moving company might limit how much liability they take. Here are some examples:

  • If you packed your own belongings instead of having movers pack them for you
  • If you failed to report lost or damaged items immediately after the move.
  • If you failed to specify in writing prior to a move that an item has extraordinary value
  • If you packed dangerous or precarious materials without notifying your mover

Do I need moving insurance?

This all depends on how pricey and valuable your goods are—and if you want insurance over valuation. For instance, if you live in Florida and are moving during prime hurricane season, it might make more sense to go with insurance, since it protects against water damage.

But if you’re moving locally and your concern is less about unpredictable weather and more about a mover shattering your favorite Williams Sonoma plate set, you’re probably better off going with a valuation option.

Does my homeowners policy cover the move?

It’s all case-by-case, but generally speaking, most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover household goods in a move—or their coverage is extremely limited. Homeowners insurance policies cover your belongings while movers are packing them in your home, but your belongings won’t be covered in transit, which is the whole point of having moving insurance in the first place.

If the thought of this worries you and valuation doesn’t seem like enough protection, moving company insurance can be a good solution. But remember, moving companies aren’t authorized to sell insurance themselves, so you’ll have to get it from a third party.