All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the goods that they transport. However, there are different levels of liability, and you should be aware of the amount of protection provided and the charges for each option.
INTRASTATE VALUATION OPTIONS:
Shipments moving within the state of North Carolina, regardless of the distance, have the following two options. The value of the goods, the levels of the liability and the charges for each option are defined by the Maximum Rate Tariff issued by the NC Utilities Commission.
The valuation choice must be initialized on the Uniform Household Goods Bill of Lading and signed for on the Addendum to Uniform Household Goods Bill of Lading. Valuation is NOT insurance; it is a defined level of carrier liability. Settlement of any claim for loss or damage is based upon the level of protection you select.
Basic Value Protection: There is no charge for this valuation. This lower level of value protection is provided at no additional cost. However, it only provides minimal protection that is considerably less than the average value of household goods. The carrier’s maximum liability shall be $.60 per pound per the actual weight of any lost or damaged articles or articles, if the shipment has been expressly released by the shipper to such value per article. (For example, if a refrigerator weighing 400 lbs was destroyed, a check for $240 would be issued. The value of the item is not considered when settling claims with Basic Value Protection.) It is possible that settlement of any claim under this level of valuation will not be satisfactory.
Full Value Protection: The carrier’s maximum liability shall be the larger of: (a) $4.00 times the actual weight in pounds of the shipment, or (b) the declared lump sum value of the shipment. (The declared value must be at least $4.00 per pound times the weight of the shipment.) In the event that goods being moved are lost, the carrier will have the option of replacing them with articles of like kind and quality or paying the shipper the cost of replacement (as determined by current market value without deduction for depreciation). In the event that goods are damaged, the carrier will have these options, plus the additional options of repairing them to the extent necessary to restore them to the same condition as when received by the carrier from the shipper, or paying the shipper the cost of repair. The charge for this protection is $.75 per each $100 of valuation. (Example: shipment weighs 5,000#. Minimum full value protection is selected. 5,000# x $4.00 = $20,000. Charge would be $20,000 x $.75 = $150.00).
INTERSTATE VALUATION OPTIONS:
Movers are required to offer two different levels of liability for shipments moving between states. These levels of liability are NOT insurance. They are contractual tariff levels of liability authorized under Released Rates Orders of the Surface Transportation of the US Department of Transportation.
In addition to these options, some movers may also offer to sell, or procure for you, separate added liability insurance if you release your shipment for a value of 60 per pound per article (Option 2 below). This is not valuation coverage governed by Federal law, but optional insurance that is regulated under state law. If you purchase coverage, in the event of loss or damage which is the responsibility of the mover, the mover is liable only for an amount not exceeding 60 cents per pound per article, and the balance of the loss is recoverable from the insurance company up to the amount of insurance purchased. The mover’s representative can advise you of the availability of such liability insurance and the cos. If you purchase this separate liability insurance from or through your mover, be sure to get a copy of the policy or other document at the time of purchase.
Option 1: Full (Replacement) Value Protection: This is the most comprehensive plan available for the protection of your goods. Under this option, often referred to as “full value protection” or “full replacement value”, articles that are lost, damaged or destroyed will be (at the mover’s option) either repaired, replaced with like items, or a cash settlement will be made for the cost of the repair, or for the current market replacement value, regardless of the age of the lost or damaged items. Depreciation of the lost or damaged item is not a factor.
The exact cost for full value protection may vary by mover and may be further subject to various deductible levels of liability that may reduce your cost. Ask your mover for details of their specific plan.
Under this option, movers are permitted to limit their liability for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value, unless you specifically list these articles on the shipping documents. An article of extraordinary value is any items whose value exceeds $100 per pound (for example, jewelry, silverware, china, furs, antiques, oriental rugs and computer software). Ask your mover for a complete explanation of this limitation before your move. It is your responsibility to study this provision carefully and to make the necessary declaration.
Option 2: Released Value: This is the most economical protection option available; however, this no-additional-cost option provides only minimal protection. Under this option, the movers assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound of the article multiplied by 60 cents. For example, if a 10-pound stereo component, value at $1,000 were lost destroyed, the mover would be liable for no more than $6.00 (10 pounds x $.60). Obviously, you should think carefully before agreeing to such an arrangement. There is no extra charge for this minimum protection, but you must sign a specific statement on the bill of lading agreeing to it.