A combination of your own household insurance and the mover's insurance may cover you should there be damage to, or loss of, your belongings. It is important to fully understand your coverage. Generally, your household insurance will cover you for catastrophic loss. If you purchase the mover's replacement value protection it will cover your goods for loss or damage. Otherwise, your default protection is rated at $0.60 per pound per item. For example if a 10 lb. chair is broken, you will receive $6 for its value.
Under transportation law, the mover is not responsible for carrying goods of extraordinary value, such as works of art, unless that value has been declared. Some items have what is called "inherent vice" which means that they are intended to be assembled and left in one place for their useful life (e.g., some fibreboard furniture). Movers will legitimately ask for a waiver of liability when they see this type of fragile item in your inventory.
You can also print out this checklist of insurance issues to consider for a quick reference.
- Contact your own insurance provider to clarify your overall coverage for your goods while in transit.
- Confirm if the mover is insured and ask for a copy of the mover's Certificate of Insurance. The certificate should indicate sufficient cargo and warehouse insurance to cover the value of your goods.
- Check with the moving company about the cost of Replacement Value Protection (RVP). This means that the moving company agrees to be legally liable, up to a certain amount that represents the estimated value of the property being moved. Make sure that the total amount of declared value is enough to replace all of your furniture and personal effects.
- If you don't buy replacement value protection, confirm how much the moving company is liable for if there is loss of and/or damage to your goods. Generally, the mover's liability is $0.60 per pound per item.
- Ensure that the mover has workers compensation coverage. All CAM members are registered with their provincial workers compensation board. Ask to see the mover's workers compensation certificate for the mover and any subcontractors.
- Ask about liability if you pack the items yourself. Generally, the mover is not liable for loss or damage to goods that are packed by the shipper.
- Verify how to make a claim and any time limits for making it.
- If you packed special care items (i.e., glass, marble, and other " at owner's risk" items that are not packed professionally), the mover is not likely to have any liability for damage.
- Review the other checklists available on this site.
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