The valuation of items being trucked in any transfer of a person, family, or business from Tulsa to another locale – or from anywhere to anywhere – is strongly regulated by the federal government.
To be clear, your moving company is, in most cases, legally liable for any loss or destruction of your personal items at any time during the haul. It’s also liable for loss and damage while its crews are physically touching your household goods in satisfaction of any other Tulsa moving services you chose. Such services should be identified on the bill of lading: packing, unpacking, disassembly and reassembly, for example.
There are, however, limits to your moving company’s liability. Those limits are determined by the federal Surface Transportation Board’s Released Rates Order. You can review a current copy of it here.
The crucial thing is, know what avenues are open to you for the safety of your possessions. And know your Tulsa moving company. Just because a mover makes it known his firm is “fully insured and bonded” is no assurance that your possessions themselves are automatically covered. On the same score, your local mover being related to a large national van line is no insurance that you’re protected either. In both situations, you may find it necessary to purchase additional third-party liability insurance. Your mover could offer to sell it to you, but he’s not legally required to sell it to you. Ask questions at the very beginning to learn exactly what your course of action should be.
Keep this top-of-mind when you’re researching your various avenues here in Tulsa: Two different levels of moving-company liability pertain to interstate moves – Full Replacement-Value Protection and Waiver of Full Replacement-Value Protection, or Released Value.
Without doubt, Full Replacement-Value Protection affords you the most all-embracing coverage. But going for it means your move costs will rise. With this degree of liability (subject to allowable exceptions in your mover’s tariff), your mover will either take care of whatever repairs are advisable to reinstate a damaged article to the condition it was in when you first left it with him and his crew … or he’ll don’t mind paying a greater price. No matter what valuation you and your mover mutually consent to, it must be included in your mover’s tariff. Note also that movers are authorized to limit their Full Replacement-Value liability for loss or damage of items valued incredibly high. Those would be belongings valued at $100 or more per pound, such as jewelry, antiques, silverware, china, oriental rugs, and so on. Seek an explanation of all this from your mover. In the final analysis, though, it’s your responsibility declare accurately.
If you decide to go with a Waiver of Full Replacement-Value Protection, or Released Value, you will, of course, receive minimal liability protection. But you’ll pay nothing for it. What this level of protection does is limit your mover’s liability to no more than 60 cents per pound, per article. Clearly, that won’t give you enough of a reimbursement to replace any item valued at more than 60 cents per pound! Items like stereo equipment, gym equipment, computer hardware, and computer software are thus significantly more at risk. That’s something to consider before you sign on the dotted line!
You could, though, have one other option: your current homeowner’s policy. Review it and get together with your insurance agent to see if there’s anything in it related to coverage of possessions during a relocation. If so, you could find the minimum level of mover liability coverage – Released Value – adequate.
Just make sure you’re onboard with what degree of protection your moving company is including in his quote: Full Protection or Released Value. That way, your move won’t punch you with any totally unexpected surprises!
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