The valuation of items being trucked in any move of a person, family, or business from San Antonio to some other location – or from anywhere to anywhere – is heavily regulated by the federal government.
To be clear, your moving company is, in almost every instance, legally liable for any loss of or injury to your personal items during transit. It’s also liable for loss and damage while its crews are caring for your belongings in fulfillment of any other San Antonio moving services for which you contracted. Such services should be listed 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 established by the federal Surface Transportation Board’s Released Rates Order. You can review a current copy of it here.
The critical thing is, know what options you have available to you for the protection of your possessions. And know your San Antonio moving company. Just because a mover asserts that his company is “fully insured and bonded” is no guarantee that your possessions themselves are automatically covered. On the same score, your local mover being related to a large national van line is no promise that you’re protected either. In both cases, you could find it necessary to acquire added third-party liability insurance. Your mover might offer to sell it to you, but he’s not forced by law to sell it to you. Ask questions when you first meet in order to figure out precisely what’s what.
Keep this in mind when you’re researching your choices here in San Antonio: Two different measures of moving-company liability pertain to interstate moves – Full Replacement-Value Protection and Waiver of Full Replacement-Value Protection, or Released Value.
To be sure, Full Replacement-Value Protection affords you the most complete coverage. But choosing it means the price of your move will be higher. With this level of liability (subject to allowable exceptions in your mover’s tariff), your mover will either take care of whatever repairs are needed to reinstate a damaged article to the condition it was in when you first gave it to him and his crew … or he’ll don’t mind paying more. Whatever valuation you and your mover come to terms with, it must be included in your mover’s tariff. Note also that movers are empowered to limit their Full Replacement-Value liability for loss or damage of belongings valued incredibly high. Those would be belongings valued at $100 or more per pound, such as jewelry, antiques, silverware, china, oriental rugs, and the like. Get further information on all this from your mover. In the final analysis, though, it lies with you to declare accurately.
If you go for a Waiver of Full Replacement-Value Protection, or Released Value, you will, of course, receive minimal liability protection. But you won’t pay anything for it. What this degree of protection does is limit your mover’s liability to no more than 60 cents per pound, per article. Obviously, that’s not going to afford you enough of a reimbursement to replace any possession valued above 60 cents per pound! Items like stereo equipment, gym equipment, computer hardware, and computer software are thus considerably more at risk. That’s something to mull over before you [[commit in writing to|contract with]150 any mover!
You might, however, have one more option: your existing homeowner’s policy. Study it and get together with your insurance agent to discover if there’s anything in it regarding coverage of belongings during a relocation. If so, you could find the minimum level of mover liability coverage – Released Value – sufficient.
Just make sure you’re clear about what level of protection your moving company is including in his quote: Full Protection or Released Value. That way, there won’t be any surprises with your move – or at least no[[ne that you haven’t ne that you haven’t taken into consideration!
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