Insurance Vs. Valuation

Moving to a new city or state can be stressful and hassling without any additional considerations. However, when you are depending on a moving company to transport all of your household possessions or goods with extraordinary value, it usually adds an extra level of anxiety to your move. Moving company reps often use the terms ‘moving insurance’ and ‘moving valuation.

Do you know the difference between valuation and moving insurance? It is understandable if you need some clarification. You may have heard a moving company employee refer to “insurance” as “valuation” and vice versa. It is no secret that this creates more confusion and uncertainty between you and your mover than the various coverage options available for your goods. 

Although both moving insurance and valuation coverage provide reimbursement in case your goods and possessions get lost or damaged during your move, note some key differences between these two coverage choices.

What is Insurance?

Note that insurance is a comprehensive protection system against loss where a person agrees to pay a specific sum for a written guarantee that they’ll be compensated under stated conditions for any specified loss. Insurance is a contract that guarantees this protection. It is worth mentioning that only insurance companies or their licensed agents can sell you insurance. Moving companies are not insurance companies and, therefore, do not have the proper license to allow them to sell you insurance!

So, please do not assume that your moving company will fully cover the cost of your possessions and goods should they become damaged or lost. If a violent hailstorm rolls through on your moving day and destroys most of your stuff, your insurance provider will cover it.

It would be best if you also were careful of unscrupulous moving organizations that tend to represent valuation coverage as insurance. Insurance may also offer coverage for loss because of acts of God, fire, flood, and other unforeseen events.  It never hurts to check with your agent.

What is Valuation?

Moving valuation, on the other hand, is coverage for goods and possessions that are destroyed, lost, or damaged during a move. Note that it is your carrier’s maximum level of liability. For instance, if a mover trips and loses his balance walking up the stairs and drops your expensive vase, with moving valuation, you are covered but only to the moving company’s maximum liability.

Most importantly, despite what you may have heard, valuation is not insurance. Moving valuation is usually the maximum liability that your moving company will accept for the value of your possessions and goods if lost or damaged while in their possession. Remember that your mover will usually agree to pay a certain sum, typically based on weight, in case your property is lost or damaged. Also, note that valuation coverage in the country is regulated by federal law.

Final Thoughts

Before you sign a moving contract with any company, understand exactly what the moving company does and does not offer. Know their maximum liability and have them take you through the different types of valuation coverage so that you can make the best decision For your move.

If you have any questions or concerns about your next move, you can contact New Jersey Warehouse and Movers Association –  

Blog submission: Jeffrey C Harrington, NJWMA Board of Director and President of Harrington Moving & Storage, Inc.


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