Moving in N.C.? How Your Items Are Protected During a Move Is Changing

Moving in N.C.? How Your Items Are Protected During a Move Is Changing
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Changes are coming for North Carolina homeowners hiring a moving company next year. Beginning in January, there will be fewer options to financially protect items during a move.

Currently, moving customers have three "valuation" options to choose from when insuring their items during a move. Valuation isn't moving insurance, per se, but it is the calculation used to determine a carrier’s liability for goods while they're being moved. It determines how much a mover will reimburse a customer for damaged or lost goods.

For example, if your mover drops your china, you won't necessarily be reimbursed the full price to replace or repair the damaged items, depending on the protection you chose before the move. The mover's liability — what they owe you for the damage — is determined by the valuation coverage customers choose.

In North Carolina, the three protection options today are, from lowest reimbursement to highest:

1. Basic Value Protection — Free to the customer. The mover's maximum liability should an item be damaged or lost is 60 cents per pound, regardless of the item's value.

2. Depreciated Value Protection — Costs 50 cents per $100 in valuation. The carrier's maximum liability is limited to the larger of either $1.25 times the weight of the shipment, or the declared lump sum value of the shipment, minus depreciation. The moving company also has the option to pay the owner the value, less any depreciation, of any lost or damaged goods; to repair any damaged goods to the same condition as when received by the household goods carrier; or to pay the property owner the cost to repair the items damaged in the move. 

3. Full Value Protection — Costs 75 cents per $100 of valuation. The moving company's maximum liability is limited to the larger of either $4 times the weight in pounds of the shipment, or the declared lump sum value of the shipment. If goods being moved are lost, the carrier has the option of replacing them with articles of like kind and quality, or paying the customer the cost of replacement. If goods are damaged, the mover will have those options, plus the option of repairing the items broken during the move to the same condition as when they were received by the carrier, or paying the customer the cost of repair. 

RELATED: Don't hire a mover without considering these insurance options

What's changing in N.C.

The overwhelming majority of North Carolina moves utilize either basic value protection or full value protection, according to the North Carolina Movers Association. Those are the two protection options that will remain next year. But "Depreciated Value Protection" is on its way out.

Streamlining the process makes sense for both movers and customers, says Tripp Moore, owner of highly rated Two Men and a Truck in Charlotte and president of the North Carolina Movers Association.

“The options that are chosen by almost all of our intrastate moves are still available, and customers can be served well by these,” he says.

The rates that moving companies can charge for each type of valuation protection is capped by state regulation. But rates also may rise in the coming year.

Moore says one thing homeowners should remember is that if they have a particular item that is of special value — such as a priceless family heirloom that they would like treated differently than either of these valuations — they must declare those before the move and make special arrangements for the items.

In moving terms, an article of extraordinary value is any item whose value exceeds $100 per pound, such as jewelry, silverware, china, furs or antiques. These can be declared on a specific form or simply noted on the Bill of Lading when loading the items for a move, Moore says.

Ask your mover for a complete explanation about how these items will be handled before your move. 

For North Carolina moves, you can learn more about the laws here.