All licensed movers must carry cargo insurance, for the customers’ and the company’s protection. This translates into cargo valuation coverage in the amount of 60 cents per pound per article. Obviously, this is basic and limited coverage for covering your belongings.

illustration of a person putting moving boxes in a moving van to prepare for an interstate moveRemember: Movers Are Not Insurance Companies!

Some moving companies offer different options for increased coverage, but you should remember that no interstate moving company is an insurance company.

If your long-distance mover has offered to sell you increased insurance coverage directly, then this is increased valuation, NOT INSURANCE.

This increased valuation means that for your interstate move your relocation company has agreed to be liable for damages above the $.60 per pound limit (usually this maxes out at around $5.00 per pound). This is still not enough to cover the full replacement cost of many items, especially smaller, lighter, expensive items such as TVs and fine china.

Guarantee Coverage

The only sure-fire way to guarantee that your things will be covered at full replacement value is to purchase additional insurance (not increased valuation). Many interstate movers offer this option through reputable third-party insurers who deal only with moving and storage.

Additional Insurance Options

Elephant Moving and Storage is pleased to offer a variety of increased additional insurance for interstate relocation. The basic coverage of $.60 per pound per article is included automatically and free of charge with every move, and also with all storage.

The two most popular additional overages our customers most frequently purchase for their interstate relocation are ‘Total Loss Only’ and ‘Full Replacement Value.’

Full Replacement Value – Lump Sum

This coverage is for a specified dollar amount (customer states that shipment is worth $XX,XXX). Any items specifically valued at greater than $500 must be noted at the time of purchase.

Damaged and destroyed items are covered at full replacement value up to the lump sum amount of the insurance. Customers should be careful not to undervalue their total shipment since compensation is limited to the total lump sum amount specified at the time of purchase.

Full Replacement Value – Valued Inventory

This coverage offers full value protection for a list of select items.

You will be prompted to create an inventory list that includes the name, value, and condition of each item. Damage to listed items is covered, but items not included on the valued inventory are not covered by the additional moving insurance (the basic coverage of $.60 per pound will apply to these items).

Total Loss Only

This coverage is for a specified dollar amount and pays only in the case of catastrophic loss. Small damages are not covered by this type of insurance.

Benefits of this coverage include low cost and protection against a major accident or disaster.

Pairs and Sets Insurance

This includes pairs and sets coverage and mechanical and electrical derangement coverage. Pairs and sets will replace a full set of something if only one or part of the set is damaged.

The mechanical coverage covers the internal workings of mechanical and electrical devices (without this add-on coverage, only physical damage to the unit itself is covered).

All of our basic and increased insurance options cover the goods that we transport and store. None of these options cover damage to the premises we work in.

Be advised that Elephant Moving’s liability is limited to $100.00 for damage to floors, walls, doors, and painted surfaces.

Elephant Movers and StorageDo you know the difference between a moving company vs a moving broker?

A moving broker is definitely not a mover!

Brokers do not have the operational and logistic capabilities that moving companies have. They do not have moving trucks, professional movers, proper moving equipment, and in a lot of cases not much moving experience.

What Is a Moving Broker?

Moving brokers are basically a sales team that book your move and sell it to an actual moving company, so the day of the move you would get a surprise: the mover you chose after long research, to trust and move your home, is a different mover – not the one that you picked!

Sometimes the broker does not manage to sell the job because he ‘lowballed’ the estimate and no reputable moving companies are willing to buy the job. In this case, you can get stuck with no mover on the day of your move.

Worst of all, many of the moving brokers are located in a call center somewhere far from your city.

Stay Informed About Your Move

When you book your move make sure to ask the company you are moving with if they are an actual moving company. Make sure that the company you booked uses their own crews and trucks to pick up your shipment.

When in doubt, stick to using a reputable local moving company instead of relying on a moving broker.

elephant moving and storageUnderstanding the New Regulations for Moving Brokers

Hopefully, the days of brokers misleading customers and hiding behind unclear regulations have come to an end. Few, if any, consumers seem to understand the distinction between brokers and carriers, with the result being frustrated consumers who often feel cheated of their rights. A moving broker is not a mover.

The New Moving Broker Requirements

The new FMCSA requirements compel interstate household goods brokers to comply with a number of rules and consumer protection regulations.

In the past, some of them have been similar to those required for household goods carriers. Under the new regulations, brokers will be subject to the same consumer protection requirements as licensed interstate movers.

  • Brokers must include their USDOT number in their advertisements and on their websites.
  • They must provide the same consumer information brochures as required of interstate household goods carriers.
  • They must make clear their policies on deposits, cancellations, and refunds.
  • Must provide an increased $25,000 surety bond.

Brokers can now only provide estimates performed by authorized carriers with whom the broker has a current agreement, and then only based on the carrier’s tariff.

Physical surveys are required for shipments located with 50 miles of the authorized carrier’s place of business. An electronic waiver of the physical survey is permitted only if agreed to by both the carrier and the shipper.

The New Broker Advertising Regulations

Broker advertisements and internet sites may now only include names and logos of FMCSA authorized carriers with whom the broker has a current agreement.

The American Moving and Storage Assoc (AMSA) also recommend that broker fees or charges should be separately identified on estimates, and clearly distinguishable from transportation charges.

These changes mean that consumers should have a much easier time figuring out if the company they are dealing with is a broker or an actual moving company.