Selecting and hiring a moving company means finding someone with whom you can entrust all your possessions. It's not a task to take lightly. Even if your mover is reputable, it's highly recommended to ensure that they hold insurance policies that will sufficiently protect your belongings should any unexpected damages occur for any reason. It speaks to the professionalism of the movers, and it will make you more comfortable with the entire experience.
Household moving companies are obligated to register with the DOT and carry a certain amount of valuation coverage. This uses a value-per-pound guarantee of coverage. This is similar, but not identical, to insurance, and the specific requirements will vary on a state-to-state basis. That said, nearly all companies will provide the option to purchase extra insurances. Here are the three basic categories that you should be looking for in any situation:
Cargo insurance is pretty straightforward: it serves to safeguard you against damages that your goods may sustain during transportation (whether on the road or even just being carried from one room to another) and also from loss or theft at any point during the moving process. Cargo insurance policies will differ considerably between moving companies, as there is no federal standard to which they must conform. As such, don't simply compare prices when shopping around for a mover: take note of the level of protection being offered, and understand how much you'll be covered for.
If you're not satisfied with the standard level of cargo insurance and are considering purchasing more, do note that your existing home insurance plan might insure the items being shipped at no additional charge, at least up to a certain level of coverage. This is definitely something worth investigating, and could save you a bit of money.
Damage during the moving process can also occur to properties that are not part of your personal cargo – for instance, to walls and fixtures in your new or previous home; to public and/or common spaces along the way (such as the entrance hallways to apartment buildings); and to street signs and other vehicles on the road. Again, as minimum coverage will vary on a state-to-state basis, be sure to receive clarification regarding how much your movers offer by default – and consider whether you may wish to purchase more.
If movers are injured or otherwise impaired when transporting your possessions, it's possible (under certain circumstances) that you could actually be held responsible. Many people are surprised to learn this, but it's true! A federally-mandated valuation offering, worker's compensation insurance will keep you protected from incidental claims.
While moving companies, like Walsh Moving & Storage, can make life a lot easier, take some time to consider insurance policies that will cover you if anything goes wrong.