By:
Jacob Beckstead
Posted:
February 9, 2024
Article type:
Understanding Bailey's Moving
Applies to:
All Moving

Why Is Valuation Coverage Not Included in the Cost of My Move?

Valuation is a name for the concept of assigning a value to your household goods so that in case of damage or loss, you can receive a valued amount back, covering the expense of the loss. There are different valuation levels, but usually, when we say valuation we're talking about total replacement coverage. It's also called Full Valuation or Extra Care Protection. It's often a concept that gets confusing to people who aren't experienced in how moving companies work.

We get this question in a few variations:

  • "Why is it not included in the cost of my move?"
  • "Why do I have to pay extra for it?"

The short answer is because it's not something every customer wants, so it's easier to allow you to include it, then subtract it out from every move where you didn't want to pay for it. Each company can vary its policy. Some might choose to include it upfront, and others will show it as a line item to add if you want.

But why is it extra?

That answer comes down to a give and take between customers and moving companies. There's a history. Let's break it down.

#1 - What Is Total Valuation?

If you are shipping items, whether with a moving company, a delivery company, or anyone else with a truck, you'll often be asked how much the items shipped are worth. After all, no one will know the actual value of your items except you - freight companies aren't expert appraisers.

Once you know the value, the delivery company can agree to compensate you at that value in case of damage or loss. Costs, rules, and details change with every company, but it will fundamentally work that way in most places. Moving companies work the same way as delivery companies in this regard. When you ship multiple items, it's common to ask the value of the total shipment and then work to repair, replace, or compensate at the value of the individual pieces that are broken or missing.

#2 - Are There Other Options?

Short answer is yes. Moving companies have an option for you to release valuation, which is sometimes called "basic liability protection." This is the basic amount that a moving company will cover without a declared valuation. This occurs because you are releasing it's value or not providing your shipment's value to the company shipping it. In this case, there is a default plan in place to compensate you at a standard rate of 60 cents per pound for any damaged or lost item.

This option allows you to receive some compensation, but most customers find it isn't enough to cover the actual value of your belongings.

You can also purchase insurance policies from insurance companies that offer that service, separate from the moving company.

#3 - So Why Is it Extra?

Truthfully, it's extra because it's a way for moving companies to hedge against losses and damages that can happen along the way, outside of their control. Even the absolute best moving company will experience some damage and some loss. That's because the process isn't only in control of the moving company.

Other drivers on the road, the weather, and road hazards can cause loss or damage, among other things. Some things are in the control of the moving company, like packing, tiering, and other loading practices, but often hazards outside the control of the moving company create damage or loss.

There's also another, less ideal situation, which is deceit. Some customers have used moving companies as a payout for previously damaged items. They hid damage from the moving company and then claimed it was part of the transit damage. Over the years, as this started to happen more frequently, moving companies' costs rose. Just as prices rise in stores as theft has increased over the years, this same increase has occurred in the moving industry.

However, instead of simply raising prices for all customers, this option of adding in valuation as a line item allows moving customers to choose if it's right for them and keep the price lower if it's not the right fit. We felt it was the best way to share the costs as an industry. Hopefully, you'll agree.

So, will it be right for you to purchase extra care protection or total valuation? Check out our blog on that exact topic.