Basic Damage Protection
A moving company that does not provide transportation is not required to provide any type of insurance or valuation coverage. However, we believe that a professional moving service should have some level of liability for the services provided. Therefore, we voluntarily abide by federal tariff laws to provide basic Released Valuation coverage on all moves, the same coverage that a full service moving company must provide. This is a default coverage of up to $0.60 per pound for damage to household goods while being handled by the movers. This coverage is not insurance and is not value based.
There are at least five segments to every move: Packing, Loading, Transport, Unloading and Unpacking. Full service moving companies can provide a wide range of additional insurance options because they generally handle all five segments, ensuring that each item is inventoried and handled directly by their movers. Moving labor is different because we generally only provide services for one or two of the segments, most commonly loading and unloading. Because we do not transport your items we are unable to remain in possession of your household goods for the entire move. As a result of this, your movers liability for basic damage protection ends once they are no longer in possession of your items, which is typically when they depart your location. To have a valid claim you must notify your movers of any damage you wish to report before they depart your location.
Full service movers (moving companies that also transport) are required by the Department of Transportation to provide customers with the ability to purchase additional insurance coverage's. Because moving labor companies do not provide transportation we cannot provide additional coverage options. However, there are several types of insurance that may be available to you for your DIY move:
- Homeowners and Renters Insurance: These coverage's (notably homeowners) typically will cover damage that occurs during transit. It is recommended that you speak with your insurer to confirm the details of coverage
- Third Party Insurers: There are insurance companies that will sell a policy specifically to cover household goods during a move. It is important to note that these policies tend to have a lot of exclusions and should be thoroughly reviewed before purchasing
- Insurance from Truck Rental / Portable Storage Companies: Most truck rental, storage container and transportation companies will provide insurance options for your items. These insurance coverages typically insure your household goods against loss due to fire and other natural events. Review the details of each insurance option directly with your transportation company before purchasing
Understanding the exclusions list will help you better prepare for your move. In addition to the list, we have also provided additional information for each item to help you understand why the items are excluded.
Any item not recorded on our work order before we depart your location
Because we do not transport any items, once the shipment leaves our possession we cannot be liable for any damages. You have the right to inspect all items prior to the departure of our moving labor crews. Any damaged items that are not excluded from coverage must be noted on the work order to be considered claimable.
Any items packed by the customer
Items packed by owner "(PBO)" are not covered because we cannot be sure how the box, crate or bin was packed, or if it was packed correctly. Further, many boxes are used several times and their structure may not be adequate to prevent damage.
Household property such as wood floors, carpet, walls, doors and similar
The customer is required to prepare and prep these items against damage. If you make arrangements with the movers to provide this service for you, then any damage to household property that was prepared by the movers will typically be covered.
Particle board furniture
Generally cheaper items, particle board is prone to damage when moved. Think "Ikea" style furniture. These items are not covered because of the poor quality of the material and the likelihood that damage will occur even when properly handled.
Any damage to furniture when proper padding/blankets were not provided
As explained above, hiring professional movers is only half the battle. Furniture pads are extremely important in ensuring that your items are packed safely for transport. If you fail to provide furniture pads it is very likely that some of your items will be damaged during the move. If an adequate amount of pads are not provided by the customer during the load we will not be responsible for any damage, even while on site.
Special care items or high value items without proper packaging and preparation
The best example of these items are flat screen TVs. Traditional moving companies will require you to crate these items before shipment to remove their liability. We will move these items without packaging or crating at the customer's request, however we will not insure any of these items unless they are packed and/or crated appropriately.
Pool tables, pianos, tanning beds and high value items
While we do move many different types of heavy items (when our heavy items policies are met), that does not mean we specialize in them. For these items you should hire a company that specializes in the item, such as piano movers, pool table movers, gun safe movers, etc. A specialty company will have the appropriate training and equipment for these items.
Vehicles, motorcycles, riding lawn mowers and similar
These are not standard household items. It is the customer's responsibility to load and secure small motorized vehicles.
Items the customer helps with
Our slogan is, "Your Move, Our Movers". Simply put, our movers will provide as much or as little help as you need. If the customer wishes to assist in the movement of any item they may, however, if that item is damaged while being moved it would be exempt from coverage.
Furniture which cannot be moved safely or without damage to the home
From time to time we will be asked to move furniture in/out of a home that cannot be moved without damage to the item or the property. This may be because the item is too large to fit through the doorway, hallway or stairwell but may also be a result of other situations. For example, washers and dryers typically have "feet" the jut out from the bottom. When moving a washer or dryer in a home with vinyl flooring it's nearly impossible to avoid ripping the vinyl floor. As you might imagine there are hundreds of potential scenarios that may fall into this exemption category. In a situation where we are absolutely certain damage will occur, we allow you approve the movement with a signed liability waiver. In a situation where the item may cause injury in addition to property damage it is ultimately up to the supervisor to determine how to proceed.
Items that we assemble or disassemble
Movers that provide assembly services do so for items that are considered common and necessary throughout a normal move and do not require advanced knowledge or special tools. While most items will be taken apart or put back together without issues, we cannot assume responsibility for a service that we provide as a courtesy.
Electronics such as gaming consoles, computers, stereos, tablets, etc
Most of these items will typically be packed by the customer which is excluded from coverage. Further, we do not assess the working condition of electronics before moving them. Therefore, we cannot know for certain whether or not the item was in working condition prior to the move.
Despite the long list of exclusions and limitations, we do provide coverage for items that we knowingly, and without dispute, damage. Any item(s) damaged during the move must be listed on the work order prior to the completion of your move. Any item(s) not listed on the work order are not eligible for coverage. Released Valuation coverage will be provided to all items dropped or damaged on site while in the possession of our movers, assuming they do not meet any of the exclusions above.
Remember, Released Valuation covers up to $0.60 per pound per item. Factors such as condition of the item and depreciation may reduce the amount of compensation ultimately paid.
Any covered damage that occurs, while the movers are on site, must be submitted to the company that provided moving services.
- Make sure that the broken or damaged item(s) are listed on your work order before the movers depart the site.
- Contact the moving company that provided services directly and inform them of the damage. They will advise you of their claims process and, if necessary, provide you with paperwork to be completed.
- If you do not have the company contact information we will be happy to provide it to you. Please contact EML Customer Support at (888) 354-8303 to obtain this information.
Assuming the steps above were followed correctly and the damaged item(s) are not excluded, the moving company that provided services will have the option to repair the damaged item or compensate you in accordance with Released Valuation. The option of repair versus compensation is at the sole discretion of the moving company.
The company may have relationships with repair companies and will have sole authority to choose the company of their choice. Although you may request your own repair estimates be aware that costs associated with estimates or repairs will not be covered unless pre-approved by the company. Requests for reimbursement for unauthorized estimates or repairs will be denied.
If the company opts for compensation instead of repair, a payment will be made to you based on the weight of the item, its condition and depreciation, up to $0.60 per pound. It is important to remember that Released Valuation is a basic coverage and will not cover the full replacement value of your damaged item(s).
For additional information please visit the Disputes section of our Terms & Conditions.