How do I choose which kind of valuation is right for me?

So now that you know your options, how do you make a decision?

Determine how much your belongings are worth

Create a comprehensive list of everything you own (and consider videoing it with your smartphone), from shoes to bookshelves to pots and pans. Make sure to include important details like existing damage. Though it might be a pain, taking inventory of your belongings before you move can save you a lot of stress and money down the road.

As you list everything you own, ask yourself some important questions. What’s the relative market value of your living room chairs, dining set, and shoe collection? Do you have a lot of rare art or antiques, or is your couch the same beer-stained one you had in college? Determine the dollar amount of what your belongings are worth and then estimate the weight of your household goods by finding a weight calculator online like this one. Now, consider released value protection versus full value protection. Which one makes more sense?

Do a little math to determine if released value protection is sufficient

Say you estimate your household goods to weigh a total of 10,000 pounds. If you choose released valuation coverage, your moving company would take on $6,000 of liability (60 cents times 10,000 pounds). Ultimately, if your belongings in total are worth $6,000 or less, it financially makes the most sense for you to stick with the released valuation protection.

Decide if the additional cost of full value protection is worth it

Now say you valued your household goods at something like $80,000, and $6,000 worth of coverage wouldn’t even help you replace your antique desk. In that case, you may want to purchase full value protection. Even if you pay a $500 premium and have a $1,000 deductible, the cost will be worth it when you have a $1,500 TV on the line. Just make sure you are aware of any extra costs associated with getting coverage for items worth more than $100 per pound (items of extraordinary value).

There are also other variables to consider when deciding what kind of coverage you need, such as how far you are moving and whether you are transporting high-value items like designer shoes yourself.  

Things to remember when purchasing valuation

At the end of the day, how you choose to protect your belongings is up to you. Here are a few important things to remember as you go through the process.

  • Moving insurance is not actually insurance, but for all intents and purposes, acts in the same way. They call this type of coverage valuation.
  • Released value protection comes at no extra cost to you, but offers only minimal protection (60 cents per pound per item)
  • Full value protection is a comprehensive policy but requires you to pay an upfront premium (typically 1% of the total value)
  • Full value protection does not automatically cover items of extraordinary value (items worth $100+ per pound) — you will have to pay an additional amount to cover these items
  • The type of coverage you choose should be based on how much you value your household goods — do you have tons of expensive furniture or just some leftovers from college you really wouldn’t mind losing?

Still have questions about valuation (AKA moving insurance)? Ask away in the comments below!

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