I found a service provider who quoted me lower than many others and decided to try them out. They took an online payment, a deposit they said, and I got my papers via fax.
My mover told me the insurance I got was no good and even told me they would not work with the service unless I gave them a waiver of some sort. This was odd, I thought, since the stories I heard from friends usually had the insurance disapproving the mover. Turns out the moving insurance I had gotten was from a fly-by-night outfit some jerk was running out of his bedroom pc. That was the last time I bought anything online.
The next morning I went out to an agency referred to me by a friend. This nice lady gave me the usual spiel about needing protection and coverage from theft. I had nothing better to do that afternoon so I sat in on her explanations of their process, besides they had pretty good coffee. I found out that there was a rising number of rogue movers out there matched by a lot of fly-by-night insurance agencies, one of which I had fallen victim to. I was thinking of letting the “deposit” I paid slide but after hearing this lady’s words I was fired up. I wanted my money back.
It was a long and convoluted process and I was eventually able to reclaim only part of what I paid for “deposit” after the credit card charges, but I had satisfaction from shafting the wiseguy.
So the movers came and packed my stuff. One of them broke a vase my sister gave me one Christmas, I didn’t cry for it but I claimed on that. They packed all my furniture and kitchen stuff, and thanks to my paying attention to the insurance lady I kept my own list of items and had the crew chief sign off on it.
You can do this by (1) writing down all significant pieces of furniture; glassware, appliances, electronics, personal effects, etc…, (2) give each a mark and an approximate weight. If you have a large number of books that you’ll be packing into boxes, (3) assign each box an approximate weight and state it on the outside of the box. This can be applied to clothes, kitchen items, tools and other loose items. (4) mark each box an approximate replacement value, it would only aid you in the workers handling of your items. Be careful when you price a high value item as the mover may not give you a value you would be comfortable with.
In case you are moving specific and expensive items like works of art or jewelry you must be exact in your details of the item. Some movers would require you to produce an appraisal by a third party of their choosing. Upon approval you must provide specific instructions regarding the handling of the item.
Replacement value means the cost to replace the item with another item of comparable material and quality. The replacement must be used for the same purpose. This applies unless the cost to repair or replace the damaged item is less at the discretion of the insurer.
It is a good idea to take photos of all pieces, especially items of sentimental value or high appraisal. This will assist in keeping track of your inventory despite the list supplied to you by the mover. The idea is to have your own independent system to countercheck the movers and keep them honest. This will help if you need to make a claim.