Moving Insurance | Full Value Protection vs. Release Value Coverage

You are planning to move to a new home in a new state. You have packed everything, and now you are ready to go. How sure are you that your valuables will be safe during the move? You need moving insurance to ensure your belongings are safe during your interstate move.

What if an Accident Happens During the Move?

You have chosen your mover well. The driver has a clean driving record and has not caused an accident in the last one year. You are safe but let’s face it —anything could happen.

If the truck that carries your stuff gets into an accident and your possessions get damaged, your homeowner’s policy may cover that. But your coverage limits are usually lower than usual while your valuables are away from your home.

What about the Mover?

Federal law requires interstate movers to offer valuation coverage. Valuation coverage is available in two options:

  • Full-Value Protection
  • Released Value Coverage

Full-value protection is the more comprehensive plan for your possession’s protection. Unless you choose the other option, your mover typically transports your belongings under the full-value protection level of liability.

If any of your items gets lost, damaged, or destroyed, your mover will:

  • Repair the damaged item
  • Replace your item with a similar one
  • Give you cash to cover the repair cost or the market replacement value.

Under this option, the law permits your mover to limit their liability in connection with articles of extraordinary value. But they are liable if you had specifically listed such items on the shipping list. The law defines an article of extraordinary value as one with a value that is more than $100 per pound. Examples are jewelry, furs, china, antiques, and silverware.


The minimum rate is $6 per pound times the total weight of your load. But this may vary from mover to mover. Comparison-shopping always helps.

Released Value Coverage

The released value coverage is free. As you might already expect, it is significantly different than full-value protection. Under this option, your mover assumes a maximum liability of 60 cents per pound for each item. Let us pretend your mover has irreparably damaged your TV with a value of $2500 and weighing 80 pounds. All your mover is ever going to pay you is $0.60 X 80 lbs. While this is a “frugal” option, it does not provide the protection you would like for your possessions.

What is Not Covered?

With valuation coverage, your mover is not held responsible for things in boxes you packed. You are not covered for such items unless the damage to the box is significant. Also, your mover does not cover you for natural disasters such as hail, windstorm, fire, hurricane, and tornado among others. Additionally, if items get damaged while in storage that your mover does not control, you are not covered.

Your homeowner’s insurance may cover you while moving but the limit will be lower than usual. It is not adequate. Federal law requires your mover to offer you either the full-value or released value coverage. While the full-value protection will cost you some money, you will enjoy more peace of mind.