Storage Company FAQs: Released Value vs. Declared Value

As the owner of a moving and storage company, it’s likely that you may have some questions regarding your commercial insurance options. When it comes to protecting your liability, it’s important that you understand all aspects of your movers insurance policy – especially that which is applies to the goods and personal items in your possession.

In the moving & storage industry there are two common degrees in which one’s goods are appraised and valued; released value and declared value.

Released Value: when the owner declines any additional level of protection other than the dollar amount per pound that the warehouseman offers in their local tariff and noted on the bill of lading.

Declared Value: when the owner purchases a higher valuation for his household goods. In most cases this is a higher dollar value per pound.

According to the American Moving and Storage Association ( A.M.S.A.), the majority of moving and storage companies, operate on a $5.00 per pound valuation; however the owner can also declare a set amount as his or her valuation for one’s particular goods. The rates for these higher valuations should be contained in the warehouseman’s tariff.

With valuations in mind, it’s necessary that you recognize what additional protections your client may or may not have while their goods are in storage at your facility. For example, one’s personal home insurance policy may provide some level of coverage; however, in most instances where permanent, long-term storage is being utilized, there is no longer a home being insured. Therefore, the owner has the duty to determine what, if anything is covered under his or her homeowner’s policy if the items are damaged while in the care, custody or control of the warehouseman. If you have opted for a warehouse legal liability policy, your coverage will only pay for loss or damage to your client’s goods based on the declared value chosen by the owner on the original warehouse receipt.

It’s clear to see that a portion of your liability, and how your insurance policy will handle a claim, depends on the value of your client’s goods. When you’re in the moving and storage business, it’s important that you maintain the reputation for safety and protection; your consumers seek you out to safeguard their goods, making your coverage needs all the more important. At Wolpert Insurance, we offer a unique variety of safety, compliance, and risk management tools to enable you to run your business safer and be more profitable. Interested in learning more about our movers insurance coverage? Contact Wolpert Insurance today for a free movers insurance quote!