Moving well

Why insure your belongings during a move?

During a move, especially an international one, you’ll enlist the services of a professional mover who, within their moving contract, will offer you an optional damage guarantee. Grospiron Mobility Solutions explains how your belongings are automatically covered by the mover’s contractual and professional liability, why subscribing to additional insurance during a move is recommended, and how to best complete your valuation declaration.

Movers’ liability limit

According to Article 133-1 of the Commercial Code, the carrier is “”responsible for the loss of items to be transported, except in cases of force majeure,”” as well as for “”damage other than that resulting from the inherent vice of the item or from force majeure.”” The carrier, in this case, the mover, can therefore, under certain conditions, be held liable in case of issues during the transfer of your belongings to your new address. Their professional liability can be engaged, but it is consistently limited to a flat rate per item (be aware, a box full of dishes counts as one item!) or to a flat rate per cubic meter in the case of total loss: such as the theft of a truck with your move inside or the fall of a maritime container into the water, for example.

Steps for optimal protection of your belongings

Moving your belongings a few miles away or to the other side of the world remains a risky operation, despite all the care you take in selecting the best moving professionals. For this reason, we strongly advise you to subscribe to additional “”ad valorem”” insurance. By paying a premium corresponding to a % of the declared value of your belongings, you can benefit from comprehensive coverage for your effects. To do this, you must complete a document that will be appended to your moving contract: the valuation declaration. This formality, along with the warranty conditions, must be provided to you by your service provider, and it’s your responsibility to fill it out. It can be a paper form or more commonly a digitalized .xls (Excel-compatible) file.

An inventory to list your belongings and indicate their value

The valuation declaration is a detailed inventory of the personal property entrusted to the professional mover. It comprises a list of all your belongings and their respective values.

How to determine the value of your belongings?

  • The most effective way is to compare your items with similar new items currently for sale (same use).

  • Regarding sentimental items, memories, photo albums, or administrative documents, whose replacement values are difficult to estimate, we recommend transporting them with you or creating digital backups.

  • In the case of an international move, consider the replacement value of your belongings at the destination. For example, how much would it cost to replace a household appliance or repair it in your destination country if yours was damaged during transport?

  • Avoid underestimating or overestimating your belongings in all cases, but ensure that in the event of total loss, you can be fairly compensated.

Crucial Step: Creating an Inventory of Your Belongings

Creating an inventory of your belongings can be a tedious task. Beforehand, we advise you to declutter. There might be clothes, books, furniture, or household appliances you can give away or sell. Do you want to transfer all your belongings or keep some in France, in a storage facility, for example?

To simplify your inventory, you can also classify and group your belongings by product family (books, linens, tableware: plates, glasses…) as long as you group similar items in type and value or indicate a quantity and overall value. Remember to specifically list high-value items (take photos of them) and consider items that are excluded from coverage, such as jewelry, stamp collections, food, etc. Lastly, keep a copy of this inventory; you’ll likely need it for your home insurance at your destination.

The valuation declaration must be submitted to the mover no later than 5 days before the moving day.

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Objective: Obtain Compensation in Case of Loss or Damage

In case of loss or damage, the detailed valuation declaration serves as a reference for calculating your compensation. The terms and conditions for compensation are specific to each mover and, therefore, stipulated in your contract.

Keep in mind that there are circumstances where the carrier cannot be held responsible (natural disasters or road accidents, for example). To be fully covered and adequately compensated, you’ll need to have subscribed to additional insurance, which generally includes:

  • No application of a depreciation coefficient (the value indicated on the inventory will serve as the basis for calculation)

  • Consideration for mechanical and electrical malfunctions

  • Under certain conditions, damages related to humidity and mold.

Valuation Declaration with Grospiron Mobility Solutions

Like any professional mover specialized in international moves, Grospiron Mobility Solutions will ask you to fill out a valuation declaration. This takes the form of an .xls file.

  • We do not apply a depreciation coefficient.

  • We ask you to indicate replacement values in your inventory of belongings. We assist you in requesting repair quotes, if necessary.

We offer two formulas for valuing your belongings:

  • A detailed inventory list, including quantity, type of object, and its value. This formula might interest you if you own many high-value items.

  • A flat rate per cubic meter where only items above a certain value need to be individually listed. In this case, we recommend grouping similar and low-value items.

Moving is crucial during an international relocation. It requires a lot of foresight because there are choices to be made, deadlines to meet, and a budget to adhere to. Subscribing to additional insurance and completing a valuation declaration are important steps, and we advise dedicating time and attention to them.

With over 30 years of experience in international mobility, Grospiron Mobility Solutions masters all stages of moving, from the technical visit to settling into the new home. Therefore, we’re able to oversee your international move from A to Z and address all your questions.