This article will attempt to explain and address some of the most common questions and concerns regarding your upcoming move and the role that we can play together in minimizing the possibility of damage to your property while being transported to your new home. Experience has shown that a clear understanding of each parties' responsibilities and expectations will pave the way to a better resolution of problems should any damage occur on your move.

The first fact that every homeowner should realize is that moving is always a risk-sharing proposition. Whether you move the items yourself, or hire a professional mover, the possibility of scratching, denting or chipping a piece of furniture is always present. The most that we can do is recognize those items most prone to damage and take extra precautions in handling them. Even then, damage could still occur.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission has set up very specific liability guidelines and procedures to follow regarding property damage on household moves. These regulations are set forth in Nebraska Local Household Goods Tariff No. 22 and are to be adhered to by every household goods mover authorized to move in the state of Nebraska.

Upon arrival at your home, and presentation of the "Bill of Lading", the lead mover will ask you to select, and sign accordingly, one of three choices of valuation coverage: .30 per pound, per item, maximum liability. This coverage is provided by the mover at no additional cost to the homeowner. (Example: An end table weighing forty pounds is damaged. The mover's maximum liability is $12.00)

Additional valuation coverage at a cost to the homeowner of .50 per $100.00 of the stated value of belongings with a minimum of $5,000.00 worth of items being declared, subject to a $250.00 deductible paid by the homeowner. The mover will pay any repair or replacement cost for damage over $250. (Example: An end table is damaged and the cost is less than $250.00 to repair. The mover is not liable for any damage. The top of a dining room table is severely scratched and the cost is $400.00 to refinish the piece. The homeowner pays $250.00 and the mover pays $150.00.)

A minimum of $10,000.00 worth of household goods is "insured" at a cost of $1.00 per $100.00 of stated value. (Example: The top of a dining room table is severely scratched and the cost to repair it is $400.00. The mover pays the total repair cost.)

The homeowner must submit in writing to the mover within thirty (30) days, a request for settlement of the damage. The mover has thirty (30) days to respond to the request and may repair or replace, at their discretion, the item in question under the terms of the valuation coverage selected by the homeowner on the "Bill of Lading" that was signed on the day of the move.

There are also several exclusions to the damage provision; namely, that the mover cannot be responsible for "the electronic, or mechanical functioning of any electronic components" such as stereo equipment, computers, televisions, copiers, grandfather clocks, etc. The reasoning behind this is that the mover has no way of knowing if these items were functional before they were moved and therefore cannot accept responsibility for how they operate after being moved.

The mover is also not liable for the contents of any boxes, containers, or sacks that they did not pack for the same reason. Additionally, the mover can, at their discretion, refuse to move any items that they deem to be inherently unsafe, or improperly prepared for moving. Examples of this would be works of art, small decorative pieces, or unframed glass that should be secured in a properly padded container or crate, previously damaged furniture with loose or cracked legs, glue joints, etc.

These damage regulations only apply to household goods. By law, the mover is not required to assume any liability for damage to painted walls, wallpaper, floor covering, wood floors, or any other household surfaces. Most homeowner insurance policies usually cover damage to these surfaces, subject to the actual terms of the policy.

Please feel free to call Jeannie Matthews, owner of Murphy Moving, Inc. at (402) 346-8376 if you have any further questions on this important issue.

Thank you again for choosing Murphy Moving Inc.!