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First Rate Movers Inc includes $1,000,000 of Full Replacement Value Cargo Insurance coverage in its rates for all “full-service” moves. This is not “valuated” insurance or a “protection plan” but rather real coverage directly through the insurance company. This is the best coverage that a moving company can afford its clients. If anything is lost or damaged, the moving company must offer to repair the item, reimburse, or replace it with an item of similar likeness and value. Employees are also bonded and insured through WSIB and the company carries a $10,000,000 liability policy to protect itself and it’s clients for personal injury or property damage (eg. hardwood floors/stairs).
As with any insurance coverage, there is a deductible on claims. We charge a $100 deductible to initiate a claims process which helps the company to avoid frivolous claims such as the cost of repairing scratched paint on a wall or replacing a flimsy $10 wall mirror. Obviously, if the company allowed claims for such minor incidents, our insurance rates would rise and we would not be able to afford such excellent coverage for more important issues. We may still offer to repair or reimburse for damages under $100 at our discretion. In any case, we reserve the right to pay directly for any damage claim where the value for repair or replacement is less than $5000 without making a claim through our insurance policy. Payment for moving services rendered along with payment of the deductible must be made in full before any claims will be processed.
As with all moving companies, there are certain items that will not be insured at all or that must be professionally packed or crated by an agent of the moving company in order to be insured against damage. Packing and/or crating services are handled by a separate crew at additional cost, usually require a site-visit, and must be arranged well in advance of moving day. The following are limitations as to what will be covered by insurance and how things will be insured. Insurance will not cover:
- Paintings, works of art, natural stone (marble, granite, etc), ceramics, porcelain, glass or mirrors, grandfather clocks or other large fragile items such as sculptures or chandeliers unless documented and packed in specialized boxes/crates by an agent of First Rate Movers.
- Sports/exercise equipment (eg. bikes, treadmills, home gyms, kayaks, canoes, paddle/surf/sailboards) unless packed/crated by an agent of First Rate Movers.
- Motorized vehicles/equip (eg. motorbikes, lawnmowers); mobility aids (eg. wheelchairs); medical equipment (eg. hospital beds)
- Electronics, musical instruments, small appliances unless packed in specialized boxes/crates by an agent of First Rate Movers.
- Mechanical or electronic functions of instruments, appliances or electronics as the movers would have no way of knowing how well these items worked or if they were functional at all. These items would only be covered if they suffered obvious physical damage at the hands of our moving crew.
- Any item with an assessed value exceeding $5000 unless approved by management and documented.
- Articles in drawers or contents of boxes/packages not packed and unpacked by an agent of the First Rate Movers. Obviously, the company would not want to take responsibility for loss or damage to items that the condition/existence of were unknown to us.
- Particle board furniture. No moving company will insure these as they are high risk for damage. Particleboard furniture usually comes disassembled in a box and the customer puts the furniture together themselves. This kind of furniture comes disassembled for a reason – it does not transport well when assembled and is very likely to suffer damage. As well, this furniture is usually assembled by the customer and may not have been assembled properly, increasing the likelihood of damage.
- Dry or brittle antique furniture. Some antique furniture is so brittle that it can actually fall apart just by being blanket-wrapped.
- Plastic furniture (including play structures and storage sheds). Plastic furniture can lose shape easily (especially in hot weather) and is usually not repairable.
- Any furniture that the customer does not allow the movers to properly pad and/or wrap.
- Plants, pets, or anything living – the environment inside the cargo hold of the moving truck is not suitable for transporting living things.
- Sums of money, securities, articles of extraordinary value such as gold, silver, or precious stones. Items of high value such as these should never be placed on a moving truck. It would be very difficult to show proof of their condition or that they even existed.
- Memory foam or latex mattresses unless packed in mattress boxes or any mattress that the crew is required to bend or fold during the moving process.
- Items lost that have not been inventoried by the company – for obvious reasons.
- Damages resulting from natural disasters or other causes beyond the control of the company.
- Any damage resulting from the interference or assistance of a customer or other(s) in the moving or packing process.
- Damages to any item or resulting from any item loaded to or from a vehicle/container/warehouse/storage unit not owned, leased, or otherwise contracted by First Rate Movers.
- Any damages resulting from the transport of restricted items including: liquids, combustibles, corrosives, perishable food, soil, pets, plants or guns.
- Any damages where the crew have pointed out to the customer that they are likely to occur and the customer accepts that risk. An example of this would be moving an over-sized couch through a narrow stairway/hallway/doorway where the couch must touch the walls/railings/stairs in order to fit through the passage.
- Damages to the home unless documented on the work order prior to the moving crew leaving the home. It is the customer’s responsibility to inspect the home and bring any damages to the attention of the crew before they leave the site. The company may, at its discretion, accept responsibility for damages after the fact.
See the types of insurance coverage offered by moving companies.