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How to Sell Moving Valuation Coverage in 5 Simple Steps

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In terms of stress levels, moving is right up there with death and divorce. And according to research, it’s just as likely to make people cry.

But as a moving company owner, you’re not phased. Stuff breaks. Items get lost. It’s all part of the game.

That’s where valuation coverage can be a literal game changer for you and your customers. Offering valuation coverage isn’t just a great way to protect the items you’re moving, it can also instantly increase your total revenue per move.

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know to make valuations a profitable new revenue stream for your moving business.

Types of valuation coverage

For most movers, full-value protection (FVP) coverage is the default type of coverage options offered.

If the customer chooses, they can opt out of full-value and into released value by signing a statement on the contract or bill of lading. 

But what’s the core difference between these two main types of valuation coverage?

Released value protection

The first type of valuation coverage is called released value protection (RVP) or released value coverage. This is the minimum level of protection a mover must provide under federal law and comes at no additional charge for the customer.

Under RVP, the mandated minimum coverage is just $0.60 per pound, per lost or damaged item. 

For example, if a mover breaks a gaming PC tower weighing 30 pounds, the customer would receive a reimbursement of just $18 (.60 cents x 30 pounds). That’s nowhere near the amount of coverage needed to replace or even repair the PC.

Full value protection

The other type of valuation coverage is full-value protection (FVP), also known as ‘full replacement value’, ‘actual value’, or ‘actual cash value’.

Under FVP, the mover must repair or replace any lost or damaged household goods, or provide a cash settlement equivalent to the actual value of the item. The cost of released value protection varies depending on the moving company. 

With both released value and full-value protection, it must be clear that the damage or loss was a direct result of negligence on the part of the mover.

5 steps to start selling valuation coverage

More than half of consumers who hired a moving company reported damage to their property during a move. Yet according to our latest benchmark report, only 26% of movers offer valuation or insurance as an ancillary service.

By offering valuation coverage to your customers, you not only increase trust and peace of mind, you also build a powerful new revenue stream. And it can be as simple as just a few steps.

1. Set your pricing

There are two main ways to set prices for moving valuation coverage:

  • Tiered Pricing. This option provides different levels of coverage and deductible choices for customers.
  • Cost per 100. This method involves a fixed percentage that can change based on the deductible amount.

For most moving companies, tiered pricing is simpler to understand.

For instance, if you have 7,000 pounds of items valued at $6 per pound, you have $42,000 in coverage. With tiered pricing, you might pay a flat fee of $645 for a $0 deductible. 

This additional cost can be added to your coverage funds in case you need to make a claim, saving you from the increased insurance premiums in the event you have to submit a claim to your cargo insurance provider.

To use tiered pricing, set a minimum coverage amount and decide on different deductible options — like no deductible, $250, $500, or $1,000. When an item falls between two coverage levels, the higher one is typically applied.

Once you have your Pricing List ready, customers can choose the coverage tier that suits them best or decline coverage by signing a statement on the contract or bill of lading.

Pro tip: Make sure to update your estimates to show customers which high-value items aren’t covered. This usually includes items worth over $100, such as collectibles or jewelry.

2. Train your team

You know you’re responsible for providing some level of coverage to customers. But do you know the terms well enough to communicate them to someone else?

Track your claims ratio to find out how much you're currently paying out in claims and identify which crews need more liability coverage training, as well as the types of claims coming in from different crews.

Make sure you and your team are clear on:

For example, if customers have the option to select released value ($0.60 per pound) or actual cash value, make it crystal clear what is and isn’t covered by each.

Since it’s you on the hook and not a third-party insurance company, it’s also important to understand when you are and aren’t responsible. For instance, items in boxes not packed by the mover are typically only covered if there is clear evidence that the box was dropped or mishandled during the move.

Spell out the terms exactly in your sales material and estimates. Then update your sales scripts and train your team to become well-versed on the benefits of valuation coverage.

Pro tip: Incentivize your team to offer valuations and/or offer bonuses on claims-free jobs and watch your revenue soar!

3. Update your inventory process and SOPs

One potential drawback of offering valuations is that the onus is on you as the mover to not only pay out settlements, but also manage the process of working with the customer to clarify the terms, level of liability for each party, and create the necessary documentation.

Here are some simple tips to create a repeatable process for offering valuations, without a massive time investment:

  • Switch from cube sheets to a digital inventory tool
  • Create a section in your inventory list for Items of Extraordinary Value
  • Add a line for valuation price straight into your estimates
  • Make sure crews know which moves have valuation included
  • Enable crews to sell valuation on site

Remember, your team needs to be prepared to work directly with the customer to inventory all belongings covered. Depending on the types of moves you service and coverage you offer, you may also need to make sure all items valued at more than $100 per pound are listed on the shipping documents.

If you’re already a SmartMoving user, you can easily adjust your estimates to automatically include valuation with every move and digitize your inventory lists to speed up the sales process.

Regardless of the tools you use, make sure the process of securing additional coverage is as fast and seamless as possible.

4. Promote your valuation offerings

Moving to a new home is something customers may only do a few times in their lives — you can’t expect them to know everything.

Take time to educate customers on what’s in it for them by:

  • Sharing articles about valuation and insurance on your website
  • Repurposing tips and insights into educational social media posts
  • Providing links to valuation resources in your email newsletters

Some movers even offer explainer videos to help customers understand the inherent risks of a move and the difference between the valuation coverage options available.

For example, this video from Bekins Van Lines clearly spells out the different types of protection offered to get customers up to speed in less than two minutes. You can even add this into your selection portal to make it easy for customers to add on.

As a major bonus, creating content for these channels can help you get a nice SEO boost, increasing inbound traffic and warm leads.

5. Make selection seamless

Remember, moving is stressful. The more you can reduce the chaos for customers, the better.

To keep the process as streamlined as possible, update your standard operating procedures (SOPs) to include steps for collecting the following information:

  • Bill of lading
  • Inventory
  • Warehouse receipts

If you’re using moving company software like SmartMoving, you’ll already have these details organized in one place. And you can automatically walk team members through the process of offering valuation step-by-step.

Again, no matter which tools you use, the key to making valuations worth your time and energy is to keep the process streamlined for customers and efficient for you.

Valuation coverage vs. moving insurance: What's the difference?

Valuation coverage is regulated by law and offered by the moving company. If a customer’s goods are lost or damaged, the mover agrees to pay a specified amount, but only if the damage or loss was caused directly by the moving company.

Moving insurance is a contract purchased by the customer from an insurance provider or licensed agent — not the moving company itself. Moving insurance typically covers the full cost of the items being moved in the event of loss or damage, including acts of God (e.g., tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters).

The two primary differences between valuation coverage and moving insurance are who’s responsible for handling the claim and paying for the lost or damaged goods. With moving valuation coverage, the moving company pays. With moving insurance, the insurance provider not only pays, they also cover all aspects of managing the claim all the way through settlement.

Want to go the extra mile for your customers? Check out our A to Z guide on all things Moving Insurance.

Grow your revenue with valuation coverage

Valuations can be a complicated subject. The good news is, you don’t have to figure it out alone.

At SmartMoving, we work with movers like you every day to discover new, efficient ways to beat the 7% industry standard for net profit and successfully 2x, 3x, or even 4x their profits.

All you need is the right systems to make it happen.

To learn more about how we’re helping movers break the industry’s profit ceiling, check out our growing library of customer stories, or swing by our blog for more mover resources.