Moving antiques and art

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Lakelife
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Midwest

Moving antiques and art

Postby Lakelife » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:41 pm

We are planning to move later this year from Missouri to Southern California. Some of the furniture will be sold or donated but we'll keep a number of individual antique furniture pieces and quite a bit of sculptural art pieces.
What can or should we expect with regard to packing and insurance coverage? Any other comments are welcome too!

The Moving Concierge
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:59 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby The Moving Concierge » Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:54 pm

Make sure your large stone, ceramic, glass, or uber delicate art is crated. Also, large, original oils too. That's crated in wood, not just boxed.

What actually must be crated is going to be up to the company that hauls it as they will be the ones that must pay for damage and if it's a $25,000 + piece, they'll probably want a crate. Crates run about $17 or so per cubic foot. Add 4" to each dimension and round up to 4" or 8" if it is a picture or glass / stone top.

Be sure to get a company that will crate ONSITE! Try not to rely on the salesmans' numbers and the warehousemans' ability to interpret those. I have made mistakes and so has warehousemen on my behalf. Onsite is the only way to ensure the right person has the right numbers.

Don't skimp on packing or valuation. Check with your homeowners insurance agent to see if you have any coverage. The carrier will tell you what the MINIMUM amount of valuation you can take is, but they will not set the amount of what you really need. You'll need to work that out and dictate that to the carrier. Most carriers can cover goods up to $250,000 and beyond.

Good luck on your move.
Free, honest advice from a retired moving broker: http://twitter.com/movingconcierge

BigLeeCalif
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:58 pm

Any items you're moving as antiques should be appraised, and the appraisal should be notarized. I have seen van lines deny claims for higher dollar amounts on antiques because the value had not been predetermined. In addition to the appraisal, take pics before the move, so you have additional documentation of the appearance of the piece.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Lakelife
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby Lakelife » Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:52 pm

Thank you both for the good advice. We are in the process of getting updated appraisals, but I must say that I am surprised about the notarizing requirement.
Concierge, do you think the moving company would object - deny coverage - if I furnish the wooden crates (since I have access to used ones) rather than having them built onside?
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This was my first post and I realized too late that I should have used the "Helpful Moving Info" forum. So, if the moderator or webmaster wants to move the posts that would be fine with me.
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The Moving Concierge
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:59 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby The Moving Concierge » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:21 pm

Lee gave some great advice. Appraisals are key too. Good one.

Regarding existing crates, they would be ok provided they are visibly undamaged and built well. I would still check with the individual company to see how they would handle it. I know with cartons most carriers won't repack used cartons because the integrity is comprimised.

I think it also gets back to business and profit too. Accepting such a large liability without the benefit of packing it themselves in a container they made might not fly. That's just my two cents and pure speculation.
Free, honest advice from a retired moving broker: http://twitter.com/movingconcierge

PMueller
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:50 am
Location: Florida (Tampa Bay area)

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby PMueller » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:55 am

Lakelife wrote:Concierge, do you think the moving company would object - deny coverage - if I furnish the wooden crates (since I have access to used ones) rather than having them built onside?
You have access to used ones? Were they built specifically for the pieces you are wanting to move or are they used ones where you think your pieces will fit?

Most moving companies third party the crating services. In the event they will accept your used crates, there will still be some charges for the third party company to come and handle the placement of the item into the crate, while not as expensive as building one it may compromise the liability unless everyone is in agreement that the used crate is in the condition needed for them to accept the liability. In my experience in the past, it is best to have a crate built again for the valuable items for the liability peace of mind. Occasionally I have individuals that saved a small crate or two for a glasstop or mirror and they usually recrate themselves (again - liability issues!!), but they are comfortable with the small risk - but I don't recommend it on antiques or valuable pieces of artwork.

This is only my two cents worth, discuss your issues with each rep as you get your quotes and ask them directly about the liability.
"Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

BigLeeCalif
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby BigLeeCalif » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:03 am

Pmueller is correct. Even if you have existing crates, another crater may not want to accept liability for placing in something not built by him/her.

If you find a qualified crater who is willing to crate your items using your existing crates, any liability issues would be between you and him, and not the mover, unless the crate is smashed or damaged through obvious negligence. It's probably best if the items are valued highly to just have the third party the mover arranges crate your items, and have all liability issues rest with the van line.

As far as notarizing, I don't think it is a definitive requirement, but anytime you have important documents relating to the value of something, a notarization is looked at with more weight than a plain document. (I used to do claims, and our particular company used to request notarized appraisals or statements from manufacturers or dealers on the value of items no longer made or hard to replace)
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Lakelife
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby Lakelife » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:31 pm

Here is another question: How does Moovers, Inc select its packers?
I have asked several local moving companies (usually agents for the big national companies) how they select and screen their packers and uniformly the answer was something like "we use our own employees who we have trained and background checked, etc, etc.."
However, considering all the nice reviews for Moovers, Inc it is tempting to use them but surely they cannot send their own crew across the country. So how do they select their packers at a distant location? Does anyone know?

weem
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:54 pm
Location: norteast, Md

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby weem » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:16 am

Make sure that you supply the mover with a list of items and values for every item that you wish to declare as an "item of extra-ordinary value".
This declaration can usually lessen the need for appraisals-- unless the mover feels the values are not realistic and challenges.
Many movers have special form to use to declare items of extra-ordinary value and some have brochures that go into detail.

Diane
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby Diane » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:59 am

Lakelife wrote:Here is another question: How does Moovers, Inc select its packers?. . . considering all the nice reviews for Moovers, Inc it is tempting to use them but surely they cannot send their own crew across the country. So how do they select their packers at a distant location?

Hi - you should call them and ask and I'm sure they'll give you an honest answer. I believe that in some locations they have connections with good workers that they use to help pack, and the driver or drivers (sometimes they send two) would also pack. As far as I know, there haven't been any complaints about the quality of the packing with Moovers, even in distant locations, so they must have it worked out quality-wise.

Lakelife
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby Lakelife » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:29 pm

Hi Diane,
I did call them and was told that they hire "professionals" from local moving companies. My understanding was that the driver was the one who would actually arrange for (or select) the packers.
That information actually made me hesitant to use them as movers since when it came to fixing packing and loading dates it became clear that the driver would be on a very tight schedule. Specifically he was scheduled to deliver a load on a Tuesday in Richmond, VA and then arrive here by Thursday to get the packers and finish packing by Friday (about 18,000 pounds).

So, after reading lots of reviews here and getting estimates we decided to go with Fry-Wagner (United), Lenexa, KS. A close 2nd choice was Select Van & Storage (Mayflower), Kansas City, MO but their quote (Total, not-to-exceed-cost) was a bit higher.
I'll plan to post how it went after the move.
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP EVERYONE!
Last edited by Lakelife on Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lakelife
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Moving antiques and art

Postby Lakelife » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:52 pm

The Moving Concierge wrote: ....
Don't skimp on packing or valuation. Check with your homeowners insurance agent to see if you have any coverage. The carrier will tell you what the MINIMUM amount of valuation you can take is, but they will not set the amount of what you really need. ....

Thanks again for the good advice. After checking with both our insurance agent and the moving company we selected additional valuation since the movers basic liability is only 60 cents per pound per article whereas the added valuation covers an article fully when it is declared on the "high value inventory" list, that is, more than $1 per pound.
However, I could not find out what the minimum of additional coverage was that I would have to buy in order to get that benefit. For example, for shipment of 10,000 pound the basic liability is $6,000. Since the homeowners insurance covers the goods during the move (except for breakage during the move) I asked whether a total valuation of $25,000 would be enough to get the benefits of the "high value inventory" list. The answer was no, it had to be $75,000 total valuation.
My question, is this a hard-nosed sales tactic or a mandate by the carriers insurance?

Phaeton
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: *Moving antiques and art

Postby Phaeton » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:27 am

Lakelife. Curious about what valuation option you took, how your packing and move went? Which company did you finally select?

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4668
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: *Moving antiques and art

Postby BigLeeCalif » Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:40 am

You seem to be saying you wanted "additional" valuation.

The van line doesn't operate that way. Insurance is based on the weight of the shipment times x dollars. Since I'm in military dept, I'm not sure what dollar figure cod is based on. I think it was up to $5 per lb. So if you had a shipment that weighed 5100 lbs, your minimum valuation would be $25500.

But the valuation I recall is rounded up. So your minimum valuation would be $30000.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Lakelife
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: *Moving antiques and art

Postby Lakelife » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:01 pm

Phaeton wrote:Lakelife. Curious about what valuation option you took, ...

Hello Phaeton,
I'll split my answers in two since I also want to add some specific comments about the moving company that we selected for the review section.

After updating many of the appraisals that we had and taking pictures of all the items (including different views on the major pieces) I discussed the situation in detail with our insurance agent (State Farm). Her take may not quite be the same as the one the moving company has - or more correctly the driver. First, with State Farm it does not matter whether the items are in the house or in a moving van, they are insured to the same extend and for the same hazards. Not covered are (1) water damage caused by flood, (2) damage caused by birds, rodents, insects, or domestic animals, and (3) damage caused by earthquakes and landslides. So the risks that something can happen while on the road is pretty slim. I guess if the van is hit by a landslide then only the moving company insurance will apply. Of course, not covered is breakage during the move.
I asked what happens if, for example, the van slides of the road because of a freak snow storm or icing - her answer was that State Farms would pay (because accidents are covered) but probably they would get it back from the driver's insurance.
In addition, items that are covered by a personal articles policy are covered for any loss (including breakage).
With that in mind we selected a valuation that was about 1/4 of the value covered by State Farm with zero deductible, really only for protection against breakage. In addition we put the most valuable pieces on the "high valuables list" because they receive extra attention and accounting.

In the end all these ruminations fortunately didn't matter since nothing was lost or severely damaged :D, thanks to the carefulness of the packers and the driver (see my next post).


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