On Monday, I had the opportunity to accompany He of the Sea to the office of the nice Household Goods Lady, aka the Moving Chick. Prior to the appointment, we downloaded all the information regarding the various types of insurance we could purchase and debated the chances that 1) things would be damaged, 2) things would go missing, 3) we would bother to file a claim when 1 and 2 occurred. Due to an unpleasant claims adjudication incident some 10 years ago, the Sea family has refrained from filing claims the last three times we've moved. I figured my sanity was more important than whatever pittance the military was going to pay for my wrecked or missing stuff.
After some conversation, we decided to pay for the Full Replacement Value coverage and promised ourselves that we would diligently document every scratch, carefully check each item as it left the truck, and conscientiously submit our claim in a timely manner. We headed to the Moving Chick's cubicle, where I said, "Oh, darn, I meant to bring the checkbook in case we need to pay today." To which, the Moving Chick replied...
"You don't have to pay. The military is paying for full replacement value." And she pointed to the poster on the wall, which declared:
"Coming Full 2007. Full Replacement Value."
I was confused. After some rather round-about conversation, I learned that our stuff is now covered for full replacement value, at no cost to the military family. The process is relatively the same: there is the same form (DD1840 or DD1840R) to fill out at the end of your move, with revisions due within 75 days. This form is no longer submitted to the Military Claims Office, but rather goes directly to the moving company. Assuming you move at least 1250 pounds, the moving contractor is responsible for $4 times the weight of the move, up to a total of $50,000. Boy, let's hope that they don't damage more than $50,000 worth of stuff!
This new FRV coverage will apply to personal-property shipments with a pickup date on or after:
- Oct. 1, 2007 for international shipments to and from outside the Continental United States,
- Nov. 1, 2008 for domestic shipments within CONUS,
- March 1, 2008 for non-temporary storage, and
- March 1, 2008 for local moves and Direct Procurement Method shipments.
The moving contractor is responsible for getting the repair andreplacement costs. (Yeah!) These claims are paid directly by themoving contractor. The military member is responsible for filing theclaim directly with the moving contractor, with the initial DD1840submitted within the 75 day period. (From what I have read, a postmarkcounts, but I probably won't chance it.) the moving contractor has theright to inspect and actually take the claimed items. Theservicemember then has 9 months to file the complete claim package.(This is a change from the old way, where we had up to two years.) If the moving contractor denies the customer's full claim, makes anoffer on the claim that is not acceptable or does not respond within 30days, the customer may transfer the claim to the Military Claims Office.
If the customer transfers the claim to the Military Claims Office within ninemonths of delivery, the claims office will only be responsible fordepreciated replacement costs. The claims office will then attempt torecover FRV from the provider. If successful in recovering FRV, theclaims office will then pay the customer the difference between thedepreciated cost already paid and the FRV cost. And if you don't get your claim into the moving contractor by the 9 month cutoff, the old, depreciated coverage is still available up to the old 2 year claims deadline.
For complete details about the new program, see the FRV information pages on the FRV guidelines on the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command website.
This sounds like a really great program and I would love to hear if anyone has any experience with it yet. I might even get brave and file a claim this move!