Thursday, August 2, 2007

Going to PCS Soon? Check Out the New Rules for Damaged Household Goods

Full replacement value for damaged household goods starting in October. Take a look.

New moving coverage takes effect Oct. 1

By Karen Jowers - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Aug 2, 2007 12:51:34 EDT

If you’re making a permanent-change-of-station move later this year and scheduling a household goods move, you might want to take note of the start dates for the Defense Department’s new program providing full replacement value for anything that is lost or damaged.

Most of the coverage will take effect in October and November.

And also note that the deadline for filing claims to get that full coverage is nine months, and you file the claim directly with the moving company. If you file it after the nine-month deadline, but before the two-year time limit for filing the claim, the company is liable only for the depreciated value of lost or damaged items — as the system works now.

Following through with their plans reported earlier this year, the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command has announced it will start implementing full replacement value coverage for service members and Department of Defense civilians this fall, beating a March 2008 deadline set by Congress last year.

Here are the implementation dates:

* Oct. 1 for shipments to and from overseas. Hawaii is included in the definition because household goods go there by sea.

* Nov. 1 for domestic moves — to include the lower 48 states and Alaska.

* March 1, 2008, for permanent storage shipments and some special types of shipments.

Will full replacement value coverage, lost or destroyed items will be replaced, or service members will be paid the replacement cost of the items. The moving company will be liable for the greater of: $5,000 per shipment, or $4 times the net weight of the shipment (in pounds) up to $50,000.

Military families or civilians do not pay extra for this coverage. But you must submit DD Form 1840, listing all damage discovered at delivery, or DD Form 1840R, listing all damage discovered after delivery to the moving company, within 75 days of delivery.

In order to receive full replacement value coverage, the claim for damage must be filed directly with the company within nine months of delivery by using DD Form 1844.

The company will repair or pay to repair damaged items, and the company will pay full replacement value on items that need to be replaced or have been lost or destroyed. The company will be responsible for obtaining all repair and replacement costs, according to SDDC.

If the company denies the claim, or does not make an acceptable offer on the claim, or does not respond within 30 days, the customer can then transfer the claim to the Military Claims Office.

More information is available at SDDC’s Personal Property Web site.

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