First question, who packed the item? You are responsible for what you pack, so make sure the mover packs everything. Second, make sure high value items are declared and indicated on the inventory as such. Might cost a little more for specific insurance, but well worth it. Make sure operating condition is indicated on mechanical/electronic items. Look closely at the contract you are moving under. For example, if you use wardrobes to pack clothing, they are not reuseable and are to be new. Same with boxes holding mattresses and pillows. You are responsibible for determing value of items. We had a valuable item damaged, but the cost of an appraisal far exceede the value of the item. Value can not be stimated or based on opinion. It has to be documented and validated and provided with claim. If you did not declare it on inventory you are out of luck. Absolutely do not use a private mover, stick with the TMO. That makes the government responsible and not some fly by night with no resources. Above all, make sure that you declare professional books, papers and equipment. They are not included in the total allowed weight of the shipment and in the event of an excess weight charge can be a considerable savings.