12 Questions You Need to Know When Moving | Moving Pro's
1. What do the following estimate terms mean?
Non-binding estimate: A non-binding estimate is based on weight and miles. Typically, a mover will schedule an onsite, Virtual or Phone estimate to survey your goods. The non-binding estimate must be in writing and state that it is non-binding. With non-binding, you only pay for the actual gross weight of your shipment. If it weighs less, you will pay less, more and you pay more.
Binding estimate: A binding estimate is a set price estimate based on the amount of items and the accuracy of the items list. It is bound to your item list. Never work with a company providing a binding estimate by volume or cubic feet, as you can not guarantee the amount of space you will take up in the back of a moving truck. If you add items or services to a binding estimate, a revision must be done.
2. What information and paperwork is the mover required to provide?
At the time of the estimate and/or prior to the execution of the order for service, the mover must supply the following:
-A copy of the U.S. Department Of Transportation (DOT) publication, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” -A copy of its written non-binding or binding estimate... This must have the US DOT number on it. -Neutral dispute settlement/arbitration program information -When the order for service is finished, the mover must supply a copy of the order for service after it has been signed and dated by you and the mover.
3. What is an order for service?
This is the document authorizing the mover to ship your goods. It isn’t a contract. It notes the estimated charge of the move and other special services asked for (like packing and storage)—as well as pickup and delivery dates or spread dates.
4. What is a bill of lading? The bill of lading is the contract between the mover and yourself. It should be given to you before the mover loads your goods onto the truck. Like any contract, it’s your responsibility to read it all the way through before you sign it. Go over any differences with your mover and don’t sign the bill of lading until you’re completely satisfied with it. The bill of lading is a very important document, so keep track of it. Have it readily available until your shipment is delivered, and any claims are settled.
5. What happens if the mover does not pick-up or deliver my goods according to the dates provided? Movers are required to meet something called “reasonable dispatch” requirements. This means the transportation must happen—within reason—during the scheduled dates, as shown on the order of service and bill of lading. Some things beyond a mover’s control, like weather, may be acceptable reasons for delay.
6. Will I be compensated if my shipment is not delivered as promised? Not necessarily. You may file an inconvenience or delay claim with the mover, however. Include receipts for lodging and food expenses for all days past the last day of the pick-up and/or delivery spread dates.
However, the mover is not obligated to compensate the shipper, so court action or arbitration may be required. If the mover refuses to pay or otherwise disallows any part of the claim, you can pursue a civil action within a two-year time frame of the dispute.
7. What types of insurance will I be offered? Movers generally provide three types of protection for your goods in case they are lost or damaged.
Limited liability: This is the basic coverage required by law and doesn’t cost you anything. Under limited liability, the mover is responsible for 60 cents per pound per item for an interstate move. Added valuation: This type allows you to collect the amount based on the current replacement value of the item, minus depreciation. The amount you pay for this coverage depends on how much you declare your goods are worth.
Full value: This insurance costs the most and covers the actual cost of an item’s replacement or repair, without any deduction for depreciation. Before purchasing coverage from the moving company, check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it will cover your goods during a move and compare plans.
8. If there is loss or damage to my goods, how much time do I have to file a claim? You have nine months from the date of delivery to file a claim.
9. What if I’m not satisfied with the mover’s compensation for damaged or lost goods? You will have to seek recourse through court or arbitration. If you choose court over arbitration, the suit must be brought within two years of the dispute. Do so as soon as you feel that it is needed.
10. If I do my own packing, is the mover still responsible if something is lost or broken? Yes. The mover usually has a tariff provision that allows it to repack boxes or cartons if they feel they have been improperly packed—or if they will cause harm to the rest of the shipment.
The mover will also be liable for any loss or damage caused during transit; unless the sole cause for the loss or damage was due to any of these common law defenses: ---An act of nature ---An act of—or omission by—the shipper ---An act of public enemy ---An act of public authority ---Inherent vice
Improper packing does fall under an act or omission. Since the sole cause for the damage must be the act of the shipper, any contributory damage by the mover would void the common law defense—and the mover would become responsible.
11. What should I know about the pick-up and delivery dates? Make sure the mover gives you a specific date or spread of dates on your order for service and bill of lading. Do not allow the information regarding these dates or spread dates to remain blank. This may delay your shipment.
Make sure your order for service dates are transferred to your bill of lading unless you have made arrangements for another date or spread of days.
At pick-up: Be sure to receive a bill of landing (not just the inventory sheet) showing the name of the mover responsible for transporting your goods, along with the mover’s address, telephone number and “MC” number.