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Moving Tips

This section highlights actions that will help to reduce stress, anxiety and problems during your move. The first step in a satisfying move is to choose a mover. Moving Companies provide a variety of services for a range of fees. Compile a list of companies in your area (some sources are friends, the yellow pages, and the links throughout's Featured Companies). After you have your list, talk with people you know about their experiences with movers in the area. You can also call the Better Business Bureau.

BEWARE: Summer time is the busiest time of the year for movers. In addition, the beginning and end of each month are traditionally busier than mid-month, regardless of the season. If you are planning to move during one of these times, plan well in advance so your mover's schedule will fit yours.

Now it is time to contact the movers on your list. Inform them of your destination and the timing of your move. Ask movers to provide you with a written estimate, and have them explain the services listed in the estimate in detail. Carefully compare each estimate to see which company best suits your needs and budget.



Proper packing by a trained packer using specially designed cartons and materials is crucial to a good move. Schedule packing with the mover a day or two before the moving van is loaded. If you are packing yourself, it is never too soon to start. While packing yourself can save money, movers will not usually accept liability for damage to items packed by owners.

Be present when your goods are packed. An inventory of your goods will be made, and it is important to resolve any disagreements prior to signing the inventory. Make sure all copies are legible and all items are numbered. Have valuable items listed separately. Some appliances may require servicing prior to the move. Your mover can schedule these services for you.

There are several options for insuring your goods. All household goods shipments move under limited liability. However, you may purchase additional liability from your mover.



All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the goods which they transport. However, there are different levels of liability, and consumers should be aware of the amount of protection provided and the charges for each option.

Basically, most movers offer liability under the terms of their tariffs and pursuant to federally approved Released Rates Orders which govern the moving industry.



  • This is the most economical protection option available. It provides minimal protection for no additional cost. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound, per article on long distant moves and 30 cents per pound, per article on local moves. Loss or damage claims are settled based on the pound weight of the article multiplied by either 30 or 60 cents. For example, if a 10 pound stereo component, valued at $1,000, were lost or destroyed, the mover would be liable for no more than $6.00. Obviously, the shipper should think carefully before agreeing to such an arrangement. There is no extra charge for this minimal protection, but you must sign a specific statement on the bill of lading agreeing to it.

Movers are permitted to limit their liability for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value, unless you specifically list these articles on the shipping documents. An article of extraordinary value is any item whose value exceeds $100 per pound. Ask you mover for a complete explanation of this limitation before your move. It is your responsibility to study this provision carefully and to make the necessary declaration.

Finally, the mover is responsible for loss or damage. An additional option for the consumer is to agree to transport his or her shipment based on released value or obtain separate insurance directly from the mover or from an insurance company. Additional insurance is available for a nominal additional charge.

If you purchase liability insurance from or through your mover, the mover is required to issue a policy or other written record of the purchase and to provide you with a copy of the policy or other document at the time of purchase. If the mover fails to comply with this requirement, the mover becomes fully liable for any claim for loss or damage attributed to its negligence.



Your mover may ask you to select several consecutive days during which your goods can be loaded and a second series of dates during which your goods can be delivered to your new home. A spread of days gives you and your mover the flexibility needed to keep your move on schedule. Remember that summer months are the busiest, and some movers offer lower prices between the months of October and April.



Be on hand when the movers arrive
Discuss the delivery arrangements fully with your mover
Have beds stripped and ready to be packed
Save your energy - let the moving crew disassemble goods
Read the Bill of Lading before you sign it
Tell your mover how to reach you at your destination
Keep in contact with the mover's agent at your destination while you are in transit



Generally, your belongings will be transported in a van along with those of other families in the same general direction. This helps to keep your costs down. Delivery is made on any of the several consecutive days agreed upon before the move began. Make sure the mover knows how to contact you to schedule actual delivery. If you cannot be reached at destination, the mover may place your shipment in storage to avoid delaying other shipments. This can mean additional charges for storage and handling.

Upon delivery, check your goods for damage. Do not sign the inventory until you have inspected your furniture and the exterior of the cartons.



If any of your household goods are damaged or lost, report the facts promptly and in detail on the van driver's copy (original) of the inventory sheet before you sign it. If you notice damage after unpacking, a claim must be filed within nine months after delivery. However, it is to your advantage to report damage as soon as possible. The mover must acknowledge receipt of your claim within 30 days, and must deny or make an offer within 120 days of receipt of your claim. When making a claim or considering an offer, bear in mind the amount of liability on the shipment.


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