Planning your move is the key to ultimate moving success. To help you get a better grasp on how to best prepare for your move, consider our moving checklist down below.
Planning Out Your Move
First and foremost, receive the “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” book from your mover. Additionally, when hiring a mover, ask around to verify their reputation and to see who is the most qualified for the job. Friends and family won’t lie to you about what to expect, so consider their options.
- Check the mover’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau
- Identify what the mover’s responsibilities are regarding your items.
- Receive at least three estimates before deciding on a mover
- Ask about their dispute settlement program
- Verify the interstate mover’s registration with FMCSA and USDOT
- Get all contact information possible for your mover
- Insure your items
- Verify pickup and delivery times.
What to Do on Moving Day
- Be at home to answer questions and provide instructions
- Don’t leave until the movers have completed packing
- Do a final walk through with your movers and go over their inventory list
- Ensure the condition of your items.
- Read the estimate, order of service, bill of lading, and any other important documents
- Get a copy of the documents and keep the bill of lading until your items are delivered
- Ensure that nothing is left behind at your home before the movers leave
- Remind the truck driver of any directions he or she may need to get to your new location
What to Do On Delivery Day
- Once again, be there to answer questions and provide directions to the movers
- Make a payment for the delivery according to the signed agreements prior to unloading taking place
- Watch as your items are unloaded
- Identify the inventory list and read over its contents and go over any items marked as damaged prior to finalizing the move and payment
Follow this checklist for a safer, more successful move.
Understanding valuation and insurance options
Moving is stressful. However, you can provide yourself with bit of peace of mind by preparing properly for the move and by taking into consideration valuation (the designated dollar amount of shipment) and insurance options that are available to you. To stay ahead of any issues that you may face, consider the following information.
What if Items are Lost or Damaged?
It is important to recognize that not all moves go as smoothly as you might hope. Accidents happen, and movers are people too. However, if a situation occurs where your items are lost or damaged during delivery, it is up to the moving company to handle the situation and compensate you for the trouble. There are different levels of liability for movers, some of which put you in the hot seat. Making the right choice in regards to the type of protection available to you is essential to avoiding issues down the line.
Levels of Liability
There are two primary levels of liability for you to consider. These levels are available to you in the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, brochure. Do your due diligence and read this information to determine which options are right for your move.
In regards to Federal law for interstate movers, the two liability options are valuation coverage under either Full Value Protection or Released Value protection.
Full Value Protection
Under this provision, your mover is subject to and responsible for replacement of the value of any lost or damaged items. This comprehensive liability protection protects your items throughout transport and requires your mover to repair the item, replace it, or make a cash settlement. Additionally, movers can limit their liability for lost or damaged items of significant value unless you list those items on the shipping documentation. It is best to ask your mover for a written statement about their limitation policy before you move.
Released Value Protection
Often referred to as the “cheapest” protection possible, released value protection is typically provided by movers at no additional cost to you. Keep in mind, however, that this protection is extremely limited. With Release Value protection, your mover will only compensate you up to 60 cents per pound of your items. This is insignificant when compared to the price of high-end electronic equipment that is lightweight and extremely valuable.
With Released Value protection, you won’t have to pay, but you will have to sign off on your bill of lading stating you agree to the policy. If you fail to select this policy, your mover will automatically provide you with Full Value Protection and will charge you accordingly.
Keep in mind neither one of these policies are governed by State insurance laws and are instead the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Transportation and are related to tariff charges.
Extra Insurance Protection
You may also choose to obtain third-party insurance through the mover you select. Often the state government, not the moving company or the Federal government, regulates this separate liability insurance. Purchasing this coverage will keep the same amount of compensation in play (60 cents per pound) but you will be able to recover the difference of your valuables through the insurance company. Ensure that your mover provides you with information on their insurance policy in copy form when you make a purchase.
Additional Points to Keep In Mind
- Your actions limit your mover’s liability
- Packing dangerous items removes their liability
- Packing your own items—Movers aren’t responsible for the condition of items they did not package
- Failing to provide documentation for items that are worth more than the Released Value price
- Signing a delivery receipt that states you release the mover of any damage or missing items (you have a full 9 months to file a complaint with the mover)
- Always report any loss or damage to your property
- Interstate movers are subject to different laws and must provide you with a dispute resolution or arbitration program address for your damaged items.