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During Your Move
An inventory list and the bill of lading are valuable documents, particularly if you have a claim for loss or damage.
Moving Inventory List
Ask the mover to make an inventory of your property. Make sure the list is legible and accurate. If you disagree with the inventory, note it on the list before you sign it. Make sure all notations also appear on the mover’s copy.
On moves when you pay by the hour, you will have to pay for the time an inventory takes. But without an inventory, you could have difficulty proving a claim.
Bill of Lading
Keep the bill of lading safe and available until your belongings are delivered. The bill of lading is a contract between you and the mover and a receipt for your belongings.
Basic protection often covers as little as 65 cents per pound, per article. As an example, a 10-pound night lamp would be reimbursed at $6.
Carrier’s liability and insurance are not the same thing, so it’s a good idea to see your insurance agent to determine if you need additional coverage. Movers must explain their liability for loss or damage to your property and how you can increase your protection.
More details on carrier liability can be found reviewing the back of the bill of lading or from the tariff. You can view a copy of the tariff and a fact sheet on this topic.
On the back of the bill of lading is a list of instances in which the mover is not liable for loss and damage to your property. Review this list carefully, and make certain you understand the information.
Under no circumstances should you pack the following items with your other belongings:
|At your request, the mover should:
Notify you of the weight and charges as soon as the net weight of your shipment is established. You are entitled to witness the official weighing of the loaded vehicle.
Re-weigh the shipment before delivery, if it is practical to do so. You are responsible for the cost of re-weighing the shipment. Re-weighing charges are shown in the tariff.
Delivery and Inspection
Check for damage, particularly valuable items, while the mover is present. If there’s a box or container that won’t be unpacked right away, you and the mover should inspect it for signs of damage. Do not sign any delivery papers until you inspect your belongings and check them against the inventory. If there’s loss or damage, make a specific notation on both copies of the inventory and/or bill of lading. This will help later if you have to file a claim.
If you find damaged goods after the mover has left, keep the items and packing materials as they were in the box, or set aside damaged belongings that were not packed. Call the mover immediately so that a claims representative can inspect them.
Be Prepared To Pay
Unless you make credit arrangements, you will be expected to pay for the move before your goods are unloaded. Payment will be expected in cash, money order or cashier’s check unless other arrangements were made.
If charges are more than the written non-binding estimate, the mover MUST unload and release all your goods if you pay 110 percent of the amount of the estimate and supplemental estimates. The carrier is required to give you 30 days to pay the balance. (A good reason to get and retain a written estimate.)