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Getting Your Move On

Getting Your Move On

So you are on your way to selling one home and buying another. Now you will need to move your stuff.

Getting you move on means you need to get know what it will take to get up to speed, so the more you know the smoother your move.

The American Moving and Storage Association www.Moving.org and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration www.fmcsa.dot.gov have some more information that will help you get your move on.

There is a lot more to a move than selecting a mover and signing over care of your goods.

You can smooth the move if you:

1. Sit down, take a breather, read the contract before signing.

2. Stay in contact with the mover while in transit and tell the mover how to reach you at the destination. If the mover can’t reach you at the destination, your goods may have to be stored adding to your cost.

3. Be on hand when movers arrive on moving day to discuss packing and delivery arrangements. Have beds stripped and ready for packing, but let the moving crew disassemble items.

4. Movers must acknowledge receiving the claim within 30 days and deny the claim or settle within 120. When making a claim, keep in mind the amount of liability that you declared on your shipment. If the value you declared was $10,000, the mover’s maximum liability is $10,000.

5. Report losses and damage immediately. If goods are damaged or lost, report this promptly and in detail on the driver’s copy of the inventory sheet before signing. For damage found after unpacking, you must file a claim within nine months after delivery.

6 Buy extra insurance if necessary. All interstate household goods shipments move under a very limited liability of 60 cents per pound. Without additional coverage, for example, if a 10-pound stereo component worth $1,000 is lost or destroyed, your mover is liable for a pittance — only $6 (10 pounds times 60 cents). Full replacement value coverage is the most comprehensive protection available.

7. Resolve disagreements before signing off on the driver’s inventory. Make sure you get legible copies of the inventory and that all items are numbered. See to it that valuable items are listed separately.

8. Start soon if you are packing yourself. Remember, movers aren’t liable for items you packed but packing non-breakables, like clothes and bedding can speed things along.

9. Be flexible. You may be asked to select several consecutive days for loading, and a second series of dates for delivery. This gives the mover flexibility to work to keep on schedule.

10, Be present when goods are packed. Professional packing is crucial. Schedule the mover to pack a day or two before loading the van.

11. The not-to-exceed estimate — sometimes called “guaranteed price” or “price protection” — is based on a binding estimate or actual cost, whichever is lower. Like a binding estimate, it must be in writing and is binding on the mover. The driver cannot collect more at destination before unloading.

12. A non-binding estimate comes with no guarantee. Final cost is determined after your shipment is weighed and certified. Certified weighing could exceed the estimate. However, the driver cannot legally demand payment for more than 110 percent of the non-binding estimate before unloading. You then have at least 30 days to pay remaining charges.

13. Understand binding and non-binding estimates. Binding estimates guarantee the estimate for the move based on items moved and services listed on the estimate sheet. Items or services added later could result in higher charges. Once the mover arrives at destination, the driver cannot ask you to pay more than the binding estimate before unloading unless you added items or services not included in the estimate.