For those who have moved before, you know that moving can be both an exciting and stressful process. For those who haven’t, knowing what to do when and organizing your time is crucial to a successful move. This booklet outlines for you what to expect before, during, and after the move. You’ll understand what options you have for moving, how to reduce your costs, and also how to reduce your stress. During this process you may still have questions and Consumers Relocation Services is dedicated to helping you. No detail of your move is too small or too complex for your CRS professional consultant to handle.
The first issue to tackle when planning your own move is deciding whether to use a rental truck or hire a professional moving company. Cost and logistical planning are determining factors in this decision. The cost of gas, accommodations en route, and the possible necessity of hiring labor at origin and destination all contribute to the overall expense of a rental truck move. Coordinating a self move is also complicated. Determining what size truck is necessary for the load, finding friends or paid laborers to help, and loading the truck properly to avoid damage are logistical issues which can quickly become overwhelming.
Hiring a professional mover can reduce the hassles associated with moving, but it by no means makes for a stress free experience. Placing all of your precious possessions in the hands of a stranger is nerve racking to say the least. Using this booklet and our resources will increase the likelihood of a successful move.
Planning an interstate move requires a lot of preparation and organization. Our Move Ease program uses movers with proven track records and competitive pricing. Move Ease is specifically designed to alleviate some of the pressure associated with selecting a reputable interstate mover and assists you in navigating your way through the process. After coordinating estimates from select van lines, your consultant performs a thorough review of the estimates, comparing services and values, to make sure you understand the entire process and are confident in your mover selection.
Once you have selected a mover, your consultant will schedule your dates for you and act as your advocate in the event of any issues or problems during the course of your move. In addition, to save you money, CRS has contracted with movers for discounts up to 62% and free full replacement valuation up to$50,000 or $75,000 (depending on specific mover contracts) with no deductible on interstate moves. Valuation coverage is provided at a rate of $5 per pound. For instance, if your estimated shipment weight is 10,000lbs., you would be entitled to $50,000 in free full value protection at no cost.
When you know you are moving you will need to sort through your household goods to determine which items will not be making the trip with you. Eliminating unwanted articles can substantially reduce the final cost of your move. Completing this task prior to having your moving estimates can reduce the inconsistencies between the estimates.
If possible, schedule your moving estimates about 8 weeks in advance of your intended move date. You don’t have to know the exact date of your move or even know your precise destination to have this step completed. However, knowing the city or county of the state is necessary. When the movers perform their surveys, make sure each receives the same information regarding what needs to be shipped, packed and any special services you may require. This will ensure that you are making a consistent comparison between the estimates.
Once you have reviewed the estimates, if possible, select a mover 4-5 weeks ahead of your move date. Summer time is the busiest season of the year for movers. The first and the last days of each month are busy as well. If you have flexibility, try not to move during the summer or at the end of the month. If it can’t be avoided, scheduling as far in advance as possible will assure the availability. Be advised that the movers will require a spread of several consecutive days to deliver your shipment and potentially, depending on the size of your shipment, to also load the shipment. These time frames are generally extended during the busy summer months.
Many movers provide BINDING (other terms: Firm Binding, Guaranteed Price, etc.) moving costs. A binding estimate is an exact cost for moving services: your final charges will not increase or decrease if your final weight is greater or lesser than estimated . A binding estimate covers only the goods and services listed on the estimate and accompanying inventory. If you add items or additional services are required or requested, the mover may void his original binding price proposal by requiring you to sign an addendum to the original contract. Please read what you are signing very carefully. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact your consultant. The mover may also require full payment for these additional services at the time of delivery.
Some companies may provide you with a GUARANTEED NOT TO EXCEED price (other terms: Binding Not to Exceed, Option binding, Accuquote, Assured Price Protection, etc). The same rules apply to these estimates as the binding estimates. However, should the actual weight and services be less than the estimate you pay the lesser amount. Again, your guarantee is based on the items listed in the inventory and the services outlined on the estimate.
Additional services which would contribute to the cost of the move could include:
• Shuttle (also called auxiliary) Service in the event that your new or old home is not negotiable by a tractor trailer and a smaller truck must be used to transport your belongings from your home to the trailer or vice versa.
• If your estimate was based on limited packing by the mover but more is required at the time of the move.
NON-BINDING estimates are not guaranteed. Final costs are based on the actual weight of the shipment and actual services provided at the time of the move Under a non-binding estimate, the mover cannot require you to pay more than the amount of the original estimate plus 10 percent at the time of delivery. You are then obligated to pay any additional charges over this amount within 30 days.
Use caution if you select a company who has estimated substantially less weight and services and has given a binding or guaranteed not to exceed price. If their inventory is not complete or if they have omitted necessary services, the contract could become void when you are loaded and you would be responsible for the actual charges.
• Flammable, hazardous, or noxious material may not be transported by the movers. This would include: aerosol cans, paints, paint remover or cleaner, fire extinguishers, ammonia, ammunition, etc.
• Propane and butane tanks or bottles are no longer permitted to be transported with movers.
• If you have a car going on the truck, the gas tank should be 1/4 full or less. Any other gasoline engines must be emptied of oil and gas. Gas cans should be washed out to avoid fumes.
• You are responsible for removing any items that you intend to ship which are permanently affixed to the ceiling or walls of your home. If you are unable to do so, we recommend hiring someone to do it for you.
• You are responsible for removing items from an attic or crawl space unless there is adequate and safe access for the movers to enter these areas.
• Trash cans, barbeque grills that use charcoal and refrigerators/freezers must be cleaned prior to loading day.
• Disassembly and reassembly of your beds is a standard service provided by the movers. However, if you have any other pieces of furniture that require dismantling and reassembly you should ask the mover about the associated costs.
• When furniture is disassembled be sure to have heavy duty baggies available for the parts and pieces that will be necessary for reassembly of the items.. Make sure you or the movers securely tape the baggies to the corresponding piece of furniture.
• The movers will transport plants ONLY under the following circumstances: if the relocation is less than 150 miles, does not involve storage, and the plants require no in transit maintenance. California, Arizona, and Florida will not permit plants to be transported into their states under any circumstances.
• Your mover does not accept liability for the internal workings of any electronic equipment unless it is apparent that the items has been dropped or has external damage indicating neglect or mishandling.
• If you are moving a computer, contact your local computer store for directions on securing the hard drive and other delicate items for transport.
• Appliances such as your washing machine, gas dryer, and icemaker must be properly prepared for the move. Your mover can perform this service, but it is generally less costly to do yourself or to hire a service person. Be sure to discuss your options during the estimate process.
• Bulky articles such as grandfather clocks, pool tables, large glass tables, sculptures, large paintings, etc. will often require custom crating by the mover. Be sure to show any such items to the mover representative.
• Your mover does not accept liability on any particle board furniture. You may be required to dismantle these pieces prior to shipping or to sign a waiver prior to loading the shipment.
• Pack a small box with tools (i.e., hammer, Philips head and flat head screw drivers, tape, utility knife, etc.) and keep handy for any last minute needs. This box should also be accessible when you reach your new home.
Pack and transport your expensive/unique jewelry, stamp/coin collections, currency, or important documents and papers yourself as well as any necessary prescriptions.
Although doing your own packing can save you a considerable amount of money, there is a certain amount of risk involved with a self pack. If breakage occurs within a box you have packed and there is no obvious damage to the exterior of the carton, movers will not accept liability for that damage. They have no knowledge of the condition of the item prior to being packed or the quality of your packing techniques. Similarly, if a box that you have packed collapses during transit, the movers will not accept liability for the items inside because the box has clearly been improperly packed. Therefore, CRS recommends having the movers pack any breakable or high value items. Miscellaneous items such as books, clothing, linens, toys, etc. can easily be packed by you. This same liability limitation applies to missing boxes: the movers will not accept liability for a missing box if you have packed it yourself
Any high value items that you have must be specifically identified and declared with the mover. Your mover will supply this form if requested. If this is not done and that box is lost (whether it is packed by you or the mover), again, the mover will not accept the full liability. The contents of the box must be known to the mover and proof of value will be necessary should a claim result.
When doing your own packing take care not to pack the boxes too heavy and to use ample packing material so the articles in the box cannot shift. Pack heavier items in small boxes. The driver of your shipment has the right to disallow improperly packed boxes onto the shipment or to require the boxes to be sufficiently re-packed by the mover at your expense. Your mover can assist you with proper packing techniques.
UNPACKING: Typically when your move is estimated the representative will include the cost of packing and unpacking your mattresses. Any additional unpacking you may desire should be discussed at the time of your estimate. Please note that unpacking service only provides the items being placed on a flat surface, they will not be put away into cabinets, cupboards, bookcases, etc. They will remove the boxes that are unpacked at delivery at no charge. If you wish a custom service for unpacking please discuss this option with your CRS consultant.
When moving your appliances you have different options to prepare them for transport. You can ask the mover to arrange for preparing appliances for transport but it can be costly. You can arrange for a handyman or an appliance serviceman to do it or you can do it yourself.
Preparation is needed for your washer and dryer, icemaker, pool table disassembly and reassembly and crating, grandfather clock etc. If you are moving a computer, contact your local computer store for directions on securing the hard drive and other delicate items for transport.
Your mover does NOT accept liability for the internal workings of any electronic equipment unless it is apparent that the item has been dropped or has external damage indicating neglect or mishandling. Be sure to discuss your options for preparation with the mover.
Through CRS’ national account contracts you are provided with the maximum protection for your belongings. CRS movers are contracted to provide up to $75,000 in full replacement valuation on interstate moves at no cost to you (actual coverage is calculated at a rate of $5 per pound). If you feel that your shipment is worth more than the maximum $5 per pound, you may purchase additional coverage. Be advised that the movers may require documentation proving that the additional coverage is warranted. At the mover’s discretion, any articles that are lost, damaged, or destroyed will be either repaired, replaced with a like item, or a cash settlement will be made for the current market replacement value. The mover retains salvage rights if they provide full settlement on a damaged item.
Even with full value protection the movers are permitted to limit their liability for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value, unless you specifically list these articles on your shipping documents. An article of extraordinary value is any item that’s value exceeds $100 per pound. Ask the mover for a complete explanation of this limitation before you move. It is your responsibility to know this provision and to make the necessary declaration required of the mover.
We always suggest that you continue your current personal property coverage through your current homeowners or tenant policy throughout the move. Speak with your insurance carrier about this coverage during your move.
When you are reviewing your estimate with the mover, be sure to ask about payment arrangements and when payment is required. It is customary for movers to require that charges be paid in cash, certified check, or money order. Personal checks are not accepted. Some movers will accept payment by credit card but this must be arranged prior to the pick up of your shipment.
The paperwork that you receive from the mover is another important part of the move. Be sure to read it carefully before signing and keep it with you during your move.
Your select mover will provide you with an Order for Service. This is a written confirmation of the services that you have requested and it also provides the agreed packing, pick-up and delivery dates. This will require your signature and the signature of the mover. It’s crucial that you review this information before signing.
All movers are required to provide you with a Bill of Lading for the transport of your household goods. This is your receipt for your belongings. The driver who loads your shipment must give you a copy of this before he loads your household goods. It is your responsibility to read and understand this information before you sign it. Do not sign the bill of lading until you are certain that all the information is correct and you agree with it.
The Order for Service and the Bill of Lading also outline the type of valuation coverage you have selected for your shipment. Make sure that these documents list the correct coverage of your shipment before signing.
Although it is not required by law, the majority of movers will complete a Inventory of your belongings before loading your articles onto the truck. A completed inventory provides a detailed listing of your household goods and the condition of each item. Be sure it is complete and that you agree with the driver’s condition report before signing this document. It is not unusual for individuals to create their own inventory sheets. However, the driver’s inventory is the official documentation for your shipment and all notations for damage or loss must be written therein.
When making arrangements to discontinue your utilities we advise that you plan it for the day after your loading date. Telephone companies will discontinue service in the morning of the day you request service to discontinue. It is crucial that telephone contact be available during the day of your loading. If you have a cellular phone, be sure to provide the mover and CRS with that alternative number as well.
When making arrangements for a flight or other means of transportation to your new home, plan this too for the day after your loading. An unexpected delay on the day of loading can put unnecessary stress on all parties involved.
CRS receives VIP status for our customers and the shipment of vehicles through national car carriers. Let your consultant know the year, make and model of the vehicle you wish to ship and he/she will obtain a quote from reliable auto transporters. While it is possible to have your vehicle included with your household goods, we’ve found that this means of transport is typically less expensive.
If you wish to find out the cost to include your vehicle with your household goods be sure to let your CRS Consultant or van line agent know this for proper estimating. If you decide to have the car go with your household goods, if there is insufficient space on the van during loading, it is not unusual for movers to make alternative arrangements for vehicles with a carrier of their choice.
If you have requested that the mover provide packing services this will typically be done a day or two before the loading. The agent for the van line will contact you prior to this day and let you know what time they plan on arriving.
Be sure that the packers have ample room and a flat surface on which to work. Set aside and clearly mark items that you do not wish the movers to pack. They will not pack your basic necessities until the day of actual loading.
If you are moving alone we strongly suggest arranging for a friend or relative be with you. Another set of eyes and ears and just moral support will help you through the packing and loading process.
When the moving day finally arrives, it is crucial that you have the entire day set aside to supervise the process. The driver and crew may have questions or concerns only you can address. If you have small children you should make every attempt to arrange for them to be with a friend or relative. There will be a lot of activity that will require your undivided attention.
If you have any items that are not being shipped, tell the crew and the driver and set the items aside, clearly labeled, to avoid any confusion. Likewise, store your pocket book, cash or any valuables in a secure location such as the trunk of your vehicle. Do not leave any items such as jewelry or cash out in the open.
Prior to loading the driver will be completing an inventory of your goods and their condition. You are required to sign this completed inventory at the time of loading and at the time of delivery. Before signing this inventory, you must note any exceptions you take to the driver’s assessment of your goods. If anything is damaged or missing when delivered, your ability to recover from the mover may depend on the notations made.
When all your belongings are loaded and before the driver leaves, it is your responsibility to be certain that nothing has been left behind. Check all closets, the attic, basement, garage, and outside for any items that may have been missed.
Be sure that the driver has all the correct destination information including contact numbers while en route, directions to your new home, and other specific instructions relating to your move.
While it’s not common, it’s possible if you happen to be the final household scheduled to load onto the van, that there might not be enough room for all your belongs. This can happen when previous shipments loaded or your shipment is larger than scheduled. If this should happen the driver will ask you what things are not immediately required at destination. The local agent will arrange to pick up those items and bring them to their warehouse for pick up by another van operator going to the same general destination. These items are not subject to any delay claim but will be delivered as quickly as possible. Nobody likes this inconvenience but it’s not completely unavoidable.
The first step to a smooth delivery is making sure you arrive to your new home prior to the movers. We suggest again that if you are moving alone that a friend or relative be with you during this time. Make travel arrangements that coincide with the prearranged delivery period provided by the moving company. This is important because the movers will place your household goods into storage, at your expense, if you are not able to accept delivery of your shipment.
It is your responsibility to know in advance of the delivery if there are any parking restrictions or permits that may be required for the tractor trailer at both origin and destination. Contacting the local police department should help in obtaining that information.
At the time of delivery the driver should provide you with his copy of your inventory. The crew should let you know each inventory number as it is being brought in while you check them off. It is crucial at this time that you point out to the driver and make notations on the inventory of any obvious damage or any missing items.
When your delivery is completed you will be required to sign the inventory. The settlement of a potential claim weighs heavily on this process and your notations. Any boxes that show any outward damage must be noted on the inventory at the time of delivery.
Having a plan outlining the placement of your furniture will help considerably during the unloading. The mover will not move furniture again once it has been placed in your home.
If you are taking delivery into a self storage unit please note that the mover’s liability ceases when the unloading is completed. Any damaged or missing items MUST be noted on the driver’s inventory at the time of unloading.
During the summer months and occasionally during non-peak moving times, moves can be delayed for weather related reasons, shortage of trucks, mechanical failure or other unforeseen circumstances. Being prepared for this outside possibility will help you in this event. Take things that you cannot afford to be without: if you are starting a new job, take business clothes with you; if you have children who will be attending school shortly after your arrival, take the things they will need to start school.
Through CRS if there is a delay and your shipment is over 3,500lbs., the movers are required to reimburse you for a percentage of hotel and meal expenses. Be sure to save hotel and meal receipts during this time. You should receive a delay claim form from the mover upon your request. This is handled separately from a damage claim and must be handled promptly: the claim must be filed within 30 days of delivery. A delay claim does not pertain to shipments that are delivering to a public/self storage unit or into mover storage or from a mover or public storage facility.
Unless more unpacking is requested, the movers will generally only include unpacking your mattresses at destination. Be advised that unpacking of boxes only entails removing items from the box and placing them on a flat surface. If you would like the movers to put away your packed belongings this is an additional expense that should be requested of the mover at the time of your estimate.
If you find any damage during the unpacking, keep a notepad listing the damaged item and the inventory number for the particular carton. If it is a box you packed yourself, save the box. It may be helpful in settling your claim.
The movers can deliver the shipment to a public/self storage facility of your choosing in your destination state. As noted above, be advised that once the shipment is unloaded into public/self storage the mover is released of all liability, even if you discover damage at a later date to boxes that the professionals packed.
Therefore, once again, any damaged or missing items must be notated on the inventory as the items are being placed into the facility. The movers will not consider a claim if you move the items out of the public/self storage unit before filing. It is very important that you or someone you trust is there to oversee the delivery into the facility. CRS also recommends that you research public/self storage locations prior to choosing one to determine their access limitations. If a tractor trailer cannot easily access the unit you will incur additional charges for shuttle/auxiliary service. Many newer facilities are designed to accommodate tractor trailers.
Most movers offer secure facilities in either your origin or destination vicinity and will containerize your shipment for the storage duration. Since the shipment is containerized, access to your articles is limited and would generally require a fee. Interstate movers offer what is termed Storage-in-Transit for up to either 90 or 180 days. This allows for the continuation of your valuation coverage for the duration of the 90 or 180 day (depending on mover terms) storage period. The mover also retains responsibility to deliver the shipment to your final destination.
Permanent storage would be recommended if you need to have you belongings stored beyond the 90 or 180 day storage period. In this instance, the interstate mover would release your shipment to an authorized local agent for storage. The valuation coverage you selected for the move would cease at that time and you would be required to obtain coverage from the local agent. In this instance, your shipment would also be containerized and the local agent would perform the delivery of your shipment.
Interstate movers allow nine months from the time of delivery to submit a claim for damage to your household goods. Local move claims must be submitted within 30 days. Your shipment is considered delivered if it is unloaded into a residence, public/self storage unit, or into permanent storage. To file a claim you must request a claim form from the movers. All claims must be made in writing, include sufficient information to identify the item, and must include the inventory number and estimated amount for the repair or estimated replacement amount. If you do not have the original receipt supply the manufacturer of the item should be acceptable.
If you have done everything outlined in this information booklet with regards to notations of damages and missing items, and declaring high value items with the mover, there should be no problems with having your claim settled quickly and fairly. If you have difficulty however , or haven’t heard from the mover within 30 days of submitting your claim please contact your CRS Consultant. They will assist you in whatever they can.
IMPORTANT: The success of any claim is dependent on the notations made on the inventory sheet at the time of loading and delivery (see previous: Loading Day, Delivery Day). You only have one opportunity to file a claim, therefore, it is imperative that you inspect all of your household goods prior to filing. Also, the movers will NOT settle a claim if your shipment has been moved from the location of original delivery. As mentioned previously in this booklet, movers limit liability to: self packed boxes, electronics, high value items that are not declared prior to loading, and particle board.
It is your responsibility to make sure all of your items arrive with the shipment at the time of delivery. If there are items missing, you MUST inform the driver and notate the missing articles on the inventory sheet. If you do not notice an item is missing until after delivery is completed it is important that you notify the mover as soon as possible. The mover will place a trace to attempt to locate the item (some movers will require you to file a damage claim in order to start a trace). If the item is not found, you may put in a claim for recovery. However, if the loss was not notated on the inventory at delivery it is highly unlikely that the mover will accept liability.
IMPORTANT: Because of the limit of mover liability on self packed boxes and high value items that are not declared prior to loading, it is unlikely that the movers will settle a claim for loss of these items.