Your Moving Rights and Responsibilities isn’t just a platitude for what you need to do when moving. It’s an official document that any moving company is legally obligated to provide you with before your move. There’s a lot of information packed into the relatively short document and it’s important to know and understand what’s contained in it. In the Moving Rights & Responsibilities document, you’ll find some good advice for working with moving companies, as well as what the legal responsibilities are for both you and the mover. Below, you’ll find some of the more important things that it covers.
Every moving company, whether a broker or carrier, needs to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and keeps a record of all moving and transport companies. Every moving company should be comfortable providing you with the information you’ll need to look up their electronic records with the FMCSA using the Household Goods Database. Using the online database, you can find information about moving companies by searching by name, motor carrier number, or U.S. DOT number, all of which you should be able to find or request from the mover.
Part of the Rights & Responsibilities pamphlet includes what you need to be responsible for during the moving process. That includes reading over all documents to ensure their completion and accuracy, as well as sticking to the agreed upon arrangements detailed therein. This means that you need to be available when the company arrives, make payment for the services as agreed, and notify the movers of any changes in your request before moving day. By the same token, any claims of lost or damaged items should be made promptly so that the moving company can address them in a timely manner.
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Any estimate from a moving company should be given to you in writing. There are no formal agreements made over the phone or in the body of an email that constitute a formal contract with a mover. Any terms agreed to need to be specifically spelled out and presented to you in a formal document, regardless of the type of estimate. It should be noted that there are different types of estimates, typically binding or non-binding, as well as not to exceed agreements, all of which must be detailed in writing.
The level of insurance coverage offered by the moving company, and chosen by you, need to be included in the contract as well. The Protect Your Move document explains the different types of value protection, ranging from basic value protection to full value protection. The base level of coverage is on a per pound basis and guards against damages at the rate of 60 cents per pound or less. Full value protection starts at six dollars per pound and goes up depending on the level of valuation insurance you request. You can also purchase third party insurance separate from valuation that covers your items while they’re in the care of the mover.
As we mentioned earlier, you need to get everything in writing as it pertains to the terms of your move. There are several required documents that the movers must provide you with, including your Rights and Responsibilities. There are also other documents, like the bill of lading, inventory list, and order for service that you should receive prior to your move. The full details of these documents and the specific sections can be reviewed by clicking the link at the top of this page, or by consulting the Rights and Responsibilities pamphlet itself.