Do You Know Your Moving Rights?

If you need to move, then you know how difficult and stressful it can be. You are probably worried about finding reliable movers, project cargo, packing, and so on. If you are moving internationally, then the situation is even more difficult. If you cannot hire movers on someone’s recommendation, there is always a chance your movers being irresponsible. For this reason, it is important to know your moving rights. If something goes wrong, you should know your rights so you can act accordingly.  

Be aware of your moving rights 

When you are moving, you should receive a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the FMCSA for short. Even though this guidebook is for an interstate move, almost all the moving rights mentioned there are applicable to every type of move. If you do not have time to read the whole guidebook or you do not have your copy, here is a breakdown of all the important points. Those points will cover movers’ estimate, the type of estimate, liability coverage, insurance, shipment, and important dates.  

know your moving rights by reading a book
Read about your moving rights

You should receive a written estimate 

When you are looking for international movers, make sure to find at least three moving companies. Then, you have to schedule an in-house estimate. It is important to have movers visit your house to estimate the cost of your move. It is impossible to give an accurate estimate over the phone or camera. For this reason, insist on an in-house estimate. In addition to this, you should get an estimate from three different companies. This way, you can hire the most affordable one. According to your moving rights, you need to receive a written estimate. This means a verbal estimate is not official nor it is considered valid. Furthermore, you should not accept blank or incomplete estimates. Irrefutable movers can add the number they like or change the original estimate 

Binding or non-binding estimate 

You have a choice, you can either receive a binding or non-binding estimate. The binding estimate guarantees your final price. In other words, the first written estimate given to you will state your moving costs. This cost will not change even your final shipment is heavier or lighter than the first estimate. The binding estimate is perfect for people who are on a tight budget. However, you might end up paying more than necessary if the final weight of the shipment is less than the original one written in the estimate. On the other hand, a non-binding estimate is a presumed cost of your relocation. The final cost will be decided based on the final weight of your items and the moving services. Usually, people opt for a binding estimate due to fear of high bills, but movers cannot ask for more than 110 percent of the original estimate. 

Know your moving rights about liability coverage 

There are two types of liability coverage.  

  • Full Replacement Value Protection – this is the best solution if you plan to move valuable items. The coverage should not be less than $6 per pound. If movers lost or damage your items while your items are in their custody, movers can do the following. 
    1. Repair the items to their original condition 
    2. Replace the items with their equivalent 
    3. Pay you the cost so you can buy the new one 
  • Released Value Protection – offer less coverage, no more than 60 cents per pound. You should not opt for this type if you are moving valuable items.  
  • Third-Party Cargo Liability – movers need to offer the two types of liability coverage. However, you can purchase your moving insurance if you feel these two do not provide enough coverage.
person holding Fragile box
Make sure to protect your fragile and valuable items


Situations that reduce movers’ liability 

Even though movers are liable for your items when they are under movers’ care, there are four situations where movers’ liability is reduced. First, you waive Full Value Protection. Secondly, you packed your items. If the damage happens due to your poor packing skills, movers do not have to pay for the repairs. In addition to this, do not pack perishable, hazardous or dangerous items without telling your movers. Again, if something happens, you will be responsible for the damage. The third situation is concerned with your shipment. Do not declare the value of your shipment less than it is. Lastly, you need to notify your movers in a written form if some items are valued at more than $100 per pound.  

Moving right regarding your shipment 

You should receive a detailed inventory of your items. This list should inform you about the items loaded, their condition, any existing damage or scratches, and so on. In addition to this, you and your movers need to sign the inventory before the transport. You will need to sign the inventory again after the delivery. However, make sure to check your items before signing. Apart from this, you should make an agreement with your movers about the dates for the pickup and delivery. If you plan to use a warehouse for exhibition cargo Japan, make sure to work out all the details. You should formally set dates. Do not settle on “soon” but ask for a specific date. This is important if your movers are late or even early for delivery. Movers will be responsible for handling the storage fee if they deliver your items before the delivery date. 

person holding calendar
Set up an official date for your delivery

Know your moving rights for filing loss or damage claims 

As mentioned, you have the right to file a claim if your items are delivered in bad condition. However, you need to submit the claim in a certain period of time. This means you have nine months after your delivery date. After this, movers have 30 days to receive the claim and another 120 days to respond. In addition to this, you should read your moving contract. You can find there all the necessary information regarding this process. Make sure to know your moving rights and how you can exercise them. 

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