Know Your Moving Rights

Many things can go wrong with a move, and like every other kinds of contract, your dealings with a mover is a serious business, and the all necessary terms need to be well defined. As the client, the person who wants to move, the one whose properties will be handled by some strangers, and the one who will also be making payments, you are the one at risk of a greater loss. Hence, you should be very careful and make sure things are done properly.

There are certain things you should know when hiring a mover. There are rights guaranteed you by law, and you should know them so as to be guided properly. These things have been specified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and are contained in a booklet titled: “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.”

Here are things you should know:

Firstly, your mover is required to present to you the booklet from FMCA. You are to read it thoroughly and all the information it contains. Then you should ask your mover further questions.


Written estimates

Movers must give written estimates. Do not accept a verbal quote from a mover. Estimates must be written. The estimates can either be binding, non-binding, or guaranteed-not-to-exceed estimate. Binding must remain at what is quoted. Non-binding can be lower or higher than quoted amount. Guaranteed-no-to-exceed can only be lower, but not higher, than quoted amount.You are not to sign a blank or incomplete document. Make sure everything is included and clear to you before signing.


Your mover is responsible for any loss or damage to your items during the transportation of the shipment. However, the extent of the responsibility depends on the level of the liability you choose. It can be Full (Replacement)Value Protection, where your mover repairs or damaged items to the point it was or replaces withsomething (or payment) of equal value. The second one is Waiver of Full (Replacement) Value Protection, under which the mover’s liability does not exceed 60 cents per pound, per article. You should inquire with your mover how each of these applies and know which is best for you.


Your mover must prepare and present to you the following documents:an inventory of your shipment, a bill of lading, freight bill, and weight tickets (if your shipment is moving under a nonbinding estimate).

Weighing Properties

You have the right to be present each time your shipment is weighed or request a reweigh at no charge. Your mover should tell you when and where each weighing will be done.

Delivery receipt

You should refuse to sign the delivery receipt if it contains any language releasing or discharging your mover or its agents from liability. You can strike out such language before signing, or refuse delivery if the mover refuses to provide a proper delivery receipt.


On the occasion of loss or damage to your properties, if you cannot reach a settlement with your mover, you have the right to request arbitration from your mover. You may choose to pursue a civil action in an appropriate court having legal jurisdiction in lieu of arbitration

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