Your Rights and Responsibilities when you move
Prepared by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA).
Tariff inspection and Incorporation notice
Federal law requires that movers advise shippers that they may inspect
the tariffs that govern your shipment. Carriers' tariffs, by this reference,
are made a part of the contract of carriage (bill of lading) between you
and the carrier and may be inspected at carrier's facility, or, on request,
carrier will furnish a copy of any tariff provision containing carrier's
rates, rules or charges governing your shipment, the terms of which cannot
Incorporated tariff provisions include but are not limited to those:
(1.) establishing limitation of carrier's liability, the principal features
of which are described in the valuation declaration section of the bill
of lading; (2.) setting the time periods for filing claims, the principal
features of which are described in Section 6 of the bill of lading; and,
(3.) reserving the carrier's right to assess additional charges for additional
services performed and, on non-binding estimates, to base charges upon
the exact weight of the goods transported.
The Federal Motor Carrier safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations protect
consumers on interstate moves and define the rights and responsibilities
of consumers and household goods carriers (movers).
The mover gives you this pamphlet to provide information about your rights
and responsibilities as a shipper of household goods. You should talk
to your mover if you have further questions. The mover will also furnish
you with a pamphlet describing its procedures for handling your questions
and complaints. The pamphlet will include a number you can call to obtain
additional information about your move.
Although movers are not required to give estimates, most movers do provide
estimates when requested. There are two types of estimates, binding and
BINDING ESTIMATES OF TOTAL COST
The mover may charge you for providing a binding estimate, which must
clearly describe the shipment and all services provided.
When you receive a binding estimate, you cannot be required to pay any
more than that amount. However, if you have requested the mover to provide
more services than those included in the estimate, such as destination
charges (i.e., long carry charges, shuttle charges, extra stair carry
charges, or elevator charges) often not known at origin, the mover may
demand full payment for those added services at time of delivery.
To be effective, a binding estimate must be in writing and a copy must
be made available to you before your move.
If you agree to a binding estimate, you are responsible for paying the
charges due by cash, certified check, traveler's check, or bank check
(one drawn by a bank on itself and signed by an officer of the bank) at
time of delivery unless the mover agrees before you move to extend credit
or to accept payment by charge card. If you are unable to pay at the time
the shipment is delivered, the mover may place your shipment in storage
at your expense until the charges are paid.
NON-BINDING ESTIMATES OF APPROXIMATE COST
The mover is not permitted to charge for giving a non-binding estimate.
A non-binding estimate is not a bid or contract. It is provided by the
mover to give you a general idea of the cost of the move, but it does
not bind the mover to the estimated cost. Furthermore, it is not a guarantee
that the final cost will not be more than the estimate. The actual cost
will be in accordance with the mover's published tariffs. All movers are
legally obligated to collect no more and no less than the charges shown
in their tariffs regardless of prior rate quotations contained in non-binding
estimates. The charges contained in the tariffs are essentially the same
for the same weight shipment moving the same distance. If you obtain differing
(non-binding) estimates from different movers, you will be obligated to
pay only the amount specified in the tariff. Therefore, a non-binding
estimate may have no effect on the amount you will have to pay.
Non-binding estimates must be in writing and clearly describe the shipment
and all services provided. Any time a mover provides such an estimate
the amount of the charges estimated must be on the order for service and
bill of lading relating to your shipment. If you are given a non-binding
estimate, do not sign or accept the order for service or bill of lading
unless the amount estimated is entered on each form when prepared by the
If you are given a non-binding estimate, the mover cannot require you
to pay more than the amount of the original estimate, plus 10 percent,
at time of delivery. You will then have at least 30 days after delivery
to pay any remaining charges.
IF YOU REQUEST THE MOVER TO PROVIDE MORE SERVICES THAN THOSE INCLUDED
IN THE ESTIMATE, THE MOVER MAY DEMAND FULL PAYMENT FOR THOSE ADDED SERVICES
AT TIME OF DELIVERY.
Space reservations, Expedited service, Exclusive use of a vehicle and Guaranteed pickup and Delivery
It is customary for movers to offer price and service options. The total
cost of your move may be increased if you want additional or special services.
Before you agree to have your shipment moved under a bill of lading providing
special service, you should have a clear understanding with the mover
what the additional cost will be. You should always consider that you
may find other movers who can provide the service you require without
requiring that you pay the additional charges.
One service option is a SPACE RESERVATION. If you agree to have your
shipment transported under a space reservation agreement, you are required
to pay for a minimum number of cubic feet of space in the moving van regardless
of how much space in the van is actually occupied by your shipment.
A second service option is EXPEDITED SERVICE to aid shippers who must
have their shipments transported on or between specific dates, which the
mover could not ordinarily agree to do in its normal operations.
Another customary service option is EXCLUSIVE USE OF A VEHICLE. If for
any reason you desire or require that your shipment be moved by itself
on the mover's truck or trailer, most movers will provide such service.
Still another service option is GUARANTEED SERVICE ON OR BETWEEN AGREED
DATES. You enter into an agreement with the mover that provides for your
shipment to be picked up, transported to destination and delivered on
specific guaranteed dates. If the mover fails to provide the service as
agreed, you are entitled to be compensated at a predetermined amount or
a daily rate (per diem) regardless of the expense you actually might have
incurred as a result of the mover's failure to perform.
Before requesting or agreeing to any of these price and service options,
be sure to ask the mover's representatives about the final costs you will
be required to pay.
Transport of shipments on two or more vehicles
Although all movers try to move each shipment on one truck it becomes
necessary at times to divide a shipment among two or more trucks. This
may occur if the mover has underestimated the cubic feet of space required
for your shipment, with the consequence that it will not all fit on the
first truck. The remainder or "leave behind" will be picked
up by a second truck at a later time and may arrive at the destination
at a later time than the first truck. When this occurs, your transportation
charges will be determined as if the entire shipment moved on one truck.
If it is important for you to avoid the inconvenience of a "leave
behind," be sure that your estimate includes an accurate calculation
of the cubic feet required for your shipment. Ask your estimator to use
a "Table of Measurements" form in making this calculation. Consider
asking for a binding estimate, which is more likely to be conservative
with regard to cubic feet than non-binding estimates. If the mover offers
the service, consider making a space reservation for the necessary amount
of space plus some margin of error. In any case, it is prudent to "prioritize"
your goods in advance of the move so that the more essential items will
be loaded on the first truck if some are left behind.
Order for service
Moving companies are required to prepare an order for service on every
shipment transported for an individual shipper. You are entitled to a
copy of the order for service when it is prepared.
The order for service is not a contract. Should your move be canceled
or delayed or if you decide not to use the mover, you should promptly
cancel the order.
Should there be any change in the dates on which you and the mover agreed
that your shipment will be picked up and delivered, or any change in the
non-binding estimate, the mover may prepare a written change to the order
for service. The written change should be attached to the order for service.
You and the mover must sign the order for service.
Bill of lading
The bill of lading is the contract between you and the mover. The mover
is required by law to prepare a bill of lading for every shipment it transports.
The information on the bill of lading is required to be the same information
shown on the order for service. The driver who loads your shipment must
give you a copy of the bill of lading before loading your furniture.
IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO READ THE BILL OF LADING BEFORE YOU ACCEPT
The bill of lading requires the mover to provide the service you have
requested, and you must pay the charges for the service.
THE BILL OF LADING IS AN IMPORTANT DOCUMENT. DO NOT LOSE OR MISPLACE
YOUR COPY. Have it available until your shipment is delivered, all charges
are paid and all claims, if any, are settled.
At the time the mover's driver loads your shipment, he or she, although
not required to do so, usually inventories your shipment listing any damage
or unusual wear. The purpose is to make a record of the condition of each
item. If the driver does not make an inventory, you should make one yourself.
After completing the inventory, the driver will usually sign each page
and ask you to sign each page. It is important before signing that you
make sure that the inventory lists every item in your shipment and that
the entries regarding the condition of each item are correct. You have
the right to note any disagreement. When your shipment is delivered, if
an item is missing or damaged, your ability to recover from the mover
for any loss or damage may depend on the notations made.
The driver will give you a copy of each page of the inventory. Attach
the complete inventory to your copy of the bill of lading. It is your
receipt for the goods.
At the time your shipment is delivered, it is your responsibility to
check the items delivered against the items listed on your inventory.
If new damage is discovered, make a record of it on the inventory form.
Call the damage to the attention of the driver and request that a record
of the damage be made on the driver's copy of the inventory.
After the complete shipment is unloaded, the driver will request that
you sign the driver's copy of the inventory to show that you received
the items listed. Do not sign until you have assured yourself that it
is accurate and that proper notations have been entered regarding any
missing or damaged items. When you sign the inventory, you are giving
the driver a receipt for your goods.
Shipments subject to minimum weight or Volume charges
Movers usually have a minimum weight or volume charge for transporting
a shipment. Usually the minimum is the charge for transporting a shipment
of at least 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms).
If your shipment appears to weigh less than the mover's minimum weight,
the mover is required to advise you on the order for service of the minimum
cost before agreeing to transport the shipment. Should the mover fail
to advise you of the minimum charges and your shipment is less than the
minimum weight, the final charges must be based on the actual weight instead
of the minimum weight.
Determining the weight of your shipment
If charges are to be based upon the weight of the shipment, the mover
is required to weigh the shipment. Unless your shipment weighs less than
1,000 pounds (454 kilograms) and can be weighed on a warehouse platform
scale, the mover is required to determine the weight of your shipment
by one of the following processes.
ORIGIN WEIGHING - If your shipment is weighed in the city or area from
which you are moving, the driver is required to weigh the truck on which
the shipment is to be transported before coming to your residence. This
is called the tare weight. At the time of this first weighing the truck
may already be partially loaded with one or more other shipments. This
will not affect the weight of your shipment. The truck should also contain
the pads, dollies, hand-trucks, ramps, and other equipment normally used
in the transportation of household goods shipments.
After loading, the truck will be weighed again to obtain the loaded weight,
called the gross weight. The net weight of your shipment is then obtained
by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight.
DESTINATION WEIGHING - The mover is also permitted to determine the weight
of your shipment at the destination at the time of unloading. The fact
that a shipment is weighed at the destination instead of at the origin
will not affect the accuracy of the weight of your shipment. THE MOST
IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE IS THAT THE MOVER WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DETERMINE THE
EXACT CHARGES ON YOUR SHIPMENT BEFORE IT IS UNLOADED.
Destination weighing is done in reverse of origin weighing. After arriving
in the city or area to which you are moving, the driver will weigh the
truck, with your shipment loaded on it, to obtain the gross weight before
coming to your new residence to unload. After unloading your shipment,
the driver will again weigh the truck to obtain the tare weight. The net
weight of your shipment will then be obtained by subtracting the tare
weight from the gross weight.
Each time a weighing is performed the driver is required to obtain a
weight ticket showing the date and place of weighing and the weight obtained.
The ticket must also have your name and shipment number entered on it,
along with the identification (I.D.) numbers of the truck. The ticket
must be signed by the person who performed the weighing. If both the empty
(tare) and loaded (gross) weighings are performed on the same scale, the
record of both weighings may be entered on one weight ticket.
At the time the mover gives you the freight bill to collect the charges,
a copy of every weight ticket relating to your shipment must accompany
your copy of the freight bill.
You have the right to observe every weighing. The mover is required to
inform you of the specific location of each scale that will be used and
to allow you a reasonable opportunity to be present. If you desire to
observe either or both of the weighings, you should tell the mover at
the time the order for service is prepared or, in any event, before the
date of your move. This will enable the mover to contact you before the
weighing to advise you of the location of the scale.
Reweighing of shipments
If your shipment is weighed at origin and you agree with the mover that
you will pay the charges at time of delivery, the mover is required to
give you written notice of the weight and charges on your shipment before
commencing to unload at your destination residence. If you believe that
the weight is not accurate, you have the right to request that the shipment
be reweighed before unloading.
The mover is not permitted to charge for the reweighing. If the weight
of your shipment at the time of the reweigh is different from the weight
determined at origin, the mover must recompute the charges based on the
Before requesting a reweigh, you may find it to your advantage to estimate
the weight of your shipment using the following method:
Count the number of items in your shipment. Usually there will be either
30 or 40 items listed on each page of the inventory. For example, if there
are 30 items per page and your inventory consists of four complete pages
and a fifth page with 15 items listed, the total number of items will
be 135. If an automobile is listed on the inventory do not include that
item in the count of the total items.
Subtract the weight of any automobile included in your shipment from the
total weight of the shipment. If the automobile was not weighed separately,
its weight can be found on its title or license receipt.
Divide the number of items in your shipment into the weight. If the average
weight resulting from this exercise ranges between 35 and 45 pounds (16
and 20 kilograms) per article, it is unlikely that a reweigh will prove
beneficial to you and could result in your paying higher charges.
Experience has shown that the average shipment of household goods will
weigh about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) per item. If a shipment contains
a large number of heavy items, such as cartons of books, boxes of tools
or heavier than average furniture, the average weight per item may be
45 pounds (20 kilograms) or more.
Picking up and Delivering shipments on the agreed dates
You and your mover must reach agreement as to when your shipment is to
be picked up and delivered. It is your responsibility to determine on
what date, or between what dates, you need to have the shipment picked
up and on what date or between what dates, you require delivery. It is
the mover's responsibility to tell you if the service can be provided
on or between those dates or, if not, on what other dates the service
can be provided.
In the process of reaching an agreement with a mover, it may be necessary
for you to alter your moving and travel plans if no mover can provide
service on the specific dates you desire. Do not agree to have your shipment
picked up or delivered as soon as possible. The dates or periods of time
you and the mover agree on should be definite.
Once an agreement is reached, the mover is required to enter those dates
on the order for service and the bill of lading.
Once your goods are loaded, the mover is contractually bound to provide
the service described in the bill of lading. The only defense for not
providing the service on the dates called for is the "defense of
force majeure." This is a legal term, which means that if circumstances
which could not have been foreseen and which are beyond the control of
the mover prevent the performance of the service as agreed to in the bill
of lading, the mover is not responsible for damages resulting from the
If, after an order for service is prepared, the mover is unable to make
pickup or delivery on the agreed dates, the mover is required to notify
you by telephone, telegram or in person. The mover must at that time tell
you when your shipment can be picked up or delivered. If for any reason
you are unable or unwilling to accept pickup or delivery on the dates
named by the mover, you should attempt to reach agreement on an alternate
The establishment of a delayed pickup or delivery date does not relieve
the mover from liability for damages resulting from the failure to provide
service as agreed. However, when you are notified of alternate delivery
dates it is your responsibility to be available to accept delivery on
the dates specified. If you are not available and willing to accept delivery,
the mover has the right to place your shipment in storage at your expense
or hold the shipment on its truck and assess additional charges.
If after the pickup of your shipment, you request the mover to change
the delivery date, most movers will agree to do so providing your request
will not result in unreasonable delay to their equipment or interfere
with another customer's move. However, the mover is not required to consent
to amended delivery dates and has the right to place your shipment in
storage at your expense if you are unwilling or unable to accept delivery
on the date agreed to in the bill of lading.
If the mover fails to pick up and deliver your shipment on the dates
entered on the bill of lading and you have expenses you otherwise would
not have had, you may be able to recover those expenses from the mover.
This is what is called an inconvenience or delay claim. Should a mover
refuse to honor such a claim and you continue to believe that you are
entitled to be paid damages, you may sue the mover. The FMCSA has no authority
to order the mover to pay such claims.
While it is hoped that your shipment will not be delayed, you should
consider this possibility and find out before you agree for a mover to
transport your shipment what payment you can expect if the service is
delayed through the fault of the mover.
Notification of charges
You must advise the mover at the time you make the arrangements for the
move if you wish to be notified of the weight and charges. You are required
to give the mover a telephone number or address at which the notification
will be received.
The mover must notify you of the charges at least one 24-hour weekday
prior to the delivery, unless the shipment is to be delivered the day
after pickup. The 24-hour requirement does not apply when you obtain an
estimate of the costs prior to the move or when the shipment is to be
weighed at the destination.
Receipt for delivery of the shipment
At the time of delivery, the mover expects you to sign a receipt for
your shipment. This is usually accomplished by having you sign each page
of the mover's copy of the inventory.
Movers are prohibited from having you sign a receipt, which relieves
the mover from all liability for loss or damage to the shipment. Do not
sign any receipt, which does not provide that you are signing for your
shipment in apparent good condition except as noted on the shipping documents.
The Mover's Liability for loss and damage
All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of
the goods, which they transport. However, there are different levels of
liability, and consumers should be aware of the amount of protection provided
and the charges for each option.
Basically, most movers offer four different levels of liability under
the terms of their tariffs and pursuant to the Surface Transportation
Board's Released Rates Orders, which govern the moving industry.
OPTION 1: RELEASED VALUE
This is the most economical protection option available. This no additional-cost
option provides minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes
liability for no more than 60 cents per pound ($1.32 per kilogram), per
article. Loss or damage claims are settled based on the pound weight of
the article multiplied by 60 cents (or the kilogram weight multiplied
by $1.32). For example, if a 10-pound (4.54 kilogram) stereo component,
valued at $1,000 were lost or destroyed, the mover would be liable for
no more than $6.00. Obviously, the shipper should think carefully before
agreeing to such an arrangement. There is no extra charge for this minimal
protection, but you must sign a specific statement on the bill of lading
agreeing to it.
OPTION 2: DECLARED VALUE
Under this option, the valuation of your shipment is based on the total
weight of the shipment times $1.25 per pound ($2.75 per kilogram). For
example, a 4,000-pound shipment (1814.4 kilogram) would have a maximum
liability value of $5,000.00. Any loss or damage claim under this option
is settled based on the depreciated value of the lost or damaged item(s)
up to the maximum liability value based on the weight of the entire shipment.
Under this option, if you shipped a 10-pound (4.54 kilogram) stereo component
that originally cost $1,000, the mover would be liable for up to $1,000,
based on the depreciated value of the item.
Unless you specifically agree to other arrangements, the mover is required
to assume liability for the entire shipment based on this option. Also,
the mover is entitled to charge you $7.00 for each $1,000 (or fraction
thereof) of liability assumed for shipments transported under this option.
In the example above, the valuation charge for a shipment valued at $5,000
would be $35.00. Under this option, your shipment is protected based on
its depreciated value, and the mover is entitled to charge you a fee for
this extra protection.
OPTION 3: LUMP SUM VALUE
Under this option, which is similar to Option 2, if the value of your
shipment exceeds $1.25 per pound ($2.75 per kilogram) times the weight
of the shipment, you may obtain additional liability protection from the
mover. You do this by declaring a specific dollar value for your shipment.
The amount you declare must exceed $1.25 per pound ($2.75 per kilogram)
times the weight of the shipment. The amount of value that you declare
is subject to the same valuation charge ($7.00 per $1,000) as described
in OPTION 2. For example, if you declare that your 4,000-pound (1814.4
kilogram) shipment is worth $10,000 (instead of the $5,000 under OPTION
2), the mover will charge you $7.00 for each $1,000 of declared value,
or $70.00, for this increased level of liability. If you ship articles
that are unusually expensive, you may wish to declare this extra value.
You must make this declaration in writing on the bill of lading.
OPTION 4: FULL VALUE PROTECTION
Many movers offer a fourth level of added-value protection, often referred
to as "full value protection" or "full replacement value."
If you elect to purchase full value protection, articles that are lost,
damaged or destroyed will be either repaired, replaced with like items,
or a cash settlement will be made for the current market replacement value
regardless of the age of the lost or damaged item. Unlike the other options,
depreciation of the lost or damaged item is not a factor in determining
replacement value when the shipment is moved under full value protection.
The cost for full value protection is approximately $8.50 per $1,000
of declared value; however, the minimum value declared must be equal to
the weight of the shipment multiplied by $3.50 per pound ($7.70 per kilogram),
which is further subject to a minimum declaration of $21,000.
For example, if your shipment weighs 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms),
the minimum declared value must be at least $21,000. The exact cost for
full value protection may vary by mover and may be further subject to
various deductible levels of liability, which may reduce your cost. Ask
your mover for the details of its specific plan.
Under these four options, movers are permitted to limit their liability
for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value, unless you specifically
list these articles on the shipping documents. An article of extraordinary
value is any item whose value exceeds $100 per pound ($220 per kilogram).
Ask your mover for a complete explanation of this limitation before you
move. It is your responsibility to study this provision carefully and
to make the necessary declaration.
These optional levels of liability are not insurance agreements, which
are governed by State insurance laws, but instead are authorized under
Released Rates Orders of the Surface Transportation Board of the U.S.
Department of Transportation. In addition to these options, some carriers
may also offer to sell, or procure for you, separate liability insurance
from a third-party insurance company when you release your shipment for
transportation at the minimum released valuation of 60 cents per pound
($1.32 per kilogram) per article (Option 1). This is not valuation coverage
governed by Federal law, but optional insurance that is regulated under
State law. If you purchase this separate coverage, in the event of loss
or damage which is the responsibility of the mover, the mover is liable
only for an amount not exceeding 60 cents per pound ($1.32 per kilogram)
per article, and the balance of the loss is recoverable from the insurance
company up to the amount of insurance purchased. The mover's representative
can advise you of the availability of such liability insurance and the
If you purchase liability insurance from or through your mover, the mover
is required to issue a policy or other written record of the purchase
and to provide you with a copy of the policy or other document at the
time of purchase. If the mover fails to comply with this requirement,
the mover becomes fully liable for any claim for loss or damage attributed
to its negligence.
Complaints and Inquiries about the mover's service
All movers are expected to respond promptly to complaints or inquiries
from their customers. Should you have a complaint or question about your
move, you should first attempt to obtain a satisfactory response from
the mover's local agent, the sales representative who handled the arrangements
for your move, or the driver assigned to your shipment.
If for any reason you are unable to obtain a satisfactory response from
one of these persons, you should then contact the mover's principal office.
When you make such a call, be sure to have available your copies of all
the documents relating to the move. Particularly important is the number
assigned to your shipment by the mover.
Interstate movers are also required to offer neutral arbitration as a
means of resolving consumer disputes involving loss or damage on collect
on delivery (COD) shipments. Your mover is required to provide you with
information regarding its arbitration program.
All interstate moving companies are required to maintain a complaint
and inquiry procedure to assist their customers. At the time you make
the arrangements for your move, you should ask the mover's representative
for a description of the mover's procedure, the telephone number to be
used to contact the carrier and whether the mover will pay for such telephone
PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES
At the time for payment of transportation charges, the mover is required
to give you a freight bill identifying the service provided and the charge
for each service. It is customary for most movers to use a copy of the
bill of lading as a freight bill; however, some movers use an entirely
separate document for this purpose.
Except in those instances where a shipment is moving on a binding estimate,
the freight bill must specifically identify each service performed, the
rate per unit for each service, and the total charges for each service.
Do not accept or pay a freight bill, which does not contain this information.
If your shipment was transported on a collect on delivery (COD) basis,
you will be expected to pay the total charges appearing on the freight
bill at the time of delivery unless the mover provided a non-binding estimate
of approximate cost and the total charges for the services included in
the estimate exceed 110 percent of the estimated charges.
It is customary for movers to provide in their tariffs that freight charges
must be paid in cash, by certified check, traveler's check, or bank check
(one drawn by a bank on itself and signed by an officer of the bank).
When this requirement exists, the mover will not accept personal checks.
At the time you make arrangements for your move, you should ask the mover
about the form of payment that is acceptable.
Some movers permit payment of freight charges by use of a charge card.
However, do not assume that because you have a nationally recognized charge
or credit card that it will be acceptable for payment. Ask the mover at
the time the arrangements are made.
If you do not pay the transportation charges at the time of delivery the
mover has the right under the bill of lading to refuse to deliver your
goods. The mover may place them in storage at your expense until the charges
If, before payment of the transportation charges, you discover an error
in the charges, you should attempt to correct the error with the driver,
the mover's local agent, or by contacting the mover's main office. If
an error is discovered after payment, you should write the mover (the
address will be on the freight bill) explaining the error and request
Movers customarily check all shipment files and freight bills after a
move has been completed to make sure the charges were accurate. If an
overcharge is found, you will be notified and a refund made. If an undercharge
occurred, you will be billed for the additional charges due.
PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON SHIPMENTS TRANSPORTED ON TWO
Although all movers try to move each shipment on one truck it becomes
necessary at times to divide a shipment among two or more trucks. This
frequently occurs when an automobile is included in the shipment and it
is transported on a vehicle specially designed to transport automobiles.
When this occurs your transportation charges are the same as if the entire
shipment moved on one truck.
If your shipment is divided for transportation on two or more trucks,
the mover can require payment for each portion as it is delivered.
Movers are also permitted, but not required, to delay the collection
of all the charges until the entire shipment is delivered. At the time
you make the arrangements for your move, you should ask the mover about
its policies in this respect.
PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON SHIPMENTS LOST OR DESTROYED IN TRANSIT
Movers customarily make every effort to assure that while your shipment
is in their possession for transportation, no items are lost, damaged
or destroyed. However, despite the precautions taken, articles are sometimes
lost or destroyed during the move.
In addition to any money you may recover from the mover to compensate
for lost or destroyed articles, you are also entitled to recover the transportation
charges represented by the portion of the shipment lost or destroyed.
On shipments with partial loss or destruction of goods, the transportation
charges must be paid. The mover will then return proportional freight
charges at the time loss and damage claims are processed. Should your
entire shipment be lost or destroyed while in the mover's possession,
the mover cannot require you to pay any of the charges except the amount
you have paid or agreed to pay for added liability protection. The fact
that you do not pay any transportation charges does not affect any right
you may have to recover reimbursement for the lost or destroyed articles
providing you pay the charges for added liability protection.
Filing of claims for loss and damage or Delay and Dispute resolution programs
Should your move result in loss or damage to any of your property, you
have the right to file a claim with the mover to recover money for such
loss or damage.
You have nine months following either the date of delivery, or the date
on which the shipment should have been delivered, to file a claim. However,
you should file a claim as soon as possible. If you fail to file a claim
within 120 days following delivery and later bring a legal action against
the mover to recover the damages, you may not be able to recover your
attorney fees even though you win the court action.
While the Federal Government maintains regulations governing the processing
of loss and damage claims, it cannot resolve those claims. If you cannot
settle a claim with the mover, you may file a civil action to recover
in court. In this connection, you may obtain the name and address of the
mover's agent for service of legal process in your State by contacting
In addition, interstate movers are required to participate in a Dispute
Resolution Program, which provides that certain types of unresolved loss
or damage claims must be submitted to a neutral arbitrator for resolution.
You may find submitting your claim to arbitration under such a program
to be a less expensive and more convenient way to seek recovery of your
claim. Movers are required to advise all COD shippers of the existence
and details of the arbitration program before they accept a shipment to
be transported. If the mover does not provide you with information about
a dispute resolution program before you move, ask the mover for the details
of the program.
Should you have any questions about your move, which are not answered
in this pamphlet, do not hesitate to ask the mover's representative who
handled the arrangements for your move, the driver who transports your
shipment, or the mover's main office for additional information.
For further advice or assistance, contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Office of Public and Consumer Affairs (MC-PA)
400 7th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590
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