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Moving FAQ

American Way Van & Storage

PRE-MOVE

When is the best time to move?

When should i begin contacting moving companies for estimates?

What happens when an estimator comes to my home?

PRICING AND PAPERWORK

What is a Binding estimate?

What is a Non-Binding estimate?

What is a “Not to Exceed” estimate?

What is an Order for Service?

What is a Bill of Lading?

What is an Inventory?

PACKING

Will the driver load ALL boxes that I packed?

What should I do with my jewelry and other valuable items?

Are there any items I should not ship?

VALUATION OF COVERAGE

Am I protected against loss or damage while my goods are in transit?

THE MOVE

How do I prepare my home for moving day?

PRE-MOVE

Q. When is the best time to move?

A. The busiest times for moving companies are during the summer months, May 15 – September 15.  At the end of these months, the volume of the shipments is extremely heavy.  This is the case for all professional moving companies.

Take all the factors into consideration when deciding on the best time to move for you.  If you have some flexibility in your schedule, provide the moving company with five day window for loading your shipment.  This will allow the individuals who schedule the drivers and crewmembers greater flexibility when scheduling your move.  If possible, be flexible with your destination time frame as well.  Keep in mind that you most likely are not the only shipment on the truck.  If you stay flexible it should make a difference.

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Q. When should I begin contacting moving companies for estimates?

A. Try to provide the moving companies with as much time as possible, especially if you are moving during the busy season as noted above.  Six weeks from the actual move date is not too early for estimators to come into your home to complete what they refer to as a “visual survey of your household goods shipment.”  Try to decide which mover you will use four weeks from your actual loading day.  This timeframe can be shortened in the off peak season which is September 15 through May 15.

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Q. What happens when an estimator comes to my home?

A. The estimator will arrive at your home to complete the visual survey of your household items.  Once this is completed, the estimator will calculate the weight, packing cost and any other charge related to your move.  Remember that the estimator must clearly see what you are moving in order to provide you with an accurate estimate.  Crawl spaces, attics and cluttered closets can be deceiving, so organize your house before the estimator arrives.  Don’t be alarmed if the estimator goes through all of your cabinets and closets or looks under beds and on top of cabinets.  He or she must be able to see what is moving and possibly needs packing.  If you know if items that are out of view, be certain to point them out to the estimator.  If there are items you will be eliminating, be sure to point them out (One word of caution that can save you a great deal of trouble on loading day).  Get rid of all items that you do not plan to move.  Otherwise, there may not be enough space for your shipment.  This will not occur on one or two items, but if you anticipated eliminating an entire bedroom suite and do not do so, it is quite possible that this could violate the integrity of your binding estimate and/or cause the driver to run out of space.

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PRICING AND PAPERWORK

Q. What is a Binding estimate?

A. A binding estimate is a contract that specifies, in advance, the precise cost of the move based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate.  If additional services are requested or required at either the origin or destination, the total cost will increase.  Ask your professional estimator if unplanned events are charged COD to you.  Binding estimates are only good 60 days from the date of the estimate.  If there are any price increases you will not be charged the higher rate.

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Q. What is a Non-Binding estimate?

A. A non-binding estimate charges you according to the actual weight of your shipment and the actual cost of the services that are performed.  You will still go through the estimating process to determine what your shipment may cost.  To verify the weight of your shipment the driver will weigh his trailer prior to loading your shipment and once again after loading.  All other charges will be calculated at your origin address.  If you elect to do so, you may meet the driver at the scale to verify the weight of the truck before and after loading.

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Q. What is a “Not to Exceed” estimate?

A. This specifies the maximum charge to you.  You would be responsible for the lesser of the maximum charge specified in the estimate or charges determined by applying the rates contained in the tariff.

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Q. What is an Order for Service?

A. All movers are required to prepare an Order for Service before they transport your shipment.  The order for service provides you with written confirmation of the services that you requested to be performed in conjunction with your shipment.  It lists the agreed upon the dates for the pickup and delivery of your shipment and the amount of valuation that you requested, along with any special services that you ordered and a place and telephone number where the mover can contact you during the move.

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Q. What is a Bill of Lading?

A. Every mover is required to prepare a bill of lading for every shipment it transports.  The bill of lading is a receipt for your goods and the contract with your mover for their transportation.  The driver who loads your shipment mist give you a copy of the bill of lading.  It is your responsibility to read and understand the information on the bill of lading before you sign it.  The bill of lading identifies the mover and specifies when the transportation is to be performed.  It also specifies the terms and conditions for payment of the total charges.  Information regarding the valuation of your shipment and the amount the mover will ne liable for in the event of loss or damage is also shown.

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Q. What is an Inventory?

A. The driver will usually inventory your shipment when he or she loads it (although it is not required by law).  When completed, the inventory provides a detailed, descriptive listing of your household goods and the condition of each item when received by the mover.  Be sure that everything listed on the inventory is correct.  This is not always the easiest task, as you will find things written on the inventory like PBO, this means packed by owner.  The contents of this carton can’t and won’t be listed because the driver is not able to see inside each and every box.  You will also find CP on a line item in the inventory.  This means Carrier Packed container.  These are two important listings.

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PACKING

Q. Will the driver load ALL boxes that I packed?

A. Yes, as long as the drover deems them safe for transport.  All boxes must be sealed with tape on the bottom and top with your name listed on them.

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Q. What should I do with my jewelry and other valuable items?

A. Items of extraordinary value such as jewelry, money, antiques, and stamp collections can be included in your shipment, provided that you notify your local moving representative of these items before packing and moving day.  It is strongly recommended that you carry irreplaceable and expensive articles with you or make other arrangements for their transport.

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Q. Are there any items I should not ship?

A. Do not pack or ship any flammable items, propane tanks, liquid detergents, aerosol cans or any items that may cause damage to your shipment.

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VALUATION OF COVERAGE

Q. Am I protected against loss or damage while my goods are in transit?

A. Yes, but how much protection you have and its cost to you depend on the valuation coverage you selected.  This can be one of the most confusing aspects of moving but it is important that you can understand what is being provided to you.  The valuation option you choose determines the basis upon which any claim will be adjusted and the maximum liability of the carrier.  Valuation is not insurance.  This is important to understand.  It is the liability of the moving company.  Have your estimator go over the different options; Released Value, Declared Value, and Full Value Protection or Coverage.

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How do I prepare my home for moving day?

The customer service representative and/or driver will contact you at least 24 hours prior to load day to let you know time of arrival.  Be sure to share any changes that have taken place that may effect loading day.  items you will be taking with you, put aside in a bathroom closet or in your car.  Let the driver know before starting the inventory of the specific items that will NOT be going on the truck.  Make sure your home is ready for the crew.  Move anything off the porch and walkways that may obstruct movement of your goods out of the home.  Take doors off the hinges if you know certain items will not fit through.  Remove all small throw rugs from traffic areas that could cause the driver or crew to trip or slip.  Ask the driver to prepare the home with runners to keep the floors clean.

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