Your Rights & Responsibilities when Hiring a Moving Service
Tariff Inspection & 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 be varied.
Incorporated tariff provisions include but are not limited to those:
- Establishing limitation of carrier's liability, the principal
features of which are described in the valuation declaration section
of the bill of lading;
- Setting the time periods for filing claims, the principal features
of which are described in Section 6 of the bill of lading; and,
- 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 Highway Administration (FHWA) 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
Although movers are not required to give estimates, most movers do
provide estimates when requested. There are two types of estimates,
binding and non-binding.
Binding Estimates of Total Costs
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 any additional services other than those included in the
estimate, such as destination charges (i.e., long carry charges,
shuttle charges, extra stair carry charges, or elevator charges) the
mover may demand full payment for those added services at time of
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 at time of delivery, unless the mover agrees in advance
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
Non-Binding Estimates of the Approximate Cost
The mover is not permitted to charge for giving a non-binding
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 mover.
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 any additional services other
than those included in the estimate, the mover may demand full
payment for those additional 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
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
Another customary service option is Exclusive Use of 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
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 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 will be picked
up by a second truck at a later time and may arrive at the
destination a little while after 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 this sort of inconvenience, 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.
The Bill of Landing
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 landing before you
accept it. The bill of lading requires the mover to provide the
service you have requested, and you must pay the charges for the
The bill of landing is an important document. Have it available
until your shipment is delivered, all charges are paid and all
claims, if any, are settled.
When the mover arrives to load your shipment, 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
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.
When 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.
If your shipment is weighed in the city or area from which you are
moving, the driver is required to weigh the moving truck 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.
The mover is also permitted to determine the weight of your shipment
when it arrives at its 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 only difference that matters is that the mover won’t 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) weighing’s are
performed on the same scale, the record of both weighing’s 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 weighing’s, you should tell
the mover at the time the order for service, or 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 the Shipment
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
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 reweigh weight.
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
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.
Pickup and Delivery
Reach an agreement with your moving service as to when your shipment
is to be picked up and delivered in advance. 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.
It may be necessary for you to alter your moving and travel plans if
the mover cannot 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 you have reached an agreement with the moving service, they are
required to enter those dates on the order for service and the bill
Once your goods are loaded onto the moving truck, 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. 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 FHWA has no authority to order the mover to pay such
While you hope that your shipment will not be delayed, consider this
possibility and find out in advance what payment you can expect if
the service is delayed through the fault of the mover.
Notification of Charges
You need to notify your mover in advance 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
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
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
The Movers 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 in advance, as well as the charges for
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. Your options are:
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
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 cost.
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
Complaints and Inquiries about the Moving 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 at hand any copies of all the
documents relating to the move. Particularly important is the number
assigned to your shipment by the mover.
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 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 calls.
After your mover has completed the service and safely delivered your
belongings, 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 provided, 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 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 a refund.
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.
Payments for Transports on Multiple Vehicles
Although all movers try to fit 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.) In
this case 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
Payment in the Event of Shipment Loss or Damage
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
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 Claims for Loss and Damage or Delay and Dispute Resolution
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
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 the
In addition, 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 Highway
LICENSING & INSURANCE DIVISION (HIA-30)
OFFICE OF MOTOR CARRIER AND HIGHWAY SAFETY INFORMATION ANALYSIS
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
400 VIRGINIA AVENUE, SW
WASHINGTON, DC 20024