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Moving State Answers & Questions

What things do I need to take care when moving my appliances?

If you have decided to move your appliances to your new location, there are certain activities which you need to care about. These activities include:

  • Taking care of the appropriate precautionary measures
  • Hiring an appropriate technician
  • Disconnect the utilities
  • Perform the uninstallation of ACs, TVs, and radio antennas
  • Having your appliances properly cleaned
Cleaning of the floor to avoid damage to appliances, etc. It would be great if you authorize your United technical agent to pre-arrange the appliance servicing before the date of the move. This will avoid last moment hassle and everything would take place with simplicity and ease.

How will I get an estimate for the interstate shipment?

You must have an understanding of the estimate of moving your items to evaluate the overall cost that would be incurred for moving. An estimate for the shipment is based on a number of factors which include the weight of items, the number of items, transportation distance, etc. The movers may also ask for additional charges for packing, valuation, extra labor, etc. For the calculation of estimation, a United Agent may visit your home for a visual survey of the items you are planning to move. Based on the above-listed factors, the agent would give you an estimate of the cost that would be incurred to move your items to the destination.

What is the best time to move my item?

The best time to move your item is when you get competitive deals and lower rates for moving your items. As per the past researches, the best time to move your items is in the winter season as the moving companies have flexible schedules during this period. This will allow you to avail handsome discounts and competitive rates in this period. You can consult the same with your local movers to identify the best season in which you can move your items. We also suggest you consider your local factors like your convenience and the scheduling of the items to be moved.

What does a Binding estimate mean?

A binding estimate means that you pay a fixed transportation price as the cost to move your items will not exceed the agreed amount. Binding estimate act as a legal agreement between the two parties for an interstate move. In accordance with the agreement, you are required to pay a fixed transportation price even if the weight of your items is more or less than estimated. The benefit of the binding estimate is the presence of transparency in pricing. You will have to pay a price that is agreed at the initial stage of the move. This avoids the last moment hassle.

What does a non-binding estimate mean?

A non-binding estimate gives you a projected cost of the move. Unlike a binding estimate, it is not a contracted or guaranteed price of moving the items. This is a rough estimate given to you by the company. However, if the actual services cost you less than the estimated amount then you would have to pay less. And, If the actual services cost you more than the estimated amount then you would have to pay more than the discussed price. If you are not sure about the actual services then we would recommend you to opt for a non-binding estimate as your final moving bill can potentially be less than the actual estimated amount.

Which one to choose between binding and non-binding estimate?

Both binding and non-binding estimate is useful in their own perspectives. The selection between the two depends on the situation and preference of customers. At one end, binding estimate gives you complete peace of mind with respect to the fluctuation in pricing of the move. On the other hand, a non-binding estimate allows you to save on the price if the actual service cost you less than the estimated amount. In case you are completely sure of the weight of your items and the actual services that would be required then you can opt for a binding estimate, otherwise, a non-binding estimate may prove better for you.

How to choose a moving company?

Identification of a quality moving company requires some research. You will have to avoid being tricked by the unethical movers. To select a reliable moving company in your area, we would like to suggest the following tips: • Get referrals from local people • Verify the registration and credentials • Make sure the mover is licensed • Verify the mover’s address • Read past reviews of the company • Identify the availability of Insurance • Ask for the estimate • Do not pay large deposits • Ask for a contact number This will take some time, but, it will save you from lots of hassle.

What is Freight bill and Freight Charges?

IA freight charge is a price that a carrier charges for transporting your goods from its source to destination. The amount may be charged on the basis of the weight of the shipment, volume of shipment, mode of shipment, the distance between the source and destination, etc. A freight bill details the freight charges that are applicable for a shipment. This acts as an invoice for freight charges and proves useful for the purpose of record keeping and bill payment. A freight invoice contains reference number, date of issue, customer’s/suppliers name and contact details, description of goods, moving quote, payment terms, etc. One must ensure that all such information is available in the freight bill to avoid any discrepancy of information.

What is an order for service?

An order for service is a written confirmation of the services that you will be receiving by the interstate movers. The gives you information about the moving date, moving estimate, protection that you had opted for, and the amount to be paid at the time of delivery of your items. It is required to be signed by both the parties involved.Please note, until the actual time of the move, you would not be asked for any money. In case you are asked, the company may not be legitimate. Further, based on the kind of estimate chosen, you may or may not be asked for an additional amount at the time of delivery.

What are the most common payment methods?

The United States follows the concept of a cashless society. The frequently used payment methods in the United States include cash, card, or check. These payment methods may vary between the moving companies. We would, therefore, recommend you to connect with your local movers and ask for the payment methods that they accept. In case of cancellation, if your mode of payment is digital then the amount would be automatically transferred to the source from which payment was originated. However, in the case of a cash transaction, you may be required to visit the place for a refund.

When can I expect my shipment?

The delivery of your items depends on various factors such as weather condition, the distance between the source and destination, size of items, packing and loading time, etc. In case there is a change in these factors, the delivery of the items would be impacted. For a rough estimate, you can refer to the order for service document which would give you a rough estimate about the delivery of your items. Please note that this is not the actual delivery date and the actual date may vary depending on the change in the above-listed factors.

What to do if there is a delay in the shipment?

Delay in the shipment may be caused due to some unforeseen situations which are beyond the control of movers. In such cases, the delivery of your items is delayed and you need to wait for some time until the problem is sorted out.In case there is a delay in shipment, you must get in touch with the moving company who will guide you about the reason for the delay and an estimated timeframe for the delivery. You can either contact them via phone or you can send them a mail for the same. If you do not receive a reply from them, you can visit the company directly.

Can I track my shipment?

Certain moving companies provide their customers an access to their online shipment tracking system. With the help of this system, you can keep a track over the status of your shipment. All you need is to type in the order number/reference number and then you will be able to access your shipment. Please note, this service may vary from mover to mover. It is therefore recommended that you consult your local mover if they provide such facilities or not. If they provide the service, then you can simply track the status of your shipment online.

Who will do the packing of my items?

Packing is an important part of the shipping cycle and care must be taken in this phase to ensure the safety of your items. Packing can be done by a customer or a moving company. In case it is done by a customer then they will be liable for the damage caused to the items due to inappropriate packing. The same happens with the moving company. However, the mover may repack the items if they feel that they are inappropriately packed.The items must be packed in strong boxes or cartons with appropriate stitches or tapes. This is necessary to make sure that the safety of items is not compromised with either force, humidity, wear, and tear, etc.

Whom should I contact for damage to my items?

If the items are found in a damaged condition at the time of delivery then you must bring the matter to your mover. The party that owns the items can claim rights in the United States. The movers reserve the right to inspect, re-inspect, and evaluate the worth of items while resolving a claim. The period of resolution may vary from mover to mover. If the mover refuses to give you a claim of a requisite amount for the damage then you may escalate the matter to the court of conduct or arbitration.

What is an Insurance?

Insurance is a convenient way of covering the risk of business goods. Insurance helps in the incidents of loss and damage to your items. An insurance policy in such a scenario would rescue you by providing financial aid against the risks and losses encountered in the business. The insurance covers the activities of packing, loading, unpacking, unloading, and transportation of items in the entire move. This is highly beneficial for both the short and long distance movers. With insurance, you can give up your stress and stay relaxed as in the cases of damage to your items the insurance policy will take charge of your items.

What are the different types of moving insurance?

There are three types of moving insurance: Basic Carrier Liability: Basic Carrier Liability covers the minimal amount of liability that is provided to you free of charge when you move your items. This does not give you the full coverage of your damage. The liability of this insurance is limited to $0.30 (intrastate) and $0.60 (interstate) per pound per article. Declared Value Protection: In this category, the amount due to you is based on the depreciated value of the item. The actual cost of the item is subtracted by the depreciation to give you the depreciated cost. Declaring the cost of your goods at the initial stage would allow the insurance company to know how much does your items cost. Full Replacement Liability: In this type of moving insurance you will receive full value for the belongings that are lost or damaged. This is an expensive option, but it is quite useful when you are moving expensive items.

What do you mean by tariff and regulatory requirements?

Tariffs are important for maintaining the transparency of information. Tariffs must comply with federal laws and regulations. The US DoT require the interstate movers to disclose the tariffs that detail the services provided, cost of services, and the conditions in which the services are provided. Each moving company is required to determine their rates and make their own tariff. The Surface Transportation Board in the United States sets the tariff requirements for the household goods and prescribe the level of liability that should be provided for the interstate shipment of items.

How is the violation of tariffs handled?

The violation of the tariffs may impose hefty penalties for the moving companies. A penalty of over $100,000 per individual could be charged. Besides being charged, it can also result in prison which may extend up to 2 years. This is done to empower the customers to ensure that they are not being tricked by the moving companies. An entity charging higher charges than the tariffs would have to face the cases of a civil infraction and criminal penalties that may result in the closure of moving companies and cancellation of their license.

Do I need to contact a moving company in advance?

Usually, the moving companies pre-book their orders. A moving company may not be available to ship your items if you ask for help at the last moment. In such a situation, you would not be able to take the help of moving companies in moving your items. To overcome such situations, you must bring your move into the notice of a moving company at about 1-2 months before your actual move. The summers are usually busy for the movers. So, you must contact a moving company at least 2 months before the actual move. Whereas, in the winter season, a period of ~1 month would be sufficient.

What should I do before I move?

Before you move, follow the given checklist:

  • Consult your neighbors about the moving company.
  • Check the reviews of the company.
  • Find movers responsibilities for damage to your belongings.
  • Ask if there is a dispute redressal program.
  • Check the registration with FMCSA.
  • Compare costs and moving services provided by the movers.
  • Find out how the delivery will take place.
  • Ask for the contact number of the mover.
  • Insure your items.

What to do on the day of the move?

The list of steps that one must follow

  • on the day of the move include:
  • Give directions and answer questions of the movers.
  • Validate the condition of your items.
  • Read the documents, Order for Service, Bill of lading, etc. carefully before you sign it.
  • Keep the documents carefully with you until the process is completed.
  • Ensure that all the items have been successfully loaded.
  • Verify the address where the items need to be moved.

What are things to be done at the day of delivery?

At the day of delivery, customers are requested to complete the following tasks:

  • Present at the destination for the delivery.
  • Complete the payment in accordance with the terms of payment.
  • Unload the items and ensure that they are not damaged.
  • Ensure that all items are present in the delivery.

What forms/list of documents needed in the moving process?

The list of forms/documents that you would be getting from the company are:

  • Bill of lading (Moving form)
  • Tariff sheet
  • Rights and Responsibilities booklet
  • Inventory checklist
  • Arbitration information packet
  • Insurance document
  • Day-by-day moving checklist

What is AMSA Certified mover?

AMSA stands for American Moving and Storage Association. An AMSA Certified mover can be defined as an interstate carrier that transports your household shipment under its own operating authority. The certification is granted by the Federal Highway Administration. It ensures that the members have gone through the professional training session before they deliver the service. The AMSA certified movers are subscribed to the AMSA Code of Conduct which ensures that they conduct their business in a professional and efficient manner. Its membership is open for all the industry associates, individuals, trade associations, and other related industry professional organizations.

What kind of items the movers can’t move?

There are certain non-allowable which the movers cannot move. These items include ammunition, gasoline, and other hazardous items. The following list of items gives you some of the items that you cannot move via movers:

  • Plants
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Perishable food
  • Explosives
  • Pets
  • Corrosives
  • Flammable items
  • Valuables
  • Power Equipment with fuel
  • Other heavy items like pool tables, hot tubs, etc.
These items are not allowed to be moved by the movers. Therefore, before you make your actual moving plan, it is recommended to consult the same with your movers whether your items are allowed or not. Click here for the other list of items that cannot be moved.

Is it possible to change the moving date?

It is possible to change your moving date. But, you must contact your move coordinator to change your plan. The move coordinator will then update the moving dates as per your new plan. The changes would also be made in the documentation that was provided to you initially. Please note that your moving estimate may change in such a situation. In case you have a change in your moving plan, you must bring the same to the notice of the move coordinator as soon as you can. This will allow them to have adequate time to make amendments to the moving plan.

What is a high-value inventory form and when should one sign it?

A high-value inventory form is required to be signed when you are moving your items with a value greater than $100 per pound. Such items must be detailed on the high-value inventory sheet to make the movers identify such items on a moving day. In case, you do not have any of such items then you should simply write none in the space provided in the inventory form. In case you do not enter such items in the high-value list, you would not be adequately covered and you would not be able to receive an adequate claim in case of loss or damage to your items.

How can I claim for my high-value items in case of loss or damage to the items?

Unlike the regular items, you cannot simply claim for the loss of your high-value items. Just filing the form of a high-value item is not sufficient to identify the worth of your items. You are also required to submit proof of your high-value items. If you do not have a proof of value, you must obtain an appraisal prior to moving your items. This will act as proof of value for the movers and insurance company. An additional purchase of the full value coverage with your mover is also useful.

What items come under the category of high-value items?

The items that come under the category of high-value items include: Coin collection Computers Crystals TVs Musical Instruments Precious stones and Gems Silver Video Cameras Home Theatre System, etc. The value of these items is more than $100 per pound. Besides these, there are many other items whose worth is more than $100 per pound, and the same must be listed in the inventory sheet to ensure the protection of your items. This would allow you to claim for the damaged items that are accompanied by the proof of value.

Whom should I contact for the estimated delivery?

The date of the estimated delivery is provided to you in the bill of lading and the order for delivery documents. You can refer to these documents for the estimated arrival of your shipment. However, if you want to track your shipment on a live basis, you may connect with the service agent who would give you the status of your items and the estimated timeline when your items would be delivered at their destination. Other than calling the customer representative, you may track the moving status of your items online using the tracking portal provided to you by the moving company.

How does a driver keep a track of the items?

A driver keeps the track of the items to be moved from the stage of loading to the stage of unloading. In the loading stage, a driver prepares a list of inventories with a brief description of them and their conditions. The same happens at the time of unloading, where a driver checks the items in accordance with the conditions found at the stage of loading of inventories. On the date of delivery, you are required to check whether your items are in a perfect condition or not. If they are not in a proper condition then must make the driver know about this. Based on that, you may get compensation for the damage caused to your items.

What are the line haul charges?

Linehaul charges can be defined as the charges that are levied for the vehicle transportation portion of the move. These charges are based on the weight and the space occupied by your items in the move. Linehaul charges must not be confused with the loading, packing, and unloading charges. These charges are instead levied separately in the form of additional moving charges. You must ask your moving company to get an estimation of the line haul charges on your move. The moving company will then give you the details of the line haul charges charged from you.

What is a Check Off Sheet?

A Check Off sheet is used at the time of the delivery of your items. It is used to cross check whether each of the pieces of items has been successfully moved to your destination or not. This sheet acts as a quick referencing document that must be referred at the time of delivery. The movers may use the numbered stickers for identifying the items and to validating their availability at the time of the delivery. Both the movers and customers must check the items carefully to ensure that the items are not lost or stolen or broken by the time of delivery.

Is it possible to change the items indicated?

Yes, it is possible to change the items listed in your moving estimate. To do so, you are requested to update your mover about the updated number of items in the list. This can also be done at the loading stage when the mover verifies the number of items that are loaded in the moving trucks. When you are changing the items in your move, it is advisable to ask your mover for the updated bills as the final price would be based on the number of items being moved from the source to destination.

What is the moving deposit?

Some companies often ask for the moving deposits at the time of pre-booking your move. This is because some people change their mind by the actual date of the move. These deposits act as a guarantee to moving companies that you will move at the day given in booking. In case, you do not travel on the booked date then it would ask as compensation to the moving company. The moving deposit must not be more than 30% of the cost of the move. Care must be taken at the time of booking to make sure that the moving company is authentic. They must not ask the complete it at the time of pre-booking. If they do so then it could sign that the moving company is not legitimate.

How do I book a moving company?

A moving company can be booked in several ways. These include: Contacting the company: You can contact the customer service department of the company who will guide you with the booking process. Online booking: Certain moving companies offer an online booking portal for their customers. Customers can simply fill the details asked to complete the booking. In-home estimate: Customers can also opt for an in-house moving estimate where a moving agent will visit your home to give you a moving estimate along with the moving cost. If you have any questions about the booking of a moving company, contacting the company is the best option to get your queries resolved.

How do I prepare for an in-house estimate?

To prepare yourself for an in-house estimate, you must have the items to be moved with you at the time of your agent’s arrival. An agent from the moving company would come to your home to estimate the weight of your items and to identify the space that your items would occupy in the move. The agent may ask you questions about the number of items, dates, packing services, etc. After getting all the details from you, the agent will give you an estimate of the overall cost to be incurred in the move.

Who is a move coordinator?

A move coordinator acts as your single point of contact during your entire move. This point of contact helps in assisting you by resolving your moving questions and keeping you informed and updated about the final delivery of your items. A move coordinator has many functions which include handling of your logistics, communicating with the customers, maintaining communication throughout the process of packing, loading, and moving process, etc. The person handles the whole process of initiation, pre-move planning, moving, and delivery of your items to its destination. All the questions and doubts that you have in the moving process will all be handled by the move coordinator.

What is valuation?

The valuation must not be confused with Insurance. Both terms are different from each other. A moving valuation can be understood as the coverage for the loss and damage to your items. This is the liability of a moving company to accept your goods if they are lost or damaged in their possession. In such scenarios, a moving company would compensate the customers for the loss/damage of their items with its own coverage. In many cases, the cost of valuation can be as low as $0.60 per lb. per item. It may also be more than that. It is, therefore, better to contact your movers to identify the exact cost of the move.

What is a Certificate of Insurance?

A Certificate of Insurance is a document which depicts the information that you have entered in your insurance application. This is inclusive of the terms and conditions that you have accepted for this insurance. This certificate of insurance acts as a liability cover for your items compensation. Once you have a Certificate of Insurance, you will be provided with a customer number and a certificate id assigned by the insurance company. This will act as proof for insurance cover. In case there is any damage in moving, the moving company takes the guarantee for the loss/damage. You have a right to submit an insurance claim in case something like this happens.

Can I pack the items on my own?

Yes, you can opt for packing your own items. But when you opt for this option, you must carefully ensure that the items are unbreakable and they are not affected during the move. Please note, if you opt for this option then the damage to your items would be at your own risk. The movers may make an inspection of the moving material, but, they would have limited liability in cases of damage to your items. It is, therefore, recommended to either use a professional quality packing material or opt for movers for the same.

What appliances can I move?

You can move the following appliances via moving company:

  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Refrigerators
  • Stoves and Ranges
  • Freezers
  • Microwave Oven
  • Washing Machine, etc.
Before you move your appliances, it is recommended that you should clean and dry the appliances thoroughly. You must disconnect your appliances and leave the doors of your appliances opened prior to the day of the move. You must also clear a path and clean the floor when moving large appliances. This is done because the appliances may be damaged and can cause damage to the floor and walls of your home if the floor is not clean.

"These guys worked hard and made sure everything goes where it should and did it all with a smile.
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Jonathan Raush


Geneva, IL | Movers In My Area | Moving FAQ

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