Your mover must provide an estimate based upon a physical survey of your household goods. A physical survey means a survey which is conducted on-site or virtually, that allows your mover to see the household goods to be transported. A physical survey must be performed unless you waive this requirement in writing.
FMCSA requires your mover to provide written estimates on every shipment transported for you. Your mover’s verbal quote of charges is not an official estimate since it is not in writing. Your mover must provide you with a written estimate of all charges including transportation, accessorial and advanced charges (defined at the end of this booklet). This written estimate must be dated and signed by you and the mover.
The estimate provided to you by your mover will include a statement notifying you of two options of liability coverage for your shipment:
✔️ Full Value Protection Waiver of Full Value Protection
✔️ Released Value of 60 cents per pound per article.
You and your mover may agree to change an estimate of charges based on changed circumstances, but only before your shipment is loaded. Your mover may not change an estimate after loading the shipment. There is more information about changes to estimates in the following sections.
A binding estimate guarantees that you cannot be required to pay more than the amount on the estimate at the time of delivery. However, if you add additional items to your shipment or request additional services, you and your mover may:
✔️agree to abide by the original binding estimate;
✔️prepare a new binding estimate; or
✔️agree to convert the binding estimate into a non-binding estimate.
If you and the mover do not agree to one of the three options listed above, the mover is not required to service the shipment. If the mover does not give you a new binding estimate in writing, or agree in writing to convert the binding estimate to a non-binding estimate before your goods are loaded, the original binding estimate is reaffirmed.
Under these circumstances, your mover should not charge or collect more than the amount of the original binding estimate at delivery for the quantities and services included in the estimate.
If there are unforeseen circumstances (such as elevators, stairs, or required parking permits) at the destination the mover can bill you for these additional expenses after 30 days after delivery. Charges for services required because of impracticable operations are due at delivery, but may not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery; any remaining charges will be billed to you with payment due in 30 days.
If you are unable to pay 100 percent of the charges on a binding estimate at delivery, your mover may place your shipment in storage at your expense. In an effort to schedule delivery of your shipment from storage, you will have to pay the required charges and storage fees, if listed in the tariffs, after your shipment arrives at the residence. Your mover may charge a fee to prepare a binding estimate.
A non-binding estimate is intended to provide you with an estimate of the cost of your move. A non-binding estimate is not a guarantee of your final costs, but it should be reasonably accurate. The estimate must indicate that your final charges will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided, and the mover’s published tariff. Therefore, the amount of your mover’s non-binding estimate may be different than the amount you ultimately must pay to receive your shipment.
A non-binding estimate must be in writing and clearly describe the shipment and all services provided. Under a nonbinding estimate, the mover cannot require you to pay more than 110 percent of the non-binding estimate at the time of delivery. This does not excuse you from paying all of the charges due on your shipment. The mover will bill you for any remaining charges after 30 days from delivery. On the day of pick-up, if you have additional items to move, your mover must do one of two things prior to loading:
✔️Reaffirm your non-binding estimate; or
. ✔️prepare a new non-binding estimate to include all the items that are being moved.
If you and the mover do not agree to one of the two options listed above, the mover is not required to service the shipment. If you are unable to pay 110 percent of the charges on a non-binding estimate at delivery, your mover may place your shipment in storage at your expense. In order to schedule delivery of your shipment from storage, you will likely have to agree to pay the required charges and storage fees, if listed in the tariffs, after your shipment arrives at the residence.
Your mover must give you possession of your shipment if you pay 110 percent of a non-binding estimate or 100 percent of a binding estimate, plus 15 percent of the impracticable operations charges (if applicable). If your mover does not relinquish possession, the mover is holding your shipment hostage in violation of Federal law.