Atlas Blog

Know your moving rights

With so many factors to take into consideration before moving, it's easy to forget about the relocation rights you're entitled to. Understanding all the ways you're protected whenever you use a moving company can not only cover you in any event of misfortune, but can also provide you with much-needed peace of mind before beginning this process. From understanding the legal liabilities and responsibilities of movers to reviewing the finer details of your bill of lading, here's what you need to know about your individual moving rights:

Be upfront

The first thing to keep in mind when it comes to your moving rights is that you and your mover need to establish effective rapport. As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states, all moving companies are required by law to provide you with the essential information about your relocation entitlements, as well as your own responsibilities during the move. Whatever policies or agreements you discuss, you need to make sure you receive everything you've negotiated in written document form. Remember, movers are here to help you, not to take advantage, so be upfront with all your inquiries and ask for clarification if you are unsure about a particular arrangement.

"You will choose between binding or non-binding estimates with a moving company."


Obviously expenses are a major factor to evaluate during a move. You and your moving company will need to review estimate policies during the initial negotiation steps. There are two primary types of estimates movers offer: binding and non-binding. Binding estimates guarantee that you will not pay more or less than the initial estimate costs that both parties agreed upon. Whether your final shipping weight is greater or less than an original estimate, you will receive no surprises on your bill. However, a binding estimate covers only all the items you've included in your moving inventory, and any additions or subtractions to the list of possessions will require a new estimate negotiation and agreement.

Non-binding estimates are intended to provide more flexibility in relation to the final moving cost. While your mover will give you an accurate estimate of your shipping expenses, this is not a guaranteed cost, and the final expenses will be based off of the final measured weight of your inventory and any other services provided throughout the process. The important thing you need to know when it comes to non-binding estimates is that a mover cannot require you to pay more than the original estimate amount plus 10 percent once delivery has been completed. You have an extra 30 days to pay for any additional charges that exceed the initial estimate.


When it comes to receiving compensation for any incidents, your moving company is legally liable for covering any loss or damage that occurs during relocation. However, you'll need to figure out which level of liability you want prior to the move: full (replacement) value protection or minimal protection. This decision depends on how much you want to spend to ensure full or moderate safety and protection during your move. Full value protection with Atlas Van Lines requires a minimum declared value of $10,000, or $6 multiplied by the total weight in pounds of your shipment. With full value protection, your items will be either repaired, replaced with an article of equal value or an exchange of cash settlement in the event that they're lost, damaged or destroyed.

While going with minimal protection requires less money upfront on your end, this option might not be able to cover significant damage endured by expensive materials. The going rate for minimal protection with Atlas is 60 cents per pound, or $1.32 per kilogram. Consider both of these protection options carefully before making a final decision.

These are just a few of the moving rights you should be familiar with before agreeing to work with any moving company. You can always speak with an Atlas representative if you want to know more about what you're entitled to during your relocation process, as well as review any standard moving rules or regulations.


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