Virginia Movers & Warehousemen's Association

Moving Services General Information Pricing Guidelines
Estimating Services Public Safety Tariff Application
Packing Service Cargo Coverage Payment for Services
Moving Service Property Coverage Conflict Resolution
Storage Service Safe Working Site  
Crating Service Ready-to-Assemble Furniture  
Appliance Service    
Inventory Service    


Estimating Services

Certificated Movers, if requested, are required to submit to you a written estimate. Their estimate will be based on the distance or miles and weight from the origin to destination for your move and the type of moving services requested. It is a Team effort between the Customer and the Estimator to achieve an accurate estimate. The main force for estimating accuracy is the determination of what will be shipped on moving day and other requested moving services by the Customer such as packing, crating, storage, insurance, etc.

The pricing for certificated Movers is based on their published Tariff that is on file at Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles. This Tariff will contain all of their pricing information.

estimator laptopThe combination of matching the requested moving services required for the move and the Tariff rates is the job of the Estimator. The Estimator will provide a listing of the various moving services requested along with their Tariff rate to determine the estimated costs. Each Mover is required to use their Tariff rates and charges published in the Tariff for the proper level of pricing to their Customer.

In the course of normal day-to-day business between the Mover and Customer, there are constant changes being made to the original estimate. This is due to the needs of the Customer changing between the date of the estimate and the actual moving day. It is very important for the Customer and the Mover to let the Estimator or their Representative know about major changes to the original estimated charges. Many times, the original estimate is revised to reflect more accurately the level of service required by the Customer.

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Packing Service

The combination of packing materials and labor is reflected in the per carton rate charged by the Mover for this service. Packing service requires the basic knowledge of determining the proper size carton to use and the use of the correct amount of packing paper to cushion the item inside the carton. There are some specialized cartons that are used for hanging clothes, mirrors and large pictures, stemware paks for stemmed glassware, mattress cartons, heavy books, and other delicate or fragile items.

Sometimes, if an item is extremely fragile and the original carton is not available, the Mover will pack the item inside a smaller carton and then pack that carton inside a larger carton. This allows maximum protection for the fragile item during moving.

Proper marking on a box includes writing the Customer’s name, contents of the carton, and the room the items came from on the top and side of the carton. This method allows for ease of sorting at destination and helps to make the whole move go smoothly.

Customers that are on a budget will elect to pack all of their items or have the Mover pack only a partial amount. These selections will reduce or eliminate the cost for packing services. There are several pricing levels for packing service. You will need to check with the Estimator for details on the costs.

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Moving Service

The moving services are based on removing from origin the various items being shipped by the Customer on moving day and the delivery of the items shipped at destination. The Mover will protect the residence’s floors, doorframes, banisters, and other critical areas before they start the moving process.

All furniture items are protected with a heavy-duty furniture pad. This pad is secured to the wrapped items with an elastic band or packing tape wrapped tightly around the item. This insures that the item will have maximum protection during the loading process and the transit ride. Many times, some very fragile items are wrapped inside the origin residence location and they will stay wrapped until they are delivered to the destination residence location.

Upholstery protection is accomplished by wrapping the item in what Movers call “shrink wrap”. Some Movers will use a combination of paper pads and shrink-wrap to protect upholstery items. The paper pads are normally 60” by 72” and 3 ply thick.

Movers will use dollies and other material handling items to help make the trip to and from the van easier and more secure. It is recommend that the floor areas use for the main traffic flow be protected with floor covering or other means.

The most modern Movers will constantly monitor their moving service performance for quality improvement. The quality of moving services is directly affected by the data provided by the reports and the associated improvements made by the Mover. You may want to ask for a current report, if available, from your Mover.

The experience of the moving Crews (Drivers, Helpers, Packers) depends on the amount of the years on the job and the amount of training they have received. The majority of Movers in Virginia use an informal apprenticeship program to train their crews while other Movers will have formal training classes. The goal under each program is to achieve the highest level of service for their Customers.

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Storage Service

If your shipment requires storage for a period of time, Movers have storage facilities that will house your possessions in a safe and dry environment.

The normal storage method is called “containerization”. This method uses plywood containers measuring (on average) 7’ by 7’ by 5’. The Mover will load your items inside these containers and stack them inside their warehouse in rows usually three (3) high and sometimes four (4) high. Location of your container(s) is tracked by a locator system, which is based on rows and container numbers. Items that do not fit into these containers have special placement in the warehouse such as rug racks, sofa racks or containers, etc.

The warehouse is protected from fire by various methods. Sprinklers systems or a heat and smoke detection systems may protect your shipment. You may want to ask your Mover for a tour of their warehouse. It is important to know how your possessions are protected from a catastrophic loss. Some warehouses have cameras installed for security purposes.

If you are storing your shipment for a long period of time (over 60 days), extra care must be taken to remove items that would deteriorate over time. Furthermore, items that come from a damp area in the house (basements, kitchen, storage sheds, etc) should be dried out before the moving van arrives. It is important to alert the moving crew about these items. The damp items should be stored together in the storage container, if they must be moved, away from the other items in your shipment since they may cause some damage to the drier items. If any item(s) are wet, they should not be moved.

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Crating Service

Construction of a wooden crate is usually reserved for the most fragile or the most awkward shaped items. Normally, most items can be protected with the usual line of cardboard cartons on the Mover’s menu.

If a crate is required, the Movers may crate the item themselves or make arrangements with a Third Party firm to construct and pack the particular item. The Customer can arrange to pack and crate these items, which would reduce any extra charges from the Mover.

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Appliance Service

Movers will not dis-connect or re-connect appliances or lights. Water connections, gas connections, or electrical connections are not a part of the Mover's scope of service. The Owner or a Technician should perform these connections.

The liability for the Mover is too great and their Insurance Carriers prohibit this service due to the extremely high risk.

The Mover will offer appliance service which includes securing the tub or other transit related service, if requested, to the appliance once it is dis-connected and they will remove their service materials at destination, based on a tariff charge for appliance service.

It is mandatory that the Owner or a Technician perform the dis-connection and the re-connection of the appliances.

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Inventory Service

The Mover prior to loading the moving van will perform a descriptive, numbered, inventory of all furniture and cartons being moved. The Mover will place a consecutive numbered sticker on each item being shipped. Furthermore, the Mover will record any old damage found on the item.

This is required for the protection of the Customer, Mover, and the Insurance Carrier. It is very important that all items are recorded on the inventory for security and tracking purposes.

Upon arrival at destination, the Customer will be asked to “check-in” their shipment by checking off the numbers as they are being delivered. Once all of the items have been delivered; there may be a few items that could have been missed during the delivery “check-in” process. Normally, it will take a few extra minutes to search for these items in your new home. The inventory record will show the room the item came from which is very helpful in locating it at destination.

If there is new damage to the item (s), you must record on the inventory or other related form, a detailed description of the new damage. If an item is still missing after a search has been made, you must record on the inventory or other related form, a detailed description of the item and any other helpful data. This method will protect you when you file your claim against the Mover. It is important to note that you will have 30 days from the date of delivery to file your claim with the Mover . If you file your claim after the 30-day period, the claim will be denied.

The Mover cannot be liable for any new damage once the Crew leaves the delivery residence.

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Public Safety

All Movers are required by law to have minimum levels of insurance in force and on file with Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). These minimum levels are for the protection of the General Public and the Consumer of moving services.

Highway safety is enforced by safety and legal compliance checkpoints throughout the state. Drivers and equipment are checked by the State Police while on public highways and roads for safe operation of the moving vans.

Furthermore, the Department of Transportation (DOT) inspect the moving vans for safe mechanical operating conditions.

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Cargo Coverage

All certificated Movers that are Members of VMWA have in their Tariff rates minimum cargo coverage of $.60 per pound per article. This level of coverage is normally called the Standard Liability.

There are available at additional costs, higher levels of coverage for the cargo. Many Movers offer Full Value coverage and Depreciated Value coverage along with associated deductibles.

It is recommended that you acquire cargo coverage for your shipment at the same level of your homeowner’s coverage. This is important since in the state of Virginia, a co-insurance clause is applicable. You must insure your shipment for at least 80% of the actual value. If you insure it at a lower amount, the settlement will be affected by the undervalued amount percentage.

A detail listing of the extraordinary valuable items being moved is a normal requirement for Insurance Carriers and Movers. Movers need to know about the unusual and most expensive items in your shipment.

Usually, the homeowner’s coverage will only apply for a catastrophic damage (total loss). It will not cover you for transit damages.

You are required to file your cargo claim for new damage or missing items within 30 days from the date of your delivery . It is recommended that you contact your Mover within seven (7) days from delivery for a claim form if you are filing a claim.

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Property Coverage

Cargo coverage is different from property coverage. The Customer must choose a level of cargo coverage for their shipment. Property coverage is used for the protection of the Customer at no additional cost.

Your property is covered by the Mover’s policy for damage caused by the Movers actions. It is recommended that you make a list of the old damage that exists to floors, walls, sidewalks, and other key areas before the Movers arrive. This is similar to a real estate “Walk Through” performed prior to closing.

If there is new damage to the property caused by the Movers, you will need to record the new damage on the bill of lading or other related form before they leave the residence. Once the crew leaves the residence, the Mover cannot be held liable for property damages unless it is noted on the shipping paperwork.

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Safe Working Site

The Customer is fully responsible for providing a safe working environment for the moving crew. The Mover is responsible to provide all of the required equipment for the safe handling of the shipment as well as the normal equipment for the moving van.

The Mover’s Insurance Carrier will not provide coverage if the Movers are in an area that is not safe. The attic is an area that it is recommended that the Customer remove or place the items since their liability is so great.

Bad weather can create difficult problems for the Movers, too. If there is snow covering the sidewalk and driveway or ice presenting a hazard, it is recommended that the Customer make arrangements before the moving Crew arrives to have the access to their house safe.

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Ready-to-Assemble Furniture

A lot of new furniture is purchased in a box at various retail stores and assembled at home. These items are very functional. However, they were not designed to be moved once they are assembled.

Most Movers and their Insurance Carrier will not assume liability for these articles due to their fragile nature. Usually, you will be asked to sign a disclaimer that waives the Mover’s liability for these particular items.

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Tariff Application

Pricing for your move is obtained from the published rates and charges listed in the Mover's tariff. Most Movers in Virginia are a member of the Virginia Movers and Warehousemen Association (VMWA), which publishes a Tariff for their members. Every certificated Mover must have their Tariff on file at Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV). This is accomplished through the membership the Mover has with VMWA.The Tariff is basically a catalog of services with their associated rates or fees. Tariff rules stipulate how the service is performed and the method that a fee is applied. This Tariff is available for Public inspection during normal business operating hours at your Mover's office. All moves over a 30 miles distance will require a certificated Mover using their published Tariff to price their services. All moves under a 30-mile radius are priced on a non-Tariff basis, usually hourly rates apply.

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Payment for Services

All payments for moving services are based on remittance before the delivery of your shipment unless other arrangements have been made.Invoicing to an Company usually requires a written authorization from the Payor. Once the Mover approves the account after performing credit checks and/or past experiences, the Mover will perform the moving services and send their invoice to the authorized party. Most Bills of Lading state that if the Employer fails to pay, the Employee will be liable for the moving charges.Payment by a credit card is acceptable by some Movers. The credit card is usually charged prior to the commencement of services by using the estimated cost amount and adjusting to the actual cost prior to delivery of the shipment. Some Movers may charge a convenience fee for use of the credit card.If payment is not by credit card or being billed to an account, payment for services will need to be by cash (US dollars) or cashiers check prior to the release of the shipment.

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Consumer Communication

If you would like to communicate with VMWA concerning your Mover either for a compliment or if you have a complaint during your recent move you should send an email or mail your information to the following address. VMWA is geared to have the Customer and the Mover happy with every move.  Your communication will be reviewed and used.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
P. O. Box  206
12081 Richmond Highway
Concord, VA  24538


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