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Nervous About Moving?

Here's some information to help make your moving experience less stressful!

Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading is the contract between you and the moving company (HWC). The mover is required by law to prepare a Bill of Lading for every shipment it transports. This document is primarily for long-distance moves but it may be also listed as a "work order" for local moves.


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 before loading any of your furniture and boxes. If is your responsibility to read the Bill of Lading before you accept it. It also requires the moving company to provide the service you have requested and you must pay for the charges for the service upon delivery.


THE BILL OF LADING IS AN IMPORTANT DOCUMENT. DO NOT LOSE OR MISPLACE YOUR COPY. You must have it available until your shipment is delivered, all charges are paid, and all claims, if any, are settled.


Local Moving "Work Orders"

If you are moving locally, you will receive a copy of the "work order" or more commonly known as a service request or service summary. This is a very important document in that it shows all of the information needed for your move. The work order should list your origin and destination addresses, your contact information, the travel rate, hourly rate, and any other charges you may have already incurred. There should also be a line for your signature as well as a line for you to write any damages that may have happened during your move.


THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. If you do not write any damages on the paperwork and sign for a "free and clear" delivery, you are releasing the movers from any and all liability for any damages. Please inspect your belongings before signing for delivery.


You have nine (9) 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 legal action against the moving company to recover the damages, you may not be able to recover your attorney fees even if you win the court action.




At the time the moving company's driver loads your shipment, he or she completes an inventory sheet listing any damages and unusual wear. The purpose of this is to make a record of the condition of each item before handling it. An inventory list is only required for long-distance moves. If the driver does not make an inventory, you should make one yourself.


At the time 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've 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.



Damages and Claims

On shipments with partial loss or destruction of goods, the transportation charges must be paid in full.

The moving company 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 moving company's possession, the mover (HWC) cannot require you to pay any of the charges except the amount you have paid or agreed to pay for the added liability protection. Handle With Care Moving & Delivery is fully licensed and insured. Our information and credentials may be viewed by downloading our informational packet below.


Should your move result in loss or damage to any of your property, you have the right to file a claim with the moving company (HWC) to recover money for such loss or damage. You have 9 months from the date of delivery (or in the event of loss for the entire shipment, from the date your shipment should have been delivered) to file your claim.


The claim must be submitted in writing to HWC for claim processing. After you submit your claim, HWC has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of it. HWC then has 120 days to provide you with a disposition. HWC might be entitled to 60-day extensions if the claim cannot be processed or disposed of within 120 days.  


To report a claim, please contact the office at (734) 677-2000 or by email at All claims MUST be filed in writing or emailed to


All written correspondence must be sent to:

Handle With Care Moving & Delivery

P.O. Box 7605

Ann Arbor, MI 48107


Helpful Links

Government website dedicated to helping consumers know their rights when it comes to moving.

A consumer-run moving review web page with lists of known "bad apples". It also features how-to's when it comes to choosing your company and booking your move.

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