moving questions

Frequently Asked Moving Questions

At Holman, your personal moving counselor will be happy to assist you with whatever questions that you may have throughout the moving process. Since we do receive a lot of questions about moving, and encourage consumers to be as educated as possibly prior to their move, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions below for your reference.

When is the best time to move?

If you have a choice, we suggest that you move anytime other than the summer, end of the month and year-end holidays. These are peak times for the moving industry, when the heaviest demands are placed on vans, equipment and movers.

Ultimately, however, you need to move at your own convenience. Questions to consider when choosing a time to move include:

  • Does your move need to happen immediately?
  • Are you moving with children? If so, when is the best time for them to transfer schools?
  • Will the family be separated while the move is underway, or until the move takes place?

If the move can be scheduled for a time when vans and trained movers are readily available, we will be better able to meet your delivery needs.

How long does it take to move?

It depends on a lot of factors including time of year, weather conditions, shipment size, loading and unloading time and the direction and distance of your move.

Because the furnishings of the average household will not fill a full truck, it is often necessary for two or more shipments to be loaded on the same moving truck. Rest assured, each shipment is carefully sectioned off from the others.

Pickup and delivery dates are scheduled according to the origins and destinations of individual shipments on the truck, as well as weight.

When should I call a moving company?

The earlier the better. The actual truck assignment may not happen until a few days before your move, but it’s wise to give your moving company 4-6 weeks’ notice if possible. The more lead time you can give, the more likely we will be able to meet your delivery schedule.

All moving companies, for their usual type of service, require alternate pickup and delivery dates. We’ll do our best, of course, to comply with the dates you prefer of the nearest possibly alternative. You will be notified in advance of the loading date of your goods and the estimated date of arrival.

If your pickup and delivery dates are critical due to factors such as lease expiration or a real estate closing, you may choose an extra-cost service, which will enable us to accommodate a reasonable schedule. You should discuss your specific pickup and delivery requirements with your moving estimator or moving counselor, as they can advise you of the types and costs of special moving services available.

Is a moving company licensed?

An interstate moving company must be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the federal agency that regulates movers. Holman Moving Systems is registered and is subject to all of the consumer and other regulations administered by the DOT.

Do I need an estimate?

Holman Moving Systems will conduct a pre-move survey of your household goods to be transported. A pre-move survey is needed to determine the approximate cost of a move and the amount of van space your goods will occupy. A Holman sales representative will compute the approximate cost and print out an Estimate/Order for Service on-site after reviewing your goods to be moved. There is no charge for the estimate.

Keep in mind that estimates (household goods surveys) are only guidelines. On interstate shipments, you must pay the total charges as determined by the actual weight of your shipment, the origin and destination points of the shipment, the distance it travels, and the services which you authorize or which become necessary to handle your shipment.

Charges for local moves are general calculated on an hourly basis. There may be a minimum number of hours required. These moves are handled by the local moving company, not the interstate carrier.

What is a binding estimate?

A binding estimate specifies in advance the precise cost of the move based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. If additional services are requested or required at origin or destination (such as a shuttle or long carry), the total cost will increase. Binding estimates are valid for the time period specified, up to 60 days.

If you add items to be moved or require additional services, such as packing, between the time of the estimate and the time of your move, there will be additional charges. An addendum, or revised estimate, providing for these additional charges will be prepared for your signature.

How much will my move cost?

Unless you have been given a binding estimate, the exact cost of your move cannot be determined until after your shipment has been loaded on the van and weighed. If additional services are requested or become necessary after loading and weighting, additional charges will be incurred. Basic transportation charges depend on the actual weight of your goods, the origin and destination points and the distance of the move. The total cost will include these transportation costs, any charges for Full-Value Protection plus charges for accessorial services (such as packing and unpacking) performed by Holman at your request. These charges are based on "tariff" rate schedules.

What is a tariff?

This is the list of rules, regulations, available services, terms and resulting charges used by all motor carriers which provide interstate transportation of household goods. The tariffs are published by each household goods motor carrier and include its various services. The tariffs are available upon request.

How and when should I pay?

Tariff provisions require that charges be paid before your shipment is unloaded at destination (unless prior arrangements have been made for later billing).

Payment for your move can be made by one of the following methods: cash, traveler’s check, money order or cashier’s check. American Express ®, DiscoverSM, Visa®, or Mastercard® can be used to pay for interstate moves only, with advance approval required prior to loading. Personal checks are not accepted.

All payment forms apply to both binding and non-binding estimates.

If you have received a non-binding estimate and your actual moving costs exceed the estimate, you will be required to pay no more than 110 percent of the estimated cost at delivery. Should your actual costs exceed the estimate by more than 10 percent, you will be given 30 days after delivery to pay the amount over 10 percent.

If storage-in-transit at destination is necessary, payment of up to 110 percent of a non-bound estimate or 100 percent of a bound estimate must be paid at time of delivery to the warehouse. You will be invoiced for any additional transportation or accessorial charges 30 days after the sooner of the following events:

  • Conversion of the shipment from storage-in-transit to permanent storage at the conclusion of the maximum 180 days storage-in-transit period; or
  • Delivery of your goods to your destination address within the maximum 180 days storage-in-transit period.

Are my goods protected against loss or damage while in transit?

Yes, but the level of liability and any cost to you depend on the valuation coverage that you choose.

The valuation option you choose determines the basis upon which any claim will be adjusted and establishes maximum liability of the mover. The liability of a carrier for loss or damage is based upon the carrier’s tariffs, as well as federal laws and regulations, and has certain limitations and exclusions. Valuation is not insurance; it is simply a tariff-based level of motor carrier liability. If you desire protection afforded by an insurance policy, you should talk with your insurance company representative about available coverage.

All articles of "extraordinary value" (items having a value of more than $100/pound) in your shipment must be listed on the High-Value inventory form, which will be given to you by a Holman salesperson. Articles of extraordinary value might include jewelry, furs, art, coin collections and silverware. In the event of a claim, any settlement regarding an article of extraordinary value listed on the High-Value Inventory form is limited to the value of the article, not to exceed the declared value of the shipment, based upon the valuation program applicable to your shipment. If such an article is not listed on the form, the carrier’s liability is limited to $100/pound per article. Shipments, which move with a released rate of liability of 60 cents/pound per article, are excluded from this High-Value inventory provision.

Full Value Protection

Under this plan, if your articles are lost or damaged when in our care, they will repaired, replaced with like items, or a cash settlement will be made for the current market replacement value, regardless of the age of the item. United® will decide on the settlement method.

Full Value Protection and deductible options are available in dollar increments to fits your needs at very attractive rates. Our total liability for loss or damage will be the amount you declare as the value of your shipment. However, the minimum total declared value must be at least equal to the weight of your shipment multiplied by $6.

In addition to its Full-Value Coverage, United® offers Released Rate Liability. With this type of valuation, United’s maximum liability for loss or damage to each article in the shipment is 60 cents multiplied by the weight of the article. This is the basic liability level and is provided at no charge.

You must select the valuation program, and you must write your choice in the "Valuation" box on the Bill of Lading in your own handwriting.

Can My Possessions be Stored Temporarily?

If you are unable to take immediate possession of your new residence, your belongings can be stored in a local United agent’s warehouse. United agents throughout the world provide safe storage facilities for holding your goods until you are ready for them. However, you are responsible for the storage charges, as well as the warehouse handling and final delivery charges from the warehouse.

If your goods are placed in storage, there will also be an additional charge for the valuation that you declared for your shipment. The type and cost will depend on whether the shipment is held in storage-in-transit or in permanent (long term) storage.

Will my furniture remain clean?

Our exclusive Sanitized®-treated, air-ride vans provide a clean, safe move. The Sanitized® feature, which inhibits mildew growth and controls insects, is an extra measure of hygienic safety for your belongings. In addition to this service, United protects your upholstered pieces with ClearGuardSM a clear plastic material, before they are wrapped with furniture pads.

Do my appliances need special attention?

Most refrigerators, washers, dryers and other electrical or mechanical appliances require special servicing to ensure safe transportation. Any moving parts such as motors on major appliances, washer drums, icemakers, etc. should be securely fastened for shipment. Gas appliances need to be serviced and disconnected by your local gas utility.

It is the owner’s responsibility to see that appliances are serviced for shipment before they are loaded in the van. Upon request and for an additional charge, we will perform this service using either our own qualified personnel or an authorized service company. For more information on servicing and cleaning appliances for moving, please refer to the "Moving Your Appliances," guide in the moving guide.

Can I pack my china, glass and crystal?

Most people prefer to have their household possessions, especially fragile items, professional packed by a moving company. However, if you decide to pack these items yourself, remember the basic principles of good packing include wrapping items individually, providing plenty of cushioning and making sure of a firm pack.

Be sure to select a sturdy container with a lid. Place a 2-3 inch layer of crushed paper on the bottom of the carton as a cushion. Wrap each item individually with a soft material to provide a safe, protective padded nest. Pack the heaviest items on the bottom, lighter ones next, filling in empty spaces with crushed paper. Place plates on edge and glassware on rims for maximum protection. Mark the carton "Fragile" and list the contents on the outside. Be sure to seal the carton with tape.

Cartons, paper and tape may be purchased from Holman Moving Systems at a modest cost. Please refer to our packing guide for more tips on how to pack specific items.

Can I pack my clothes in a chest or dresser drawers?

Lightweight clothing including sweaters, shirts, blouses and lingerie may be left in the drawers. DO not fill the drawers with heavy items such as books, table linens or sheets, which can damage the piece of furniture during transit. Be careful NOT to leave fragile items, money, jewelry, watches or other valuables in the drawers, as well as anything that might leak.

Can I move my frozen foods?

Frozen foods can be moved, but only under specific, limited conditions. Check with your sales representative or move coordinator for more details.

Can I move jewelry and other valuables?

Items of extraordinary value such as jewelry, money, antiques and stamp collections can be included in your shipment, provided that you notify us of these items before packing or moving day. However, we strongly recommend that you carry irreplaceable and expensive articles with you or make other arrangements for their move.

In the moving industry, items worth more than $100/pound are considered to be articles of extraordinary value. To be assured that a claim involving these articles is not limited to minimal liability, complete and sign the High-Value Inventory form and sign the "Extraordinary (Unusual) Value Article Declaration" box on the Bill of Lading. If no articles of extraordinary value are included in your shipment, simply write "none" on the High-Value Inventory form and sign it.

Can I move my house plants?

Holman Moving Systems cannot accept responsibility for safely moving your plants because they may suffer from a lack of water and light, as well as extreme temperature changes in the van. You may prefer to move your house plants by car or ship them by plane.

Some states prohibit the entry of all plants, while other states will admit plants under certain conditions; still others have no plant regulations. Be sure to check the regulations in your destination state. For more information on moving house plants, please refer to the "Moving with House Plants," guide in the moving guide.

Can I move my pet?

Pets cannot be moved on the moving van. Dogs, cats, canaries and parakeets can usually be moved in the family car. If this isn’t convenient, we can suggest alternate ways to ship your pets safely. For more information on moving with pets, please refer to the "Moving with Pets," guide in the moving guide.