Comprehensive Chicago Movers FAQs

All You Need to Know About Your Move
 
1. How far in advance should I book my move?
30 days out (or more, if you can), especially during warm season, and/or if you are planning to move at the end of the month. Note that we will book moves with short notice, as long as we have availability.
2. How can I book a move with your company?
  • Submit a form on our main page, including the list of items.
  • We will send you a quote/price via email in approximately 24 business hours or less.
  • Read the email and then call our office and provide us with a valid credit card to hold your reservation.
3. What if I need to cancel/reschedule my move date?
Cancellations will be charged $100 fee. Rescheduling is free of charge, as long as you give us 72 business hours’ notice.
4. What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, cashier’s check, money order or credit card. All card transactions will be charged a processing fee.
5. Will I receive a receipt if I pay cash?
Yes. You will get a Bill of Lading (BOL) which will be signed by both you and your foreman. BOL is the legal contract and receipt for the services provided.
6. Are you licensed and insured? My building requires a certificate of insurance.
Yes. We are licensed and insured by the Illinois Commerce Commission, and we can provide your building with a certificate of insurance, once your move is booked with us.
7. Will the movers reserve parking for the truck?
The client is responsible to provide parking for the truck(s). If there is no loading area, for an additional fee, “No Parking” Street Signs can be purchased through our office at least 4 business days in advance. Moovers Chicago will order the permits from the City of Chicago, and the signs will be posted by the City. Moovers Chicago doesn’t post the signs, nor does it control the area where the signs were posted, and we assume no responsibility, other than placing the order for the permits, if requested in advance.
8. Can I have a fixed price for my move, and do you offer any discounts?
No. Illinois state law requires that we charge according to our tariffs that are filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission. If you would like to get better rates, please schedule your move date during the week and, if possible, do not move the last week of the month, when rates are higher. Also, note that rates are lower during cold months.
9. Do you have a minimum charge?
Yes. The minimum is 2 hours, plus the travel fee, which is based on distance from/to our warehouse.
10. What is Travel fee?
Travel time is the time it takes us to get to your first location and back to the warehouse after dropping off your load. It is not the travel between your 2 locations.
11. How do you charge for the move?
The rate for the move varies based on: month and date of the move, number of men the job requires, floor numbers for all locations, number of trucks needed. Best way to get an accurate quote is to submit the form on our home page.
12. Do I need to be present during the move?
Yes. You or someone you trust should be present during the entire move.
13. Can my children or pets be around during the move?
We love both children and pets, but for their own safety, please make arrangements for someone to watch them closely during the move.
14. What items should I move myself?
Flammable items (paint, paint thinner, nail polish remover, propane tanks, etc.), firearms, important papers, medicines, money, coin collections, jewelry, and similar items. We are not responsible for items like these (as it will state on the Bill of Lading). They should remain in your safekeeping and transported in your car.
15. Can I help during the move?
For liability purposes, you cannot move items with our crew. We prefer you let our crew handle the move, but you can get everything ready before they arrive to speed up the move.
16. How should I prepare for the moving day?
  • Donate unwanted items. You will make someone happy and save time and money on your move.
  • Pack 1 separate box with things you need for the next 24 hours.
  • Properly mark each box for the specific area of your home and write FRAGILE on any box that has fragile stuff inside.
17. How should I pack my boxes?
If you choose to do some or all of your own packing in preparation for your move, boxes should be packed tightly with padding after items are inside to prevent shifting during transportation. You can use anything like packing paper, blankets, towels, or linens to pack these boxes tight. Be sure that the top of the box is firm and that you do not leave any empty space inside which would cause a box to crush.
Do not pack boxes too heavy! For example, books should be packed in smaller cartons, so they can be moved without causing back strain for you or for the mover!
Remember, if we pack the boxes, then we are liable for any loss or damage during the move. If you pack your own cartons/boxes, then we are liable for loss or damage only if there is obvious damage to the carton (such as crushed corners).
18. How should I pack my dishes?
When packing your dishes, the plates should be wrapped in paper and stood on end (not stacked flat) to minimize stress on the plates.
19. Should everything be packed?
The more packed you are, the faster the move will go. The rule should be: if anything is small enough to fit in a box it should be packed. If you are not completely packed when we arrive, the job might take longer than estimated or we might have to leave your unpacked items behind if running behind schedule, unless you schedule packing services ahead of time.
20. Should I empty my dressers?
Yes. Please empty all the drawers, as this will minimize the risk of getting the dresser damaged during transportation.
21. Do I need to pack up electronics?
Most electronic items are best transported when packed safely in cartons. If you no longer have the original packaging (such as for your flat screen TV), we offer TV protection boxes for rent.
22. Will my appliances be disconnected/connected by the movers?
No. We do not disconnect/connect appliances. We can only help take your TV off the wall (when possible), but we will not mount it back.
23. Will movers disassemble and reassemble my furniture?
Yes. Unless your furniture requires special disassembling/assembling. Items such as: cribs, bunk beds and medical beds are only disassembled, but not reassembled for safety reasons.
24. Do you move pianos or pool tables?
We do not move pianos at the moment, however, if you disassemble and reassemble the pool table, we can move it for you.
25. Can I store my stuff on your trucks, overnight?
Depending on availability, we can store your stuff on our trucks for maximum 5 nights, for an additional cost per night/truck.
26. Do you offer storage?
At the moment, we do not provide storage for long term, however, we can always move your stuff to a public storage of your choice, and then bring everything back when the new place is ready.
27. Is my estimate a binding quote? What happens if the move takes more than estimated?
No. The estimate is not a binding price. The law for moves within Illinois says actual charges will be based on the number of hours your job takes.
If our estimate is too high, you only pay the actual charges. If the estimate was too low, on move day we must release your goods when you pay the estimated cost plus 10%. You’ll still be responsible for the balance within 30 days.
28. Should I clean my walkway/stairs of snow/ice for the movers, or will they do this?
The customer is expected to have walkways clear of all obstructions before we arrive to ensure safety for all concerned – and to save time and money on your move. If you can’t do this, you need to let us know ahead of time, so we can prepare accordingly.
29. How much to tip movers in Chicago?
Gratuity is not required (and certainly should never be requested), but it is not uncommon for customers to tip their movers. If you choose to tip the crew members, the amount is entirely up to you. Similar to any other tips, the tip may be based upon the service you feel you received. The average tip is $5 – $10 per hour per mover for a great service.
Depending upon how long the move takes, some customers provide lunch and cold drinks (water or soft drinks), which is very much appreciated by the crew. If you go pick up lunch (pizza, sandwiches, etc.) and bring it to the job site (or have it delivered), it can usually speed up your move. You are not charged for the time spent during breaks or lunch, but the easier you make it the faster they can get the job done…and they appreciate your kindness!
30. What do I do if something was damaged during the move?
Please call us no longer than 90 days, after your move was completed. Unless extra coverage was purchased, your item will be covered, according to the IL law, at 30 cents per pound/per article. The liability coverage is per pound, not based on the value of your items.
31. What are my options for moving insurance coverage?

Understanding Your Options for Loss and Damage Protection in Illinois

The following info is obtained from the Illinois Movers and Warehouseman’s Association, www.imawa.com, with their permission.

 Under Illinois law, anyone offering to perform moving and storage service for hire must be licensed by the Illinois Commerce Commission.  Furthermore, it’s illegal for an unlicensed person to offer moving service, regardless what that person tells you.

BEFORE YOU CHOOSE:

Your move is NOT automatically fully insured to the full value of your property for potential loss and damage.  This summary is designed to assist you in choosing the option that is best for you.

Before you choose an option for loss and damage protection, give some serious thought to the value of your possessions.  The amount of your homeowners (or renters) insurance contents coverage is a useful guide.

The time to consider the value of your goods is BEFORE THE MOVE

The bill of lading is your contract.  Your signature with the option you chose on the bill of lading will determine the final settlement if something unforeseen happens.

Why don’t movers just provide insurance automatically?

Loss and Damage Protection options are available because customers have different needs based on the nature of their possessions and how much they want to pay for the move.  Some customers need $500,000 of coverage, while others might need only $500 or even no extra coverage.  If movers included in their rates the costs for providing coverage based on the customer who needs $500,000, everyone they move would be subsidizing someone else’s coverage.  That’s why the mover’s tariff rates are based on the minimum carrier liability (See Option 1) and more extensive liability options will cost extra.

Your option can be either “valuation” of the shipment (which is like self-insurance by the mover), or “insurance,” in which case you should receive a certificate of insurance issued by a third-party insurance company.  Unless you choose full replacement INSURANCE, your contract will determine the depreciated value of the entire shipment according to what you sign on the bill of lading.

Remember that the mover’s first obligation, under whatever option is chosen, is to make repairs to the damaged item.  If it becomes necessary to “cash out” a claim for the actual cash (depreciated) value, the mover is entitled to take possession of the damaged goods.  (This does not apply at the “30 cents” option).

What are my choices?

Under Illinois law you choose one of the following options for your intrastate (within Illinois) move.

Option 1:  Minimum carrier liability 30 cents per pound per article – included in your estimate

This is minimum liability, for which you pay no extra transportation cost.  You are agreeing in writing to share with the mover the liability for loss or damage of your property being moved.  If your goods are damaged or lost, the mover’s maximum liability to you under this option is 30 cents per pound per article.  For example, 10 lb. lamp x 30 cents = $3.00.  You would be given $3.00 for that particular lamp.  To choose this option (and avoid any extra transportation charges), you must specifically write on the bill of lading (in your own handwriting), “30 cents per pound per article” and sign the bill of lading.  In the unlikely event of a total loss, your maximum settlement with the mover will be based on 30 cents per pound per each article in the shipment.

Option 2:  Declared Value

You determine the total amount your shipment is worth and declare that amount in writing on the bill of lading.  (Your homeowners’ insurance or renter’s insurance contents coverage is a good guide to determining the value, or multiply $2.00 times the weight of the shipment.)  This declared amount becomes the mover’s maximum liability to you under the terms of the contract (bill of lading).  There is a tariff charge (Moovers Chicago current charge: $2 per $100 of value) and this is for depreciated value of the shipment.  THIS IS NOT INSURANCE.  You and the mover are agreeing to share the liability at a higher amount than the “30 cents” option.

Be careful about undervaluing your shipment, since in the unlikely event of a total loss, the maximum amount you will receive as settlement from the mover is the amount of value you declared on the bill of lading contract).  If all you declare is $5,000 because you “only really care about a couple of items,” then $5,000 is the maximum amount you would receive even if there is a total loss.

Example of the extra transportation (tariff) charge for this option:  $20,000 shipment value x $2.00 per $100 of value = $400 additional transportation charge.

If there is a claim, the mover is not obligated to write out a check to you for the declared value of the entire shipment unless the entire shipment is completely destroyed.  Each damaged item will be repaired or replaced according to its depreciated value, not to exceed the shipment’s declared value (in this example the total declared value is $20,000).

Option 3:  Insurance

This is “all risk” insurance coverage from a third-party insurance company and can be either depreciated or full replacement insurance.  You should receive a certificate or policy of insurance.

Movers are not allowed to sell insurance unless they are licensed insurance brokers, so this coverage must always be through a bonafide insurance company that is licensed to write insurance in Illinois.  Be sure to ask if there is a deductible (you’ll save money that way, just like car insurance). There will be a charge for this coverage.  You may also want to check your homeowner’s policy to see if it provides coverage during your move (most do not).

Please check with your insurance agent or online for insurance companies offering moving insurance, like:

https://www.movinginsurance.com/ or https://www.bakerintl.com/.

What if I don’t choose anything?

If you don’t make any notation on the bill of lading indicating a choice for loss and damage protection, the mover’s maximum liabilityto you under the law is $2.00 times the weight of the total shipment.  Example:  Your shipment weighs 10,000 lbs. x $2.00 = $20,000 value.  It works the same way as declared value (See Option 2).  This is depreciated value, not replacement coverage or insurance.  Unless the mover’s tariff provides otherwise, there will be a charge for this.

Limit of Liability on “engineered wood” furniture:

“Ready to assemble” furniture is defined as articles constructed of press board, particle board, and/or engineered wood, which are shipped from place of manufacture in a knocked down “KD” or knocked down flat “KDF” condition, to be assembled post-factory by a store, reseller, or end user.

“Ready to assemble” furniture is not built to withstand the normal stresses of a move as an assembled unit.  Most is not designed with the extra wood structural pieces to adequately brace the unit for movement out of or into a residence, nor the normal truck vibration, even in air-ride trailers.  Usually chips or dents are not repairable. 
Surface impressions can be made on the furniture when writing on a single piece of paper.  The pieces will not withstand typical stacking and placement among other items on the moving truck without sustaining damage.

Because of the inherent nature of this type of furniture and its susceptibility to damage, we DO NOT accept liability for damage if you ship such pieces fully assembled.  You should disassemble such furniture yourself or hire a third party to disassemble it for you before moving.

After your move

While we will do the best job possible and try to avoid any loss or damage, accidents do happen, however, so remember:

Be sure to keep a copy of the bill of lading and (if applicable) inventory.  Be sure any damage is noted on the bill of lading on the day of delivery.

Notations made at the time of delivery are not the same as filing a claim.  If there is loss or damage, you must file a written claim with the mover within ninety (90) days of the move.  Be realistic — the longer you wait to file your claim, the more difficulty you will have in substantiating your claim.

We have the right to inspect any damage, so keep the damaged article and packing material for inspection.  It will help substantiate your claim.  It may be possible to replace pieces, such as glassware or china, even if they are part of a set.  Do not hire a repair firm without consulting first with us.

Be aware of the coverage option you chose at the time of the move, and do not expect us to change the coverage “after the fact.”  Your signature on the bill of lading will determine the mover’s liability.

We are required to acknowledge your claim within 30 days and to pay, decline to pay, or make a firm compromise settlement within 120 days of receipt of the claim.  If some situation beyond a mover’s control delays action on your claim for a longer time, the mover is required to notify you of the status of the claim at that time and each 30 days thereafter until final action is taken.

The options described apply only to cargo claims.  Damage to the residence or other property is separately insured.