Movers are required to take inventory of the customers goods at any time the delivery will not be made the same day. During local moves with a distance of under 100 miles, and delivery to be made on the same day as pick up, the movers are not required to inventory customer's items. The customer can request movers to inventory their shipment, however local moves are charge hourly and inventorying shipment will add extra time which will be added to the total cost of relocation. Most customer choose to simply follow the moving truck in route to their new location. Some customers have asked us if they can lock the gate of the truck with their own locks. This option is not available, as the truck can be pulled over by highway patrol for a random inspection, and the driver must provide officers with access to the truck. If the driver can not open the truck's gates the officers can impound the truck for complete inspection. Once the truck is police's position, they will cut off the locks and can request movers to off load the entire shipment, and cite the driver for not complying with the officers request in the first place.
Movers will inventory the shipment as part of their job's requirement with out additional cost to the shipper, in case of long distance delivery which will be held on the truck for over day, or the shipment is taken to mover's warehouse for storage.
If your mover/driver refuses to inventory your shipment, you should report this to the moving company. In case the moving company refuses to inventory your shipment, consider finding a different mover. In case there is no other mover available to be hired, you need to take a detailed inventory of your shipment yourself. Your goal is to list every item and its condition before loading it on the truck.
Each inventory form must have your name, the name of the moving company, write down the trucks description and its license plate number, driver's information, your pickup and delivery addresses, every item of your shipment and description of the items condition. All forms must be signed by both you - the shipper and the mover/driver. Keep the original copies of the forms you created and give the copies to the driver. If the driver/mover writes the inventory, he get's to keep the original and will provide you with it's copies. Make sure that you agree with the movers description of your articles condition. If you disagree with it, make a note on the original forms.
If there are items missing or damaged, your subsequent ability to dispute the items lost or damaged may depend on your notations on the inventory forms.
The copies of inventory forms must be attached together with bill of lading as an integral part of the moving contract.
Just having the notes on your inventory forms does not necessary guarantee receiving the disputed amount for damaged or lost items. The shipper/customer must file an official claim with the moving company. Do not take the word of the driver promising you "not to worry, that he will take care of everything himself". Make sure to take pictures of damaged items and the condition of the box they arrived in and amount of padding inside the box. If you packed the boxes yourself the burden of proving that the items were properly protected will fall on you.
Insurance companies prefer professional movers to protect your valuables. We recommend our customers (if they are on budget) to pack all the non-breakables, and items of lesser value and leave the most valuable articles to be packed by our movers.