Moving Services


About all general licensed moving company

If youre among the thousands of people who will move from one home to another in Illinois this year, this is for you. Take a few minutes to read it and learn how to evaluate a moving company, how to choose a reputable one, how moving charges are determined, how reliable an estimate really is, how to protect your self against and minimize the risk of loss or damage to your property, and other information that can help you be an informed consumer BEFORE, DURING and AFTER your household move.


As you read, remember this : Household movers are business men and women; and although none of them are perfect, some are better than others. If a dispute arises, you can expect them to defend their contract rights. You can avoid many problems by doing two things : choose a licensed, professional mover with care and understand your rights and obligations.

Most problems arise from misunderstandings about either the estimate-of-charges or disputes over the movers liability for damaged of lost property.

Briefly, an ESTIMATE is not binding. Its only a general idea of what charges will be, under normal conditions, for the service you order. Your actual costs can be much higher, because your bill will be based on the actual service performed. That is, what is moved , how much your goods weigh, the distance involved, and the number of workers and hours the job takes.

As for the carriers LIABILITY, just remember that the lowest rate offers the least protection for your goods. Carriers offer a variety of options for protecting your property. Be sure you understand them and choose carefully and if anything is lost or damaged, file a claim immediately!




USE A LICENSED MOVER. This is the most important thing you can do! Choose from the more than 600 movers licensed by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ILL.C.C.). Licensed, professional movers must comply with ILL.C.C. standards for handling, loading, moving, and unloading your property; and they must perform their services at reasonable rates and within a reasonable time.

Unlicensed movers operate outside the law, and may provide little protection for loss or damage to your goods or non at all. Besides, its against the law to hire an unlicensed mover.



GOOD REPUTATION. A good reputation is a valuable asset to a mover. Get recommendations from neighbors, friends, co-workers, real estate agents or any newcomer who has used a mover recently, then get estimates from movers with satisfied customers. You also can call the ILL.C.C. and the Better Business Bureau to inquire about complaints against carriers. If possible, visit a movers facilities.



COMPARE COSTS. Your moving costs will be calculated by one of two methods: either a WEIGHT/DISTANCE basis for longer distance moves in which rates are based on the weight of your goods and the distance they are hauled, or an HOURLY basis, which usually are charged for moves between points less than 35 miles apart.

Hourly rates are based on three things:

a)     the number of workers,

b)     the amount of time it takes them to load, move, and unload your goods,

c)     times the mover's hourly rate for the service.


NOTE: The ILL.C.C. does not regulate how much movers charge for moves outside of Cook County if they begin and end in the same incorporated community plus the area within ten miles beyond its corporate limits. Those are called rate exempt moves, and rates for them dont have to be filed with the ILL.C.C. Even in a rate-exempt area, the mover must still be licensed.


Get a written estimate before the move starts (not when the mover shows up with the truck). It should state all the decisions you have made about what you want moved and other services (including the number of employees and the size of the vehicle your move will require). Have the mover sign your copy. There is no charge for an estimate. Dont choose a carrier solely on the basis of the lowest estimate. Compare other things too, like a movers reputation, the condition of the companys facilities, check to see if complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau or the Illinois Commerce Commission.




INVENTORY LIST. An inventory list and the Bill Of Lading will be very valuable documents if you have a claim for loss or damage later on. After the truck arrives, but before the loading begins, ask the carrier to make an inventory list of your property and accompany the employee while the list is prepared. If you disagree with anything on the inventory list, make a note of it on the list before you sign it. Make sure the inventory list is legible and accurate and that any notations also appear on the companys copy. (If youre billed on an hourly basis you will have to pay for the time an inventory takes, but without one you could have a very hard time proving a claim.)



BILL OF LADING. All moves require a bill of lading, so dont hire a mover who doesnt use one. The bill of lading is your contract with the mover. It states the movers responsibilities, such as the services they will perform and when and how they charge for the move, and what their liability is. Be sure you understand the contract (especially the part about the carriers liability), and get a copy. Dont sign it until you understand it and agree with it.



CARRIER LIABILITY. Your movers liability may be less than the value of your goods. According to law, carriers are not liable for the full value of your property unless you pay an additional charge for that protection. Rates often cover as little as 30 cents per pound, per article. But you can increase the carriers liability by paying a higher rate.

It is important to understand that a carriers liability and insurance are not the same thing. So its a good idea to see your insurance agent to determine if you need additional coverage. Reputable movers will explain their liability for loss or damage to your property, and how you can increase your protection.




CLAIMS: Claims must be filed within 9 months of the date of delivery. A successful claim for loss or damage depends on your having written an accurate description of the loss or damage on the inventory list or bill of lading on the carriers copy, too! Unless you note the loss or damage on these documents, the burden will be on you to prove the carrier is responsible for it.


File your written claim in a letter specifically describing the loss or damage, and include a copy of the inventory list and/or bill of lading. Send it to the carrier at its local office. If there is no local office at your destination, file it at the carriers home office.


Movers must acknowledge written claims within 30 days, and act on them (that is, pay, settle, or deny a claim) within 120 days. Be sure to keep the damaged property, because the mover has a right to inspect any damaged property before settling a claim.


Illinois law allows only the courts to adjudicate claims for loss or damage. But you can contact the Illinois Commerce Commission for advice on how to file and pursue a claim with a carrier or for an explanation of your rights and duties regarding a claim.



STORAGE: If your goods are put in storage, you will have to pay for unloading when they go into storage and reloading them when they come out again, as well as the storage charges themselves. Besides, the carriers liability may end if your goods go into long term (or what is called permanent) storage. Call the Illinois Commerce Commission for details.


NOTE: Certain local moves may not be subject to regulated rates. Call the Illinois Commerce Commission for more information and decision making guidelines.




The best way to avoid problems is to plan ahead and be prepared. Remember, no two moving companies are the same. Some are better than others, so its worth your time and effort to remember these important considerations:

  Choose carefully only use a mover licensed by the ILL.C.C..

  Get a written, signed estimate, and keep it.

 Be ready when the mover arrives.

  Accompany the mover to make up an inventory list.

  Understand and agree with the bill of lading before you sign it.

  Have the mover explain its liability for loss and damage.

  Be at the destination at the time agreed upon for delivery.

  Check the condition of your property before you sign a delivery receipt.

  ….. and be flexible.


For more help, call or write:

Illinois Commerce Commission

527 E. Capitol Ave. -Springfield, Illinois 62794-9280

(217) 782-6448