Frequently Asked Questions

When Is The Best Time To Move?

If there is a choice, most moving companies suggest you select a time other than summer, the end of the month or the end-of-year holidays. The heaviest demands are placed on vans, equipment and personnel during these periods. However, United Van Lines believes that you should move when it is most convenient for you. Factors involved in the decision may include:

  • Whether the move must be made immediately
  • Transferring children during the school term
  • Separation of the family while the move is under way

If the move can be scheduled for a time when vans and trained personnel are more readily available, we'll be better able to meet your preferred delivery schedule.

How Long Does It Take To Move?

This depends on many factors, such as the time of year, weather conditions, size of your shipment, time required to load and unload, and the direction and distance your shipment is traveling.

Because the furnishings of the average household will not fill a van, it is often necessary for two or more shipments to be loaded on the same van. Each shipment is carefully inventoried to insure that you get all of your goods at delivery. If your origin and destination are within 50 miles of our warehouse, there is no need for us to mix shipments.

With the help of United's computer-assisted dispatching system, pickup and delivery dates are scheduled according to the origins and destinations of individual shipments on the van, as well as shipment weight.

When Should I Call A Moving Company

The earlier, the better. Although the actual van assignment may not be made until a few days before your move, it's wise to give your moving company from four to six 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 or the nearest possible alternative. You will be notified in advance of the loading date of your goods and of the estimated date of arrival.

If your pickup and delivery dates are critical, due to such factors as a 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 our sales agent, who can advise you of the types and costs of service available.

Do I Need An Estimate?

One or our sales agents will make 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. Your sales agent will compute the approximate cost and give you a written Estimate/Order for Service. An accurate estimate cannot be given without a visual survey of the 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 distance it travels, and the services which you authorize or which become necessary to handle your shipment.

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

What Is A Binding Estimate?

A binding estimate or binding cost of service 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 either 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 providing for these additional charges will be prepared for your signature.

If you are interested in obtaining a binding estimate, please discuss it with our sales agent.

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 weighing, additional charges will be incurred. Basic transportation charges depend on the actual weight of your goods and the distance they will travel. The total cost will include transportation costs, any charges for Full-Value Coverage or Depreciated Coverage (see "Am I Protected Against Loss Or Damage?"), plus charges for any "accessorial" services (such as packing and unpacking) performed by the United agent at your request. These charges are based on "tariff" rate schedules (see below).

What Is A Tariff?

This is the list of rules, regulations, available services 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 for your inspection upon request.

Am I Protected Against Loss Or Damage While My Goods Are In Transit?

Yes, but how much protection you have and its cost to you depend upon the United "valuation" program you choose -- Full-Value Coverage or Depreciated Coverage. The following is an overview of the coverages, If you have any other questions please contact us.

Full-Value Coverage

Under this plan, if your articles are lost or damaged while in United's care, they will be repaired or 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. Unlike other United valuation programs, depreciation is not a factor in determining replacement value.

Full-Value Coverage and deductible options are available in dollar increments to fit your needs at very attractive rates. United's 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 $3.50.

Depreciated Coverage

Both of the Depreciated Coverage options consider depreciation in the settlement of claims. Claims are settled by repairing damaged articles or by making a cash settlement at the depreciated value, whichever costs less. The options are as follows:

  • Lump-Sum Value The amount you declare as the value of your shipment. The value declared must be at least $1.25 times the weight of your shipment. There is a charge for this option
  • Pound-Weight Value The maximum value of your shipment is $1.25 times the weight of the shipment. There is a charge for this option.

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're ready for them. However, you are responsible for the storage charges, as well as 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 or insurance coverage provided for your shipment. The type of coverage and cost will depend upon whether the shipment is held in storage-in-transit or in permanent (long-term) storage. Please ask your United agent for information regarding storage arrangements.

Will My Furnishings Remain Clean?

United's 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 furniture pieces with ClearGuard®, a clear plastic material, before they are wrapped with furniture pads.

Can I Pack My Clothes In A Chest Or Dresser Drawers?

Lightweight clothing -- sweaters, shirts, blouses, lingerie -- may be left in the drawers. Do not fill 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 spill or leak.

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 you notify your United agent 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 transport.

In the moving industry, items worth more than $100 per 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.