Archive for December, 2019

House To Home Moving Blog

Fire Safety Tips

This winter, make fireplace safety your number one concern. When temperatures dip we turn to our fireplaces to create heat as well as a cozy atmosphere for our home. But an increase in fireplace usage means that every homeowner should be aware of the hazards of unplanned fires and understand how to create a safe fire.

Sadly, 14,000 house fires each year start from fireplaces. Nearly 6,000 injuries occur from these fires and a whopping 65% of these injuries are inflicted upon children under the age of 5. Accidental fires also cause $893,000,000 worth of property damage each year. Following these safety tips can not only save lives, it can help save your home from damage.

Before you start using your fireplace, make sure that you’ve had it professionally maintained. If you have a wood burning fireplace you’ll want to hire a chimney sweep to inspect the inside of the fireplace as well as the outside. Gas fireplaces can be maintained as well – check with your manufacturer about licensed professionals. Remember that fireplace professionals are very busy in the cooler months, so it’s a great idea to call for an appointment a month or two before you want to use your fireplace. Not only will you have time to get the right appointment at the right time, you’ll allow for additional time if repairs are required.

Moving specific glossary terms

All industries have their specific terms. Here are a couple that you might hear from your local moving company.

The booking or origin agent examines (i.e.: surveys, or visually inspects) the shipper’s goods to develop an cost estimate.

Tare Weight
Weight of the van and its contents before your goods are loaded.

The carrier’s provisions, including rates, for services performed during the course of moving a shipment.

Third Party Services
Services performed by someone other than the carrier at your request or as required by federal, state or local law.

Are you covered? Part Three


If your goods are lost or damaged, be sure you describe such loss and damage by making notations on the carrier’s shipping order or freight bill. If the driver refuses, you should report this fact and the condition of the articles in writing to the home office of the carrier. Neither of these actions constitute filing a claim, but are made to support a claim to be filed later, as described below.

If you intend to file a claim for loss or damage to your goods, be aware that one of the required documents in support of your claim is a copy of the paid freight bill. This means that before you may file a claim with the carrier for loss of or damage to your goods, you must pay the carrier for all charges due for transportation services. This is because the handling and settlement of a loss or damage claim is a matter separate from the performance of and payment for the transportation service itself. If you do not pay the transportation charges, the carrier may not honor your claim.


To file a claim you must:

  1. write the office of the carrier and describe the loss or damage.
  2. list separately the lost or damaged items.
  3. note the exact amount you are claiming for each lost or damaged item.
  4. give the date of your move, the origin and destination and the carrier’s order number.

It the damage is to packed items, you should retain the box, its contents and the packing materials. This is especially important if you did the packing since you will have to show that bad packing was not the cause of the damage.

Providing copies of documents such as store receipts for the lost or damaged items and professional estimates for repair will speed the processing of your claim. You should also retain copies of all correspondence with the moving company. In addition, all correspondence addressed to the moving company should be sent by Registered Mail, return receipt requested, to evidence receipt of your claim by the carrier

Your claim must be filed, in writing, within nine (9) months after delivery of the goods or within nine (9) months after a reasonable time for delivery has elapsed. Specific rules are set forth in Maximum Rate Tariff 4. The carrier is required to acknowledge claims in writing within 30 days and must pay, decline to pay or make a firm compromise settlement within 60 days of receipt of your claim. If some reason beyond the carrier’s control delays action for a longer time, the carrier is required to notify you in writing within 60 days of receipt of your claim as to its status and the reason for delay (with a copy to the PUC) and again every 30 days thereafter until final action is taken. If the carrier fails to respond to your claim with in the time limits and in the manner described in this paragraph, you should contact the PUC immediately at 1-800-FON-4PUC 1-800-366-4782. (See Maximum Rate Tariff 4, item 92 for more information on filing claims.)

The PUC has no authority to compel carriers to settle claims for loss or damage and will not undertake to determine whether the basis for, or the amount of such claims is proper, nor will it attempt to determine the carrier’s liability for such loss or damage. Il both you and the carrier consent, the claim may be submitted to an impartial arbitrator for resolution. You may also commence a suit in small claims court or other court of law. If arbitration or civil action result in a decision in your favor and the carrier fails to comply, contact the PUC.

Are you covered? Part Two


Items of extraordinary value, such as antiques, art objects, gold or silver articles, etc., should be separately described on the inventory and a value declared for each. Be sure to list the items by description and value on the shipping document. It’s best not to ship money, jewelry, important papers or other valuable personal articles. Keep such items out of the reach of others and take them with you.


The carrier is not liable in a claim for loss or damage to articles in the following situations:

  1. change in condition or flavor of perishables.
  2. loss or damage caused by the shipper, including improper packing.
  3. select or inherent vice of the article, such as susceptibility to atmospheric changes.
  4. insects, moths, vermin, ordinary wear and tear, or gradual deterioration.
  5. mechanical or electrical derangement of musical instruments, electronic components or appliances, if there is no sign of exterior damage.
  6. loss or damage caused as a result of any strike, lockout, labor disturbance, riot, civil commotion, or any act of any person or persons taking part in any such occurrence or disorder.
  7. hostile or warlike action in time of peace or war.
  8. breakage caused by normal handling of china, glassware, bric-a-brac, or other similar items, unless packed by the carrier.
  9. liability of carrier for loss or damage shall be subject to your compliance with the rules for filing claims.

For More information regarding limitations on the carrier’s liability, please see General Order 1 36-C, which you may get from the PUC.

Are you covered? Part One


Already included in the carrier’s rates is protection against possible loss or damage at 60 cents per pound per article. You may choose to purchase additional protection and set the value on your belongings for an amount that makes you comfortable. Be sure to check any insurance policies you have before paying for additional protection. I you are unsure, call your insurance agent. The carrier may charge you for the level of protection and the value you place on your goods. Actual cash value protection covers the depreciated value of your goods and is determined by such things as the cost of the item new, its age, its condition when received by the mover, and the value you declare. Full value protection usually costs more since it will cover the replacement cost of any lost or damaged item. The carrier may opt to replace, reimburse or repair the damaged item, according to the protection level you choose. Remember to declare items of extraordinary value. If you fail to do this the carrier may not be liable for the full value of those items regardless of the level of protection you choose. In addition, your goods are protected while they are stored-in-transit at your request, and your carrier may charge an additional valuation rate for that service. However, if the storage-in-transit is undertaken for the carrier’s convenience, you will not be charged for this additional protection. The Agreement includes a section entitled “Consumer Protections and/or Waive on which you must declare the value of your shipment and choose a level of protection. If you fail to do so, your goods will be automatically protected for actual cash value up to $20,000. You may be charged for this protection, at the rate for each $100 (or fraction thereof) of declared value, as stated on the Agreement. If no valuation charge is stated, the rate is $0 (zero) per $100 of declared value. Your protection level choices are explained below.

  1. Basic Cover Me at 60 cents per pound per article insures recovery at 60 cents multiplied by the weight of the item or the carton it’s packed in. Thus, if an item weighing 20 pounds is lost or damaged, you can recover $12.00 for that item(60 cents x 20 pounds). This is very minimal protection and your goods are probably worth considerably more. This protection is included in the mover’s rate.
  2. Actual Cash Value protection ensures recovery at the actual cash value(i.e., fair market value) of your lost or damaged item(s), up to the total value you declare. The carrier may charge for actual cash value protection, and will state the rate on the Agreement.
  3. Full Value protection insures recovery at the full value (i.e., replacement value) of your lost or damaged item(s), up to the total value you declare. The carrier may offer deductibles in combination with full value protection. You are responsible for deductibles unless an item is lost by the mover: refer to section on Limitations on the Carrier’s Liability. The carrier may charge for full value protection, and will state the rate on the Agreement.

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