When planning your move, it is easy to become inundated with the numerous moving companies out there, who are all vying for your business. While you have plenty to choose from to trust your possessions to, not all movers are going to be trustworthy and reliable. So, how do you ensure that you are hiring a professional mover that you can trust? Here are a few things to keep in mind to protect yourself and your belongings.
- Moving Inventory
When getting an estimate for the price of your move, a reputable company will take inventory of all of your belongings to determine a price. The estimator should be thorough in compiling an inventory list, checking all storage spaces, such as, cupboards, drawers, garage, attic, etc. It is important to make sure that the inventory list is as accurate as possible.
- Don’t pay a large deposit
Reputable movers won’t require you to pay a cash or a large deposit before the move. You should only pay upon delivery to your new home (if moving locally) and no more than 60% of bill (if moving long distance). The risk you take when paying in advance, is you have no control over when you’ll see your belonging again. If the moving company you have hired does not accept credit cards, it is a sign of bad things to come. Many companies charge a little extra via credit card, to cover their own processing cost, but make sure you schedule with a mover that will at least allow credit card payment.
- Beware of extra fees
Are you moving into or out of a multi-story home? What about a high-rise apartment building? Some professional movers will tack on extra chargers for the movers that have to negotiate stairs and elevators. Have a narrow street that won’t accommodate a large moving truck? Expect to be charged extra for the transfer of your belongings to a smaller truck for delivery. Be sure to ask about any extra fees that might accumulate during the duration of your move.
- Avoid a blank moving contract
Never sign a blank contract, make sure that everything must be in writing. You should have the final estimate, extra frees, pick-up and delivery dates all listed on the moving contract. It is extremely important that you read the contract carefully to ensure that all of your belongings that will be moved by the moving company are listed. If an item isn’t listed on the inventory form that you sign, don’t expect those items to arrive to your new home. You cannot file a claim for a missing item that does not appear on the inventory form.
- Don’t accept the “guaranteed” quote
There are three different types of moving contracts that you can expect to receive from a professional mover. These types include:
Non-binding: the company cannot require payment more than 10% above the original estimate. Any overages must be paid within 30 days of items being delivered.
Non-binding to exceed estimate: your contract insures that you do not have to pay for any overages that exceed the original estimate that you received. The estimate that you received will be the maximum that you will be required to pay for your moving services.
Binding: the estimate you received is a guaranteed price for the move, all extras and services as defined in your contract. If you elicit extra services, such as, unpacking, extra fees must be paid with 30 days.
- Report any problems
After you have completed your move, you have nine months to report any problems, damages, and missing items to the insurance company and file an insurance claim. On moving day, try to open every box and sift through looking for any damage. If you discover damaged items, note the problems on the mover’s copy of the bill of lading before signing it. The mover then has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. Within 120 days of receiving it, they must deny your claim or make an offer to pay.
- Moving insurance and valuation protection
All professional movers are required to assume liability for the value of the goods that they transport. However, there are three different levels of liability that you need to be aware of, the charges that apply and how much protection is provided by each level.
Private Insurance: There are a number of companies that provide moving insurance. This is the most comprehensive policy available. Insurance companies are going to ask you about the size/weight of your shipment, who is performing the packing, whether there are any “high value” items/collections and an approximate value of your shipment. They will then offer you the different deductibles and policies as such. If this option is purchased, all claims are done directly through the insurance company.
Full Replacement Value Protection: It is not “real insurance” however covers more than if no other plan is selected. This plan ensures that if any items are lost, destroyed or damaged while in the custody of your movers, the mover has two options:
- Repair the item to the extent necessary to restore it to the same condition as when it was received by the mover, or pay you for the cost of repairs.
- Replace the item with an item of like kind and quality, or pay you for the cost of a replacement.
With this option, movers are permitted to limit their liability to items that are of extraordinary value, unless these items are specifically listed on the shipping documents. Ask your mover for a complete explanation of this limitation before your move. It is your responsibility to study and know this provision carefully and make the necessary declarations.
Alternative Level of Liability: this is a no-cost option that is the most economical protection available. With this option the movers assume liability for no more than 60 cents per pound, per article that is lost, or damaged in the course of your move. In the state of New York, the liability is 30 cents per pound, per article. There is no additional charge for this level of protection, but it does require that you sign a specific statement on the bill of lading agreeing to it.
At White Glove Moving and Storage, we offer a binding quote on all moves that are entrusted to us. With this binding quote, we guarantee that the price you are quoted is how much you’ll be expected to pay regardless of total weight, or space consumed in the truck. White Glove Moving is unlike other moving companies, in the fact that we treat your family the same we’d treat our own! You can trust your valuable possessions to the professionals at White Glove Moving, who have over 25 years of experience in helping families make the move to their new home!