Find the Best Mover
Whether you’re moving around the corner or across the country, a move is the start of a new chapter in your life. Yet, moving can also be very stressful, often seeming like one thing after another must be done. By finding the right moving service, you can avoid most of the common moving headaches.
Ask someone you know who has moved recently, a family member, coworker or a friend about their moving experiences, good and bad. If you’re being transferred, ask your relocation agent which moving companies their company recommends.
When you compare prices and service estimates from several moving companies, you will find that estimates are based on the weight of your household items, the distance they’ll be moved, and the amount of packing and other services you will require.
Negotiations with your mover should include a clear understanding of rates and charges that will apply, the mover's liability for your belongings, pick-up and delivery schedules, and claims protection. If your estimate is binding, it will not cover non-itemized items. Non-binding estimates are not guaranteed rates, and only cover the weight of your shipment and the cost of the moving services. An estimate still must be performed before a mover will provide you with a binding contract.
Binding estimates are based on the weight of your household items, the distance they will be moved, and the amount of packing and other services you will require, so the mover’s estimator should thoroughly look at what is to be moved. Point out extra-heavy or fragile objects, and share special conditions, such as parking restrictions, number of stories, and freight elevator use.
Even in the most well-planned moves, something can happen, so carrying insurance is crucial. Check with your homeowner’s insurance carrier about coverage for your belongings while moving. Your mover will provide either released value insurance (about $0.60 per pound of goods lost or damaged, according to Moving.com) or full replacement value, which you must sign for on your bill of lading.
If you are not sure how to estimate the value of your belongings for insurance purposes, your insurance carrier may provide suggestions, such as $10,000 per room or half the value of the new home. Items of special value such as heirlooms, paintings, or collectibles can be insured under separate riders.
If you’re moving interstate, you should read and understand all the information you will receive. In addition to brochures explaining their various services, moving companies should give you a copy of a consumer booklet entitled "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" and information regarding the mover's participation in a Dispute Settlement Program. Distribution of the consumer booklet and the requirement that movers must offer shippers neutral arbitration as a means of settling disputes that may arise concerning loss or damage on household goods shipments are requirements of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
In the event of damage to an item, file a claim immediately. Be sure to save the packing materials to show to the adjuster, should there be any problems.