Questions and Answers from a Move Expert

Should I hire the move with the lowest price?

You need compare the estimates you get from a couple movers to determine what services each will give you in addition to comparing the movers with a mover-check report. Also ask for references from their customers in your local area.

How do I know if a mover is reputable?

You need to verify they have a current license and are actually a mover not a broker… and you need to check to see how many customer complaints they have against them as reported by government agencies.  If a mover has lots of customer complaints and serious ones like refusing to delivery the household items or refusing to participate in arbitration then don’t select that mover to handle your move.

Can I pack my own things to save money?

Yes you can pack your own things but remember the mover is not responsible for items packed by owner. If you have valuable breakables you might want to have them professionally packed.

What kind of insurance coverage should I buy from my mover?

Movers do not sell insurance, rather they offer valuation at various levels. The free valuation provided by the mover is 60 cents per pound per article which means if a 50 pound item is lost you will be reimbursed 60 cents x 50 pounds = $30.00. Movers also offer full value protection at 0 deductibe, $250 deductible and $500 deductible. Please read the consumer booklet provided by your mover to get more information on how full value protection valuation works. Also you might want to check to see if your homeowners insurance policy covers your items if you are moving.

Is the mover going to base charges on what my shipment actually weighs?

On an interstate mover your charges will be based on the actual weight of the shipment, miles and services you might need in addition to the transportation, for example packing. The only time your charges are not based on actual weight is under a binding estimate.

What is a binding estimate?

If you mover offers you a binding estimate it must say that on the paperwork to be a true binding contract. The binding price is the price you will pay for your move unless you change the inventory the estimate is based on, for example if you add items to the shipment after you receive and sign the paperwork. In this case the mover will prepare a revised binding estimate for you to sign. The mover is not required to weigh the shipment under a binding estimate.

What if I cannot be there when the mover delivers my shipment to the new home?

At the time your items are delivered someone must be there to receive the shipment and look over the items as they are being delivered. Any damage must be noted on the inventory at time of delivery and someone must sign that items were received. If you cannot be there you must get someone who will handle this important role for you.

What if the mover damages an item or something is lost, what do I do?

You would call the mover and tell it you want to file a claim for loss and damage. The mover will send you forms to complete and return or it will direct you to a claims settlement company if it uses one. You complete the forms and return them and then the mover, or its claims settlement company, will make you an offer in writing to settle the claim telling you how the damage compensation amount was computed.

What is arbitration and how can it help me?

If you don’t agree with the amount the mover or its claims settlement company offers you for your loss or damage claim then you have the option of going to arbitration. All movers are required by law to participate in an arbitration program which is a lower cost alternative than going to court. With arbitration an independent third party reviews the claims and decides on the settlement amount which is binding on both parties. Ask your mover for information on its arbitration company.