Preparing for a move: Things to think about
Moving seems like an endless list of to-dos, pitfalls to avoid and problems to sort out, but those feeling completely overwhelmed by the terminology, emails, quotes and information being spewed all over need not fear. Here is helpful jargon translation which will hopefully clear things up.
Let’s talk about insurance first. Cross-country moving companies usually offer three types of insurance coverage. The most basic coverage is called limited liability. This is the most basic compulsory coverage, and it comes at no extra cost. This type of insurance covers only for $0.60 per pound for cross-country moves. The next best thing would be added valuation. This means If anything goes missing or is broken, it’s possible to get the amount that the item is currently worth (minus depreciation), and the cost will be based on the worth of the shipment. The final and best coverage is called full value. Clearly, it’s the most expensive, but it covers the total cost to repair or replace any item without deductions. Always compare plans and go with whatever is the most comfortable financially and mentally.
Bill of landing
For someone who has never heard of one of these before, it’s essentially a contract with the moving company. It is done before the company loads anything, and as with any contract, it’s important to read very carefully before signing. Make sure there aren’t hidden fees or clauses that may affect any claim later and keep it safely until all the goods are safe and sound.
Anyone who has used a moving cost calculator to get online moving quotes will eventually find themself looking at a few different types of estimates. May people might be unfamiliar with what these really mean. A non-binding estimate is one that can change. Essentially, the company will get all the information from the client, or will conduct an on-site inspection to estimate how much it will cost, but this can change if one adds or removes items, need extra services, etc. However, it will be in writing and will indicate that it is non-binding. A binding estimate is exactly what it sounds like – binding. It is a legal contract, so once again read carefully. It doesn’t mean one can’t add services later, if necessary, but it does prevent one from getting overcharged randomly, and for a lot of people this is the preferred contract.
Pick up, delivery and delayed shipments
One should have a specified date for pick-up and delivery, and when signing contracts, it’s important to make sure this is stipulated. At pick up, be sure to get the bill of landing, not just an inventory sheet. It should have the company name, address, number and company details. At delivery, the client will have to accept the items and make sure they are in good condition before signing off. If there is a delayed shipment, they may not be compensated, and though there are claims that can be put through for inconvenience, the company will not always pay out. Keep receipts for any extra expenditure regarding food and lodging. Moving companies do need to pick up and deliver within the dates stipulated, but of course, sometimes there are things out of their control that may delay them, and if so, there is a reasonable dispatch requirement, meaning they may need an extra day or two.
The paperwork needed on the day is the estimate, moving agreement, bill of landing and inventory pages. Everything should be dated and signed by the mover and client. It’s also important to sign for the valuation on the contract since it will determine the liability level of the moving company for any damaged or lost property. As with any paperwork, read carefully before signing.
Don’t sweat it too much. It may seem overwhelming, but in reality if one keeps a list, dutifully prepares, reads over the estimates and contracts carefully and starts well in advance, they should have no problem getting everything done smoothly. Choose a trusted company and always do the research ahead of time.
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