Here are some typical questions you would come across when moving to a new home:
• When is the right time to move?
Well, there isn’t exactly a “right time” to move but its best to avoid moving during seasonal holidays. Try to avoid the last week of any month and weekends because these times are very hectic for moving companies. If you are moving with children, you need to decide whether it is appropriate to move in the middle of the school year or during vacation time. In this instance, your time to move is dependent on the school calendar.
• When should I contact a moving company?
It’s always a good idea to find a moving company well in advance. Generally it is advised to contact your chosen moving company at least 4 to 6 weeks ahead of your scheduled move. Remember, the sooner you contact your mover, the greater chance there is of the moving company fitting you in to their schedule.
• How is a moving estimate determined?
A moving estimate is a must before deciding on your mover. Cost benefit must be analyzed when choosing a mover. This is not to say that you must pick the cheapest mover. This means that you need to analyze what services you get for the charges levied. Moving estimates are based on the content of your shipment, your final destination etc. This information is what you fill online. Consider this your initial estimate. However, before you make your final choice on a mover, speak to them and give them a detailed brief of what you require. Here on they will give you a detailed estimate. Also, it is always a good idea to ask your short listed movers to visit your home and inspect the goods that need to be shipped. This way, they can give you a final costing for the move. On-site costing is more accurate and it also tests the mover’s professionalism and reliability.
• What is valuation?
A valuation is very similar to insurance. It’s just that moving companies provide what is called a valuation instead of insurance. A valuation can best be described as liability coverage that is offered to you by your mover. This valuation must be decided on by you and your mover and must be explicitly stated in the Bill of Lading. Instead of insurance, moving companies provide valuation. Valuations are quite low so if you have antiques or any other valuable goods that need to be moved, it is always best to purchase additional insurance.
• What are the different types of valuation that moving companies provide?
Moving companies provide three types of valuation. Choose according to the weight of your belongings and the value of items you include in your shipment.
- This valuation is dependent on the weight of your shipment. If the goods are damaged in anyway during the move, then the depreciation value cause by the damage will determine the extent of your reimbursement.
- This valuation is intended for precious cargo and or antiques, artifacts and other irreplaceable items.
- This form of valuation reimburses you for any damaged or lost objects which you wish to replace or repair.
Make sure that your valuation option is explicitly written out, with its terms and conditions in your Bill of Lading.
• What other insurance alternatives do I have?
It’s always a good thing to re-check your home owner’s insurance policy as it may have a clause that partially covers your belongings during transit. If not, you can always purchase “goods in transit” insurance from your agent or directly from your moving company.
• What is the Bill of Lading?
The Bill of Lading is the official contract between you and your mover. This document specifies the details of your move. It is also a receipt of your goods. You are required to sign the Bill of Lading before your goods are taken away by the mover. But before you sign the dotted line, read this document very carefully. Make sure the terms and conditions are clear and that your valuation documentation has also been clearly stated.
• What is a Binding Estimate?
A Binding Estimate states the exact cost of your move. This cost includes the type of service you have asked for. These prices are liable to change however if the terms of the move are changed. For example, if there are unforeseen geographical constraints to get your goods to their final destination, then these figures are liable to change.
• What is a Non-Binding Estimate?
A Non-Binding Estimate is that which your mover will provide you based on his/her experience with similar jobs. The final price is given once the move is complete.
• What is an Order for Service?
An order for service lists out the various aspects of your move including the specific services you wish to pay for, the estimated moving costs and the schedule of delivery. This is the document that authorizes your chosen mover to haul your belongings to the specified destination. This is the preliminary document and it is not the final contract. Nevertheless, this document must be signed by you and the moving company before work begins.
• How are moving costs calculated?
Movers generally calculate their charges depending on the time taken (hourly rate) or the weight of the goods being moved. There are additional aspects as well that factor into the cost such as the distance of the move, location etc. Hourly rates usually apply to short distance moves.
• Must I hire only licensed moving companies?
Unlicensed movers are generally cheaper but, they do not adhere to the safety and financial standards of the industry. This then puts their professionalism and integrity at question. It is always safer to hire a licensed mover. For moves within the state, make sure they are registered within the state. For interstate moves, the mover should be registered for cross country moves. International movers are more complicated and should have all the government documentation that authorizes them to move cargo across borders.
• Can I pack my own belongings?
Of course you can. Self-packing is a very popular thing and it definitely saves a lot of money. This is feasible when you don’t have too many items to ship. A large amount of things inclusive of antiques and other precious cargo that is bulky may require you to hire a packer as they know how to pack precious items in climate controlled boxes etc. However, if you want to go ahead and pack on your own, then make sure you ask your mover for ample packing material. Having more than you require is much better than running out. Also, make sure that you don’t pack any hazardous materials. Please ask your mover for more details on this.
• How to prepare for moving pets?
Moving pets internationally requires you to research the regulations of animal traffic into that specific country. You need to make sure that you are clear about the quarantine procedures if there are any. Ensure that your pet has been vaccinated and all of this documentation is updated. Make sure you notify flight reservations that your furry friend will be accompanying you. If your friend is small, then normally they allow you to keep your friend in a secure pet carrier with you on the plane. However, if your furry friend is somewhat of the larger variety, then he/she will have to travel in the cargo hold. It is also recommended that you inquire with your vet for a mild sedative for your friend. Pets generally tend to get very anxious during moves. If there are any overnight stops, please make sure that they are pet friendly hotels. Also, give your furry friend a good hug before and after the move. They deserve it!
• What is storage-in-transit? What other storage options are there?
Storage in transit is what you will require if your home is not quite ready for you to move your things in. This also comes in handy if you simply have too many things to take with you when you move. It is warehouse facility and your mover can delivery your goods to this location and the goods will be stored for you for the duration that has been specified. Movers generally have affiliate storage areas so this makes life much easier for you. Once that specific time period of your storage in transit has elapsed, your goods go into permanent storage. Then you are required to adhere to the terms and conditions laid down by the storage provider. Self storage is an option you might want to consider if your storage time is indefinite. This means that you hire a storage unit that is big enough to house your goods. This is a “do it yourself” option where you are in charge of delivering the goods to this storage facility. Whatever option you pick, make sure the facility has advanced security measures that guarantee your valuables are protected around the clock. You can also insure the goods that you have placed in storage.
• What do I need to know before filing a claim?
If any of your goods are damaged during transit, you need to notify your moving company immediately. A formal claim for damages must then be filed within 9 months of delivery. Preferably, this form should be filed as soon as possible. Your mover must then confirm receipt of your claim within 30 days and they are required to accept or reject it within 120 days thereon. This is why you should always prepare a very clear and detailed inventory of your things, highlighting the condition of each item. This can then be signed off by you and the mover. This document is very important when it comes to damage claims.
• How are full service movers different from self-service movers?
Full service movers pack your things, take you from point to point and then unpack your things. The moving company takes care of every little detail for you. Self-service moving on the other hand requires you to do all the packing and the unpacking. The driver will merely drive the goods from one location to the other. Hauling on and off the truck is also up to you. The choice of service will depend on your budget and the type of service you wish to have.