Moving up the Eastern seaboard from Florida to North Carolina? You may already know that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the oldest public university in the US, but did you know that Krispy Kreme donuts originated in the state? That’s a claim to fame. To get ready for your big move, you need to find the best Florida moving company.
Finding the right moving company for your relocation takes some effort, but it will pay off in a smooth, stress-free move to your new home. Every move is different, and you probably have many questions about what to look for and what you should be asking the moving professionals. The good news is that you have many choices and a variety of moving companies ready to assist you with planning and executing your move—with as much help as you need.
This is an interstate move (quite simply, you are moving from one state to another). About three million people in the US move interstate in an average year, most going around 1,200 miles. Interstate movers are subject to the regulatory authority of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which works to reduce injuries and fatalities that occur as a result of highway accidents. FMCSA also strives to protect consumers from fraud promulgated by unscrupulous moving companies and brokers.
By starting your search for a moving company at the FMCSA site, you can ensure that you only consider engaging businesses that register with that agency, as required. Registered movers (and brokers) will have a Department of Transportation number, and follow the practices that FMCSA has established. You can find these in a publication called Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. This helpful resource is available on the FMCSA website, and movers will provide you with a copy (or a link) when you are considering them as a moving vendor. Aside from this and other useful consumer resources, FMCSA maintains a database of information about registered companies’ safety and complaint histories. You can find this data by searching for the name of the mover you are considering.
Using a moving broker can be a good idea, but be careful. Brokers in the moving business operate like brokers in other industries: they don’t complete moves; they match up movers with customers. So, you may be able to save some time by talking to a broker and letting the broker find a mover to select movers for you to consider. There are pros and cons. The clear advantage of using a broker is that you only have to go through the details once. You can explain the move to the broker, and let the broker do the work of finding the right mover for the job. You may save time and may find a bargain. What many people dislike about choosing a mover is comparing companies. The time you spend going through the house, discussing the terms and conditions of the estimate, is how you get to know the company. Remember, you are about to trust these people with everything you own.
If you decide to use a broker, choose judiciously. Brokers must register with the FMCSA, they can only use movers that register with FMCSA, and they must maintain written agreements with any mover that they refer to you. The broker must acknowledge that it is not a moving company.Remember that each moving company the broker recommends must still complete a physical survey of the household goods you want to move. You can waive this requirement, but it’s usually not a good idea. The visual inspection is the best way for the moving company to assess what you are moving to determine an accurate weight. Since the shipment’s weight constitutes a significant part of the cost of the move, getting it right is vital.
Whether you are comparing moving estimates provided by a broker or obtaining them on your own from several movers, it’s essential to be sure that you are evaluating them fairly. If one is a binding estimate, but others are non-binding, the comparison may not be applicable. Here’s why:
A binding estimate is a commitment from the moving company to an exact price for the move. Suppose the mover underestimated your shipment’s weight—they can’t raise the price to make up for the error if you didn’t add anything to the load that was not on the inventory. If the estimate is non-binding, and the weight of the load is higher than forecast, the price of the shipment will increase as a result. There is also an estimate that is binding not-to-exceed, which means that the price can’t grow, but if the weight is lower than predicted, it can decrease.
With each of these estimates, the company will supply a detailed inventory, which they might refer to as a cube sheet or table of measurements. That document lists everything that is going in the truck to be moved. The mover creates this inventory as the representative walks through your residence with you, looking at each room. It will include all the furniture, appliances, and an estimate of the number of boxes.
The estimate will also include a choice of valuation, which is like insurance for your property. The valuation is one thing that can be a source of concern for people moving, and it’s sometimes confusing, so review it carefully. The Full Replacement Value Coverage is what you would need to have your belongings replaced or repaired if something happened to them during the move. This coverage is either based on the shipment’s declared value or a per pound amount determined by the moving company. However, this option is not included in the move’s price, so some consumers choose to save money by opting for the Waiver of Full Replacement Value Coverage, which provides valuation at $0.60 per pound for the shipment. It is important to note that the $0.60 per pound is not a pool fund that can replace any given item—it is only applicable on a per-item basis. In stark terms, this means that your 20-pound flat-screen television, with a replacement cost of hundred of dollars, will be valued at $12.00.
If you do choose the Full Replacement Value Coverage, there are still some things that may limit the responsibility the mover has to replace damaged items or reimburse you for their value. It is important to note anything of exceptional value (over $100 per pound) correctly on the inventory. It is also smart to take irreplaceable or highly sentimental items with you, rather than sending them in the truck. If you pack your own boxes, the movers will not assume liability for damage of objects inside the box unless the box itself is damaged. Finally, don’t pack anything explosive or flammable, or you will be responsible for any unexpected consequences.