If you are preparing for an out-of-state relocation, you are in the midst of an exciting but likely stressful time. Moving is a big deal, even though most Americans move an average of 11 times in our life. However, we don’t move around as much as we used to, and it seems like the longer we stay in one place, the more stuff we collect. So, you have a big project to plan, and you need the right interstate mover to assist you.
Finding the best long distance moving company for your job is not hard, but you will have to do some investigating. First, you need to learn some new vocabulary words. Movers use language that is particular to their industry, just like doctors, lawyers, painters, and mechanics. They don’t do it to trick you, but it can be confusing if you don’t know what they are talking about. A brief primer on some of the key terms will give you the inside track on understanding how moving works and how to protect your interests.
Move industry experts recommend that you have at least three estimates to compare. If you are moving your entire house full of furniture and boxes, the weight can be anywhere in a wide range, depending on what you will move. If possible, do some sorting and downsizing before you call in the movers to give you estimates—there’s no sense in moving stuff you don’t need. The packing and unpacking are a lot easier if you dispose of unwanted items ahead of time.
Once you are ready, invite your potential vendors to come and do a walk-through of the house or apartment and look at what is involved. Federal regulations require this step. Some moving companies may suggest that you skip the visual survey, but it’s a bad idea. They can’t give you an accurate estimate of the shipment’s weight unless they look at what you are moving. So spend the time to go through the process and then review the inventories for thoroughness and compare the estimates.
Double-check that you are comparing apples to apples – binding or nonbinding estimates. As noted above, a nonbinding estimate is not a guaranteed price. If the mover underestimates the weight, the price you pay will be more. If one quote is much lower than the others, you should be wary and ask questions about why the weight is lower and how much of an increase you would pay if they were inaccurate.
Also, compare prices for extra services like packing. The movers will quote an hourly rate for packing. They will add a fee for any items that need special preparation, such as disassembly of furniture and reassembly at the destination. If you have artwork that requires special crating or heavy objects like pianos, check that the charges for those are reasonable.
Skimping on the valuation or insurance is usually not the right place to save money when you are moving. As pointed out in the list of definitions, the basic coverage offers a maximum of $0.60 per pound to repair or replace any damaged or lost item. That is a minimal amount of reimbursement that is likely to fall short if anything happens. Think about trying to replace a twenty-pound flat-screen television for $12.00. Consider the problem of buying a new $400 “interview suit” for the $1.80 that you will get if it weighs three pounds and is ruined. Even the best moving company may damage or drop something, and if you have opted for the included level of liability protection, you are likely to be disappointed. Do make sure that the inventory is complete and accurate and that you have good records of everything. For high-value items, take pictures, and list these items along with the value of each, on the inventory. Every interstate mover has a dispute resolution program if something goes wrong and there is a dispute. Ask about it before you initiate the move, but hopefully, you won’t need to use it.