State To State Moving Companies Near You
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.
How do I find the right out-of-state mover near me?
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.
- Binding Estimate: A binding estimate is an agreement for a price that will not change. It is based on the physical survey of household items, converted into the anticipated weight, plus accessorial service costs. Moving companies are permitted to charge a fee for the preparation of a binding estimate. The company must deliver your shipment if you pay 100% of the amount of a binding estimate plus the cost of impracticable operations in an amount not greater than 15% of the total bill.
- Full-Value Protection Insurance: Insurance that covers an item’s price or the cost to repair an item if it’s damaged or lost by a moving company. Not included in the price of the move, but available for an additional fee. Also known as liability or valuation.
- High-Value Articles: Household items that have a value of more than $100 per pound. You must note these specifically for valid insurance coverage.
- Impracticable Operations: Conditions that prohibit a moving company from completing loading or delivery with their standard equipment or that require additional labor. These terms are delineated in a moving company’s tariff, and movers may add them to the final invoice.
- Inventory: A list of goods included in the move. This list is the basis for the weight estimate. The inventory should be compiled based on a physical survey of the household items designated to move.
- Line-Haul Charges: The transportation portion of the moving bill. In conjunction with the accessorial charges, makes up the total bill.
- Long Carry Charge: An extra fee applied when a mover carries goods a long distance from a residence to the moving truck or vice versa. The applicable length and the charge are identified on the tariff.
- Non-Binding Estimate: A non-binding estimate of the moving cost based on the estimated weight of household items and any requested accessorial services. The final bill is determined by the correct weight and any added services. A visual inspection of the household goods is the basis for the estimate. The mover must deliver the shipment if the customer pays a maximum of 110% of the non-binding estimate and any charges for impracticable operations (subject to the 15% limit of the total invoice.)
- PBO: Packed By Owner. Designates when a customer packs goods, which can affect liability.
- Peak Season Rates: Quotes for moves that are requested during high demand times for moving companies, which is during the summer.
- Quote: The price of services offered to a moving customer. Also referred to as an estimate.
- Released Value Insurance: A basic moving insurance policy required by federal law (for interstate moves) and provided at no cost to the consumer. This policy covers your belongings for 60 cents per pound per item, no matter what the thing is truly worth—also called valuation and liability protection.
- Storage-In-Transit (SIT): Temporary storage of your shipment before delivery for various reasons. It can result in additional charges.
- Survey: Visual inspection of items to be moved. The basis of the inventory and estimate. It is required by FMCSA to be conducted in person in most circumstances.
How do I get surveys and estimates for an out of state move?
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.
Do I need a higher level of insurance for an out-of-state move?
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.