Get Instant Moving Quotes Online

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Summary: If you’re ready to start getting quotes from moving companies, check out what to expect and learn moving quote terms for more accurate quote. You will learn different moving quote types, and how to get the best one.

Hiring professional movers can cost around a few hundred to many thousands of dollars, based on the company you hire, how far your move is taking you, and what packing and moving services you choose.

To avoid an unexpected bill, obtain a quote before you hire a mover so you know the actual things to expect on your moving day.

An important part of hiring a moving company is to obtain a moving quote that is perfect for you. The success of the relocation and the cost you pay may be based on the moving quote provided to you.

A moving company can provide you a general quote via the phone or online, but movers are bound by law only by the information on your written moving estimate.

But it still can change. Getting familiar with some of the most popularly used moving company estimate terms and short words gives you control in getting better negotiations.

Below are some of the terms you will possibly encounter on the cost quote papers provided by your moving company and their meaning.

3 Types of Quotes Provided by the Moving Company

When speaking with movers who want to get your moving job, ask them what type of moving estimates they provide. Here are the three popular types of estimate:

Non-binding estimate

You should handle non-binding moving estimates with caution (or just avoid them). Non-binding can imply that moving companies don’t have to honor the quote. It often happens because the company issues a moving estimate by weight or cubic feet. A moving company may use this approach to provide you a lower estimate and gain your business. But immediately you agree, if your belongings were heavier than the non-binding moving quote you were given, you will pay higher than you expected.

Binding estimate

As you become more serious about choosing a moving company, stay away from non-binding estimates and go for binding movers quotes instead. In a binding estimate, the movers will have to assure you that the flat fee they quoted you, no matter how much over the weight or volume estimate is. Just know that it goes sideways, if they overestimated your belongings, you won’t receive a discount. If you later need to add more items to your relocation, you will need to negotiate in advance with the movers to accept the new belongings for no extra fee or negotiate another binding quote

Binding not to exceed

A binding-not-to-exceed moving company quote is common since you will know the highest amount you are to pay. If your shipment’s weight is more than what the moving company had originally estimated, you won’t have to pay for extra. But if your items are lighter than the amount quoted, you will only pay for the exact cost, saving you cost.

How to Obtain a Moving Quote?

To obtain a moving estimate, look for moving companies in your location. Many movers can provide you an instant moving quote after you completed the advance information online, but the majority of companies choose to check your needs via the phone or in-person to provide you an estimate.

Even though you can obtain virtual or online moving quotes easily, you will get the most accurate relocation quote from moving companies who check your home in person. If you are relocating to another state, your moving company must stick to the same rules given by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

These rules state that if you are relocating in 50 miles of the moving company’s location, it has to provide the estimate based on a physical survey of your household goods unless you provide a written waiver of the requirement. Look for the best price by collecting quotes from a minimum of four different moving companies in your location.

How to Avoid a Wrong Quote?

Read your entire moving document well, including your moving estimate. You need to read the entire paperwork to avoid a relocation scam or unplanned expense. If you find anything on your moving estimate unclear, ask the movers to give certain details in writing. If you find the charges unreasonable, obtain a quote from another company. Only sign a moving estimate and officially hire the moving company if you feel confident in its reliability.

How do Moving Companies Calculate the Cost?

A lot of factors add to the overall cost you will pay for your move. Moving costs are so much calculated depending on the type of move.

Local moving: If you are moving in the range of 50 miles of your former address, local moving companies often charge hourly, based on the number of workers. Extra services and specialized needs in the relocation process increase the cost, but you can still prepare to receive an hourly estimate. Request for an estimate of the number of hours your move will take to obtain a full cost quote.

Long-distance moves: If you are moving across the nation, you will get a quote from the best long-distance movers depending on the weight of your belongings, the distance between your former and current address, and any labor costs

Read How Much does it Cost to Hire Movers

Moving Fees and Extra Costs

Together with the popular factors that affect relocation costs, moving companies charge for additional services or specific conditions that make moving even harder. Speak with your moving company about the entire services it charges additional for, and make sure the moving company adds all you need in the moving quote and on your written estimate.

Below are common extra services charged by movers:

1. Packing:

Most movers offer packing services. You will pay a higher fee for this service, but it may be worthwhile for the price if you have transport issues or you want low-stress relocation. All fees for packing services and packing supplies should be indicated on the written estimate. You can have the moving company pack up everything or just certain items. Some movers charge per item, while others charge by the hour.

Check Packing Services By Experts

2. Stairs:

If movers have to carry belongings up or down the stairs, they will possibly charge an extra fee. One flight is usually added, but that is not always the situation. If there are stairs in either of your old or new houses, find out if the company charges a stair fee, and ensure that fee is added in the written estimate.

3. Long carry service:

If movers have to carry boxes and furniture a long way from your house to the moving truck, they will charge a long-haul or long-carry fee. The written estimates should indicate the highest distance the movers will haul things before this fee applies. If it failed to, ask the movers to point out that distance in writing.

4. Shuttle service:

If a large moving truck or medium truck can’t park close to your house, the moving company will need to make use of a smaller moving truck or van to transport items from the house to the moving truck or otherwise. Ask the movers about the size of its pickup and delivery vehicles.

If there are power lines or a lack of parking that will prevent the moving vehicle from reaching your home, find out about what they charge for a shuttle service and add that into your overall cost. A company that has a little higher rate per pound might be affordable in the long run if it makes use of smaller moving trucks and delivers shipments.

5. Large items:

Talk about pianos, large safes, or any other especially heavy belongings with the movers in advance. Not all moving companies can handle these belongings, and those that are, will possibly charge an extra fee. These belongings should be on the list of your moving inventory with a note indicating if there will be an additional charge for relocating them.

6. Last-minute changes:

If you have to adjust the date of your move or you choose to take more belongings than you initially planned, you might incur extra fees. Though many companies can make last-minute changes, these changes might imply that a company has to change its plan or provide more workers.

7. Gratuity:

It is usually right to tip your movers. A standard amount to tip is $20 – $40 per day per mover. Adjust that amount depending on the quality of service they provide and the time spent on your move. If the moving company is against tipping their moving crew, honor that request. Tipping the movers against that request could lead to problems for them with their superiors.   

Understanding Moving Quote Terms

1. Bill of lading:

This is sometimes referred to as the BOL and is the official agreement between you and the movers, and it is the most vital document you will get. Check it clearly and carefully before you sign it to ensure the moving contents are properly listed, and the pick-up and delivery addresses are correct. If something goes wrong, you will need to check your BOL, so safeguard your copy in a safe place.

2. CP:

If your movers are handling some of your packings, you may notice CP on your moving agreement. This stands for Carrier Packed and it shows the number of boxes or cartons packed by your movers for you. No wonder here: there will be an extra fee for this service. if you combine self-packed and mover-packed methods during your move, pay special focus on the number of boxes that are labeled CP on your quote and final invoice, so you don’t pay the excess.

3. COD:

This means “cash on delivery” that you will need to pay for your cargo when it gets to your new home. Ask the movers in advance about payment methods, like cash, check, or credit card. If the shipment is cash only, ensure you get a signed receipt for the money you paid.

4. Cube sheet:

If your moving quote mentions anything like ‘cube sheet’, it is the way that the vendor reference the document they use to determine the weight of your shipment. Movers first figure out the number of cubic feet your items will occupy in the moving truck, and then translate the weight estimate to form your moving bid.

5. Flight charge:

You paid for a moving truck and not an airplane, right? This term doesn’t mean the cost to ship your belongings in place; it means how many flights of stairs your movers have to go through as they transport your boxes and furniture. Ensure the number here is zero on your moving quote if you are relocating from a lower floor apartment to a one-story building.

6. Inventory:

This means the inventory list of your belongings. It is comprehensive and long, indicating quantities and showing each of their conditions. It is very easy to browse over the inventory, but doing so could cost you a lot. If you have a missing or damaged item upon delivery, you will need to check your inventory list to prove the good condition of the item before shipping.

7. PBO:

Which simply means Packed By Owner. You can always save a little money by packing your belongings instead of letting your movers do so for you. If PBO is indicated on your contract and you pack all your belongings, your overall bill should not show any packing service.

8. PAD:

Your movers will apply padding to furniture and other valuables using foam and bubble wrap while you relocate, but the acronym PAD means ‘Preferred Arrival Date. If you are required to fill out a form that contains this term, make sure the date you want your items to arrive at your home is what you enter.

9. Standard coverage:

Movers must add a free minimum amount of insurance for your belongings in all relocation quotes as required by law – if your belongings are damaged, you will be paid based on the weight of the belongings. Standard coverage doesn’t often exceed $0.60 per pound of damaged belongings. Consider this – your Macbook weighs a few pounds, if it gets lost or damaged during the move, you will get a huge $1.20 for it. So, try to get extra insurance to cover the cost of much-valuable items. Full Value protection will cover the repair or replacement of any lost or damaged belongings.

10. Valuation:

Valuation works with moving coverage. It is what the moving company says your belongings are worth and the highest amount they will take liability for, depending on the weight of your items. As mentioned, try to buy additional coverage to protect yourself if the moving company loses or damages your shipments.

Limited-Value or Full-Value Protection Moving Insurance

Moving companies must take liability for your belongings while they have the shipment, but that doesn’t mean you will be paid the cost of replacing an item if it gets damaged during the relocation. Your written moving estimate should indicate the type of insurance coverage the moving company will provide.

  • Full-Value protection moving insurance: With this option, movers are normally asked to pay for a damaged belonging or replace it. The actual cost will be different by the mover.
  • Limited-value moving insurance: This coverage is dependent majorly on the weight of your belongings. For long-distance moving, the moving company must by law take the liability of $0.60 per pound per item. For instance, if the movers drop your 42-inch TV that weighs 30 pounds, the company will pay you just $18. Speak with your mover and read the agreement on your estimate and another relocation contract to know the protection plan.
  • Third-party insurance: Many third-party companies offer moving insurance. Such as buying full-value coverage from your moving company; this option will cost more, but it might worth it in the future. For these plans, you generally declare a total value and choose a deductible amount. Read the policies well and go through online reviews to select a reputable company.

Don’t forget; different laws and regulations are factored with long-distance moves across state borders. For local moves or intra-state moves, speak with the attorney general office of your state for certain information on liability and insurance. For further information on long-distance moves, check the U.S. Department of Transportation FMCSA website related to moving.

Limited-Value or Full-Value Protection Moving Insurance

Moving companies must take liability for your belongings while they have the shipment, but that doesn’t mean you will be paid the cost of replacing an item if it gets damaged during the relocation. Your written moving estimate should indicate the type of insurance coverage the moving company will provide.

  • Full-Value protection moving insurance: With this option, movers are normally asked to pay for a damaged belonging or replace it. The actual cost will be different by the mover.
  • Limited-value moving insurance: This coverage is dependent majorly on the weight of your belongings. For long-distance moving, the moving company must by law take the liability of $0.60 per pound per item. For instance, if the movers drop your 42-inch TV that weighs 30 pounds, the company will pay you just $18. Speak with your mover and read the agreement on your estimate and another relocation contract to know the protection plan.
  • Third-party insurance: Many third-party companies offer moving insurance. Such as buying full-value coverage from your moving company; this option will cost more, but it might worth it in the future. For these plans, you generally declare a total value and choose a deductible amount. Read the policies well and go through online reviews to select a reputable company.

Don’t forget; different laws and regulations are factored with long-distance moves across state borders. For local moves or intra-state moves, speak with the attorney general office of your state for certain information on liability and insurance. For further information on long-distance moves, check the U.S. Department of Transportation FMCSA website related to moving.

Conclusion

A successful relocation begins before you commence packing. Your moving quote will contain all types of terms and figures, and understanding what they mean to provide you leverage. Make your moving company see you as a knowledgeable customer by understanding the terms. You will be able to speak for yourself and go through your moving quote for anything out of place.