What to check before signing a moving contract

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    We have all been there – when you start moving, there is just a pile of paperwork that you need to sift through. This can often make you feel like you’re drowning, lost, and not knowing what to do. There are so many new terms to discover – and putting your signature under some of those can lead to legal consequences if you are not careful! This is why you need a moving company you can trust in your team – someone like Heavenly Moving and Storage Texas. And this is also why in this article, we take a look at things you should check before signing a moving contract! With this knowledge, you should be safe and ready for your move!

    Check the company license and insurance before signing a moving contract

    One of the first things you will need to check about your local or long distance movers from Austin is whether or not they have a license. Under no circumstance should you be moving with a company without a license! This is extremely dangerous. Unlicensed companies are not professional, and cannot be responsible for the safety of your items.

    a stack of paperwork that you need to check before signing a moving contract
    There might seem to be a lot of paperwork – but you can get through it!

    Luckily, checking a company’s license is quite easy. All you need to do is go to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website and enter the U.S. DOT Number, MC/MX Number of your company, or its name. This is the federal body that issues licenses to carriers, and it is the most reliable way to check on interstate movers.

    When you are moving within the state, though, things change a bit. These moves are not regulated by the FMCSA, but by the state government. You need to check if your state law requires moving companies to carry a license – and then check for it when talking to the company representative.

    Nevertheless, you should also look into the insurance policies a moving company offers. We should not even tell you how important this is. If your items are not insured, and something happens to them, then you will have to cover the cost. Conversely, for a fee, you can get an insurance policy that will cover your items when moving with professionals. However, you should investigate what kind of an insurance policy the company uses before signing a moving contract. A lot of companies offer Released value coverage (or basic carrier liability) – but we encourage you to get Full value protection (or full replacement value protection) instead.

    Check the moving estimates and the terms of use

    Moving estimates shape up the competitive moving market. Everyone wants to pay less to get more – and that’s where troubles start. When comparing two moving estimates, and one is significantly lower than the other, this should raise a red flag. No one will charge you much, much less for the same service – so they are probably hiding something.

    You can find what this something is when signing a moving contract. Along with the contract, you should be getting a partial or full inventory list – depending on the type of estimate you got. Check what their rates are. Is the company charging by the hour or by weight and distance? Ask whether the estimates are binding or non-binding.

    a binding contact
    Understand different estimates before signing a moving contract.

    A binding estimate means that you are going to pay the number on the contract – no more. These can often be larger than the non-binding for that very reason. Meanwhile, non-binding are, as the name suggests, something that might not remain fixed. There is a chance that the moving company will request you to pay more than the first estimate. Thus, this number can be lower.

    It’s also important to note that the estimates are usually meant only for the service of transporting your items. Other moving services can cost additional money – and you can read about it in the terms of use. A lot of scam artists thrive in this area. They often add hidden fees to their contracts. Things like an additional cost for not parking close enough or no ease of access are quite popular amongst these fraudulent movers. If you do not communicate with the representative clearly and do not read the contract carefully, you might get stuck with a big bill.

    Do not be afraid to ask for help

    Another thing that’s really important to note is that it is okay to feel lost. Moving is not an easy task – that’s why you’re contacting professional movers after all. You can easily lose yourself in the terms of service, estimates, and dozens of new things! So, in order to keep afloat, you should also consider taking your contracts to a lawyer.

    This is usually a safe option – although they will charge you for their services. Remember, once you sign something, you are legally agreeing to what is written. This means that unreliable companies can take you to court if you refuse to pay their hidden fees! If there is anything in the contract that raises suspicion or that you are uncomfortable with, take the contract to your lawyer. They can pour over it and ensure that everything is looking fine before you sign it.

    a man signing a contract
    Your signature has legal weight – so be careful where you put it!

    What’s more, we also highly encourage you to research the company before you employ them. Hopefully, you have done it, but reading up on review and calling moving company’s references is always a good idea. These can show you that there is something wrong happening with the company – or can set your mind at ease and prepare you for a stress-free move. After all – there will be a lot of stress on your journey. The moving company should be there to solve these problems – not cause more! Think carefully before signing a moving contract and you should have a hassle-free move in no time! 

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