How to Carefully Read Your Moving Contract

Every year, 33% of renters move to a new place. If you’re planning to move soon, you’re probably considering a local mover to help make the process go smoothly. Moving companies typically have moving contracts for you to sign. These contracts detail all the terms that you and the company agree to before the services are completed. It’s necessary to thoroughly look through the contract to know exactly what services you’re receiving and what the total cost will be. Here are some tips on how to carefully read a moving contract.

Review the description of services

You’ll want to read through the description of the services to ensure you’ll get the work that you desire done. In a contract, the services may be presented as numbered steps from the beginning of the service to the end. There will be specific points noted such as when your possessions will be loaded and unloaded from the truck, how your boxes will be organized and managed, and the length of time that the move will be expected to take. If you want the services to be adjusted in a way that accommodates other needs you may have, make sure those accommodations are included in your contract before signing.

Be aware of the payment terms

The last thing you want is to realize you have to pay more than you originally thought after the move is completed. Always carefully review the payment terms so you know exactly what you’re paying for and how much you’re paying for it. A contract will list these these things as well as when the payment is expected to be made. If you prefer a fixed rate or an hourly rate, make sure your preference is in the contract as well. One key fact to remember is the 110% rule. This rule states that when delivering household goods, local movers can only charge 110% of a non-binding estimate. A moving company can lose their accreditation if the final quote is more than 110% of the initial quote.

Understand the terminology

Your local mover may use terms that you might be unfamiliar with in your contract. These are industry terms that are common within the moving business. It’s important to understand them so you won’t sign an agreement that wasn’t what you expected. Bill of Lading refers to the physical copy of the moving contract. This copy is generally presented to you on the day of the move. It generally acts as a receipt or proof of service. You’ll want to keep this for your records.

When you see it stated that an estimate is binding, that means the amount you’ll pay for the services cannot be changed by the moving company. Any changes will require an amendment is submitted by the company and both parties sign the agreement. Another term you should know is line haul charge. This term refers to the cost that is charged for the number of miles your local mover will transport your items, and the total weight of the load that will be moved.

Two other terms you should be aware of are full-value replacement and released-value replacement. These are two types of coverage that protect you in the event that one of your possessions is damaged. Full value replace means that you’ll receive either the full or replacement value of any item that’s damaged. You’ll likely have to pay extra for this coverage. It’s necessary to carefully read how the company determines replacement value and the actions that might limit your mover being liable. Released-value replacement is usually free and can pay up to $0.60 per pound of an item.

Moving can be stressful without having to deal with a contract dispute. Take time to look through each section of your contract thoroughly. If you make sure you understand everything stated in it, it can help you avoid any unpleasant surprises on your moving day.

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