House To Home Moving Blog

Moving terms (valuation)

All industries have their specific terms. Here’s one that you might hear from your local moving company.

Valuation

A moving company offers valuation for your goods, which is not technically insurance. Valuation refers to how much a moving company will pay for your belongings if they are damaged or lost by the moving company. Valuation is regulated by the State or the Federal Government. (The State when you’re making a local move. The Federal Government when you’re making a move that crosses State lines.) All licensed moving companies include the basic valuation in the cost of your move. In California, basic valuation is $.60 per pound per item.

 

Valuation is based on how much something weighs. So a one pound bag of sugar and a one pound bag of diamonds is valued exactly the same. Its valuation in California is: $.60. If it’s worth more than $.60 per pound per item to you, you may want to purchase additional insurance from a third party that sells insurance NOT from your moving company.

Tips on Getting Moving Quotes

Do not sign blank documents

Don’t sign blank or incomplete estimates, and do not use any moving company that asks you to do so. If the mover asks you to sign incomplete documents the day of the move, tell it you need to reschedule and then use a different moving company. A mover can scam you by having you sign an incomplete estimate and then adding charges you never agreed to.

Choose companies that charge based on weight

Most legitimate movers charge based on the shipment’s weight. A few moving companies charge based on the volume of your cargo, measured in cubic feet, but it’s much easier for a moving company to overcharge you this way. Your best bet is to ask how the company figures its rates and to only get complete quotes from ones that charge per pound.

Get an accurate inventory list

When it gives you the written estimate, the moving company should also provide a full inventory list of everything it will move. The inventory is sometimes called a cube sheet or table of measurements. Get a copy and check it carefully for accuracy. Make sure each piece of furniture is on the list, including smaller items like end tables. It should also include an approximate number of boxes.

Consider your moving date

The time of year significantly affects moving costs, with higher charges during the summer. When you get your quote, ask whether the price would change if you adjusted the date by a few days or weeks. Also ask how long the quote is good for. If you wait too long to book the move, you may need to get a new quote.

How to avoid an inaccurate quote

Read all your moving paperwork carefully, including your estimate. You need to read all the fine print to avoid a moving scam or unexpected expense. If anything on your estimate seems unclear, ask the moving company to provide specific details in writing. If charges seem unreasonable to you, get a quote from another company. Only sign an estimate and officially hire the mover if you feel confident in its trustworthiness.

Moving Fees and Additional Costs to be Aware of

Stairs
If movers have to carry items up or down stairs, they’ll likely charge an additional fee. One flight is often included, but that isn’t always the case. If either your old or new house has stairs, ask if the company charges a stair fee, and make sure that fee is included in the written estimate.

Long-carry service
If movers have to carry furniture and boxes a long way from your house to the truck, they’ll charge a long-carry, or long-haul, fee. The written estimate should specify the maximum distance the movers will carry things before this fee applies. If it doesn’t, ask the movers to specify that distance in writing.

Shuttle service
If a large moving truck or semitruck can’t park close to your house, the moving company will need to use a smaller truck or van to shuttle items from the house to the truck or vice versa. Ask the moving company about the size of its pickup and delivery trucks. If power lines or lack of parking will prevent the truck from getting to your home, ask about the fee for a shuttle service, and factor that into your final cost. A company with a slightly higher rate per pound might be cheaper in the long run if it uses a smaller truck to pick up and deliver shipments.

Packing
Most moving companies offer packing services. You’ll pay a premium for this option, but it may be worth the price if you have mobility issues or you’re looking for a low-stress move. All fees for packing services and packing materials should be clearly listed on the written estimate. You can choose to have the moving company box everything or only specific items. Some moving companies charge per item, while others charge per hour.

Large items
Discuss pianos, large safes or any other especially heavy items with the moving company in advance. Not all companies are capable of handling these items, and those that are will likely charge an additional fee. These items should be listed on your moving inventory with a special note if there will be an extra charge for moving them.

Last-minute changes
If you have to change the date of your move or you decide to take more items than you originally planned, you might incur additional fees. Though most companies can accommodate last-minute changes, these adjustments might mean a company has to re-plan or provide more staff.

Gratuity
It is often appropriate to tip the moving crew. A standard tip is $20 to $40 per day per mover. Adjust that amount based on the quality of the service provided and the time spent at your house. If the moving company says not to tip the moving crew, honor that request. Tipping the movers anyway could cause problems for them with their supervisors.

Why Do Moving Companies Charge Double Drive Time?

All California movers are required to abide by the laws of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Within these laws are stipulations around what costs can be passed down to customers. For all hourly moves in the State of California, moving companies are required to charge double drive time. The actual CPUC law is written as follows:

‘the time used shall be the total of loading, unloading and double the driving time from point of origin to point of destination.’

Unfortunately, ‘origin’ and ‘destination’ are interpreted differently by some moving companies. The generally accepted interpretation is the actual driving time between the customer’s origin location (the address you’re moving out of) to the destination location (the address you’re moving in to) is doubled and charged at the hourly mover rate.

As confusing as it may be, CPUC requires all moving companies to use the double drive time law to protect consumers. Using double drive time provides visibility to the customer of the actual driving costs being paid and it compensates the moving company for their actual driving time, plus the time to return to the origin (where the job started). Using the double drive time law, the customer is responsible for all drive time between the new and old house and the moving company is responsible for the driving time between their warehouse and the origin location.

Moving terms (Inventory, Linehaul)

All industries have their specific terms. Here are a couple that you might hear from your local moving company.

Full Replacement Value Protection
A valuation program which does not incorporate depreciation as a factor in settling claims for loss or damage.

Gross weight
Weight of the van and its contents after your goods are loaded.

Inventory
The list itemizing the goods (and their condition) that you have released to the carrier.

Linehaul
The tariff transportation charge to move your shipment from point of origin to it’s final point of destination.

House to Home Moving



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