When it’s time to move, the cost is a big concern. No one wants to feel confused about what they’re getting into on a contract. Paperwork is no fun, but if you’re hiring a moving company, it’s important to understand moving estimates and contracts before you sign. Here’s a list of some terms and forms you will encounter in the moving process.

Moving Estimates

You should feel confident with your mover and the expected costs. Ask your mover if they perform an in-house estimate. If not, make sure you provide the estimator with an accurate account of all your possessions. Your moving estimate should include:

  • Transportation
  • Labor
  • Packing Services
  • Storage charges
  • Insurance
  • Any Additional Charges Discussed and Agreed Upon

Types of Estimates

Non-Binding Estimates are subject to change and depend on the weight of the move. Signing this type of agreement means that you agree to pay the bill if your shipment ends up weighing more than the original estimate.

Binding Estimates are fixed based on the estimated weight. It can’t be adjusted even if your shipment weighs more, or less, than the original quote. You will pay the exact amount quoted when you sign this type of agreement.

Binding Not-to-Exceed Estimates are the most customer-friendly option. The moving company will estimate the weight of your belongings. If the actual weight is more than the estimate, you won’t incur any additional charges. However, if the shipment weighs less than the estimate, your bill is adjusted, and you only pay for the actual cost of the shipping.

Bill of Lading

The bill of lading is a detailed list of everything you’re shipping. The bill of lading includes:

  • Moving Rate Agreed Upon
  • Payment Method
  • Move Origin and Destination
  • Insurance Information
  • Moving Company’s License and Insurance Information

Keep this document in a safe place, so it doesn’t get lost in the move.

Order of Service Form

Both you and the moving company sign this document agreeing to the enclosed details. However, it’s not a legally binding contract. This document includes:

  • The Estimated Cost of the Move
  • Scheduled Pick-Up and Delivery Dates
  • Any Required Special Services (such as packing and storage)

Keep this document attached to the bill of lading, so you have the information readily available.

Other Moving Estimates and Contracts

Inventory Form describes all the items loaded onto the truck, including the item’s condition. Any items already packed in boxes are marked “PBO” (packed by owner) means the condition of contents is unknown. Once the list is complete, read over the form and confirm that all items are accounted for. You and the driver will sign off on the inventory sheet before transit.

For interstate moves, read “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” pamphlet. This pamphlet discusses the different levels of liability. Your mover might provide you with additional explanations of liability options.

If you make a long-distance move, you should receive a statement of services. This statement includes the final cost of your shipment and tariff charges based on the actual weight and service.

Different moves will call for different forms. Take it slow and read the moving estimate and contracts carefully. Make sure you understand the terms being used on the documents. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the documents and vocabulary, you’ll be ready!

Moving Services

Whether you are moving across town, or across the state, RL Maxon Moving will make your move as stress-free as possible. Please give us a call at 479-756-0850 for more information or to schedule your move. We serve NWA and the surrounding areas.