How To Protect Yourself Against (Unexpected) Moving Disasters
You downsized your possessions, handled junk removal, researched the best moving companies, hired professional movers, and now you’re ready to move into your new home. It feels like all the stress of moving day is behind you, but then. . . .
Despite all the best preparation, misfortune is sometimes unavoidable. How do we know?
Optimum Moving is one of the best moving companies in NJ because our long-term growth strategy depends on attracting and retaining customers by delivering unmatched, white-glove service.
One way we engage our customers and potential customers is by sharing the secrets to a successful move our experienced local and long-distance movers use every day. We provide an extensive library of articles on avoiding moving company scams, packing fragile items, helping your children transition through a move, and much more.
The in-depth article you’re reading expands on one part of that checklist by providing
4 ways to protect yourself against the unexpected.
This article assumes you’ve done your homework before hiring a moving company. Most people who use our Residential Moving Checklist say it saved them a lot of money and reduced the stress of their local or long-distance move.
The best way to resolve conflict is to avoid it. The cheapest movers in NJ may seem like a good deal, but typically moving companies like that lure consumers in with prices they never intend to honor and quality services they’re not equipped to deliver.
- Get specific about pick-up and delivery. So you’ve chosen the best moving company in NJ, gotten your binding estimate in writing, and you’re ready to sign an order for service. It’s common for a moving company to give you a range of dates for delivery, and specific dates come with a premium. “As soon as possible” is not an acceptable delivery date, and always get pick-up and delivery estimates in writing.
Late deliveries are one of the most-frequent complaints about moving companies made to the Better Business Bureau.
- Splurge for the good insurance. Your choices of coverage are limited liability, added valuation, and full value. Limited liability is free to the consumer and covers 60 cents per pound interstate and 30 cents per pound in New York State. To be clear, that’s roughly $18 for a broken 50-inch TV going from Manhattan to Bergen County.
Added valuation replaces items minus depreciation, and full value replaces or repairs a damaged or broken item without adjusting for depreciation. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of price vs. risk, and read the fine print for deductibles and other conditions.
Money-saving tip: Check your homeowner’s insurance policy first to see what it covers so you don’t buy redundant coverage.
- Document, document, document. It’s worth saying a few times so no one forgets. Start early on in the process and take photographs of your possessions so you have proof of their condition for the insurance company and any future arbitration or litigation. When packing, label boxes clearly so you can be selective about what you want movers to handle. Keep all the paperwork from the moving company in a single folder—because all your agreements are in writing!
- Know your rights. Always try to settle a dispute directly with the moving company. If you remain at an impasse, don’t rush off to hire a lawyer.
Moving companies must have an arbitration program in place to handle disputes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
A moving company must go into arbitration over all claims up to $10,000. Typically there is a fee for the hearing, which is split between you and the moving company. However, ultimately the arbitrator decides who should pay the costs.
A mover may refuse to go into arbitration for claims over $10,000, and then legal action is your only recourse.
Are you moving your business, too? Move without the stress by using this Business Relocation Checklist.