How Binding Are Moving Estimates?

Share:

How Binding Are Moving Estimates?

Staff Writer · Dec 21, 2009

For those families and individuals who are looking at the reliability of moving estimates and quotes, there are actually different kinds of contracts, where most can be broken up into two main categories: binding and non-binding estimates. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, government legislation affects these two kinds of estimates differently, with each carrying its own consumer protections.

Binding Moving Estimates

In a binding moving estimate, a mover must provide a total charge amount up front, based on the weight of the load and other factors, with an itemized list of goods to be moved included in the calculation. In a conventional binding estimate, this is the price of the move. There is another type of binding estimate called a not-to-exceed, where the total bill can be lower than the maximum figure based on actual weight of all of the household’s items.

It’s important for those who hire moving companies to know that an estimate is only binding based on the actual amount of goods to be moved, and specific services provided. That means if the customer adds any goods to the move that were not documented on the list, the mover will be able to charge for than the binding estimate. Another limitation is that the binding estimate only applies to those specific services described in the estimate, and if the customer approves additional moving services, the total final cost may be higher than the binding estimate. A binding estimate situation gives the customer every incentive to make sure that all goods to be moved are on the list and documented as part of the estimate.

Non-Binding Estimates

Some movers will elect to offer the customer a non-binding estimate. This may sound like a worse deal, but according to the FMCSA and other sources, the company is still bound to keep the bill to the estimate plus 10% of the total cost, which means a moving company is not allowed to inflate the cost too much. That makes a non-binding contract a reasonable alternative for some customers.

Along with issues of cost, the customer should research the moving company to make sure they will benefit from professionalism on moving day. There are a number of ways that a company can cause additional cost to customers outside of the contract, not the least of which is the destruction of goods during haphazard moving practices. Get a look at the damage clauses of a moving estimate to be sure that everything is in order, and ask about insurance for your move to protect your investment in your personal possessions in case they suffer damage in transit.

The above helps customers to understand the ins and outs of dealing with a professional mover. It’s always best to do as much research and communications as possible up front to ensure a good turnout for your move. Another possibility is to look into DIY options where a moving company only provides the truck and driver, or storage pods, where customers can self-pack and unpack their own goods in a move.

You might also like:

On ApartmentRatings, real renters have the ability to rate and review their apartment communities based on their experience touring and or living in the communities. ApartmentRatings offers renters the ability to see what life is like at a community through a report card grade style format called epIQ. Every month we highlight apartment communities whose […]

Jessica Lee

 · May 2, 2024

|
image

Moving into a new apartment can be both exciting and daunting. From envisioning your new life in a different space to the practicalities of hauling boxes and setting up utilities, there’s a lot to consider. Ensuring a smooth transition on your move-in day requires careful planning and attention to detail. So, what steps can renters, […]

Jessica Lee

 · Apr 25, 2024

|
image

On ApartmentRatings, real renters have the ability to rate and review their apartment communities based on their experience touring and or living in the communities. ApartmentRatings offers renters the ability to see what life is like at a community through a report card grade style format called epIQ. Every month we highlight apartment communities whose […]

Jessica Lee

 · Apr 3, 2024

|
image