The Types of Moving Estimates

Is a Moving Estimate Final?

Every moving company in Las Vegas will offer you a moving quote—the amount it will cost you to have the service completed. Most will provide it at no charge and without obligation. Based on that estimate, what can you expect? Well, it depends. There are three types of estimates: binding, non-binding and binding-not-to-exceed.

Binding Moving Estimate

If a service provider offers you a binding estimate, then it’s required to honor that price—even if it made a mistake—as long as nothing changes. Nothing changing is an important caveat. If you forgot to show them the basement, for instance, then the price will be increase accordingly. The contract will usually indicate how additional charges are calculated, and this is normally—but not always—based on weight.

Non-Binding Moving Estimate

A non-binding agreement reflects the mover’s best guess. The actual price will be determined at completion of the move by tallying weight and service fees. So, what good is such an estimate? Well, by law, a mover cannot charge you more than 110 percent of the estimate. Any remainder will be billed to you, and you will usually have 30 days to pay.

Binding-Not-To-Exceed Estimate

A binding-not-to-exceed estimate is the most favorable to the consumer. It’s similar to a binding estimate except, at the end, total weight is determined and if that amount was overestimated, then the final price is reduced in order to reflect that.

What You Can Expect from a Quote

Verbal quotes are generally non-binding, and these are the kinds of quotes given out over the phone. After all, the mover is estimating solely based on your word. Written estimates are generally binding, and movers generally want to perform a walkthrough in order to provide such a quote. For an estimate to be binding-not-to-exceed, the contract must have language explicitly stating it. A verbal agreement or even a text message may not be enough to ensure the price reduction if applicable.

Tips for Moving Quotes

How to Get the Most Accurate Moving Estimate for You

If you’re hiring movers in North Las Vegas, a quote is a powerful tool. Several quotes give you context to gauge the market, and the estimate you agree to lets you budget your relocation accordingly. Not all quotes are created equal, however, and there are steps consumers can take to ensure themselves a better experience.

Schedule a Walkthrough

You don’t have to schedule a walkthrough with every mover you consider, but you should do this as you near finalizing your decision. This appointment gives the professional mover an opportunity to see firsthand what must be packed, loaded, transported and so forth. This generally results in a much more accurate quote, and many movers require it before providing written estimates.

Get a Written Estimate

Quotes provided verbally are generally non-binding, which means that you may not know the final price until the service is complete. Written estimates, on the other hand, are generally binding, which means that you’ll know exactly what you’ll owe unless something significant changes—such as forgetting a room. Binding agreements can even have caveats that allow for a price reduction if the final total weight is less than what was originally estimated.

Target Quotes Based on Weight

Most—but not all—moving companies charge based on weight. This is preferable for the consumer because quotes based on weight tend to be highly accurate, and unless you’ve made a mistake, there generally won’t be any surprises that alter the quote amount.

Expectations If a Quote Changes

Another reason it’s important to get a written estimate is that the law prohibits moving companies from charging more than 110 percent the day of service. So, if your estimate is for $500, you won’t be required to pay more than $550. That’s the not to say that your final bill won’t be higher than that, but you will be billed and have 30 days or more to pay the remainder.

Licensing and Insurance for Moving Companies

Do Moving Companies Require Licenses and Insurance?

When you think about the best moving company North Las Vegas residents and companies have available to them, you probably think licensed, insured and bonded. There are certain federal requirements, and local rules tend to vary on a state-by-state basis, but many of the major movers tend to go above and beyond what’s required.

Federal Licensing

The U.S. Department of Transportation requires all moving companies that move between states to be licensed and have a USDOT number. If you hire a company that is exclusively local to Nevada, then they may not need a USDOT number. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is a DOT agency, maintains a record of all licensed companies so that you can inspect safety record and the like.

Nevada Licensing

The state of Nevada considers moving services to be a public utility. Therefore, such companies must maintain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. A CPCN is acquired through the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. Optionally, companies may possess certifications from various trade associations, such as the American Moving & Storage Association, and these tend to indicate that a company has certain training or maintains certain safety and service standards.

Insurance

The law generally requires that a moving company is insured at least $0.60 per pound. This number may be higher due to local factors. If this doesn’t seem like a lot, it’s because it really isn’t. Most of the major moving companies carry much more insurance in order to protect their clients, and even then, many consumers choose additional insurance in order to protect their interests.

Bonding

Bonding is kind of insurance that ensures that a moving company lives up to its contract with you. Although bonding is generally required by the federal and state government, required amounts can vary considerably based on a wide range of factors. If you want specifics, you should be able to acquire this information through the Nevada PUC.

Four Strategies to Ensure Fast Access to Your Stuff

How to Pack a Storage Unit for Easy Access

Many people who rent storage in North Las Vegas will access it over time. Perhaps they’re moving in and will take more boxes as time allows, or perhaps they lease their storage long-term and access it on a regular basis. In either case, your approach to packing it will make a big difference in how fast you find and retrieve your items.

Organization Begins with Labeling

In order to pack and retrieve your moving cartons well, you need to be able to identify them. Text-based labels are a good start. Make them big and easy to read, and try to place them in the same area—such as the upper left-hand corner—so that you’re always looking in the right spot. Color coding is excellent for even faster identification of categories. If you mark all kitchen boxes with yellow tape, for instance, then you can easily skip them when you come looking for your home theater components.

Maintain Aisles

Perhaps the biggest novice mistake when packing a storage unit is simply packing it from back to front. This eliminates all access to the rear cartons and ensures that you’re going to have to unload a lot to get back there. Maintain at least one center aisle and more aisles if you have the space.

Prioritize Front to Back

If you’re moving in to a new home, organize everything in priorities, such a day, weeks and months. Then, load the months first, followed by the weeks and so forth. You can use a similar approach if you use your storage regularly. Christmas decorations should be way in the back, for instance, while your lawn equipment should be up front and easily accessible.

Extra Lighting

Unless your storage unit is particularly well lit—which most aren’t—extra lighting can be a big help. You can even maintain a light in the unit—with the batteries out—so that it’s always there when you need it.

What Happens When Items Are Damaged During a Move

Who Pays When Items Are Damaged While Moving?

While you don’t expect that your television, lamp or other property is going to be damaged in a move, there is no guarantee that it won’t happen. Generally speaking, you are not liable for replacing those products or any other property that is broken while in a moving truck. In most cases, you can file a complaint and be reimbursed for the damage.

Discuss What Happens to Damaged Goods Ahead of Time

Ideally, you will discuss the moving company’s specific policy as it relates to dealing with damaged goods before signing a contract. This is because moving companies in Las Vegas, Nevada, and elsewhere may be allowed to limit their liability under state or federal law. Furthermore, you may be given options as to how much coverage you want for your possessions. In some cases, you can pay more to receive coverage for equal or greater than their market value.

What Happens During the Complaint Process?

When submitting a complaint, you must generally state the items that were damaged and the cost to replace them. While timelines vary, you must submit your written or electronic request for payment within six to nine months of the date of your move. Again, the specific policies of your moving company may provide further guidance as to how disputes are settled. If the moving company denies your request, it may be possible to take the matter before a mediator or arbitrator.

You Should Consider Buying Your Own Insurance Policy

It may be a good idea to have a private insurance policy to cover your belongings. For example, you could pay to protect valuable items that are hard or impossible to replace. If you have a renters insurance policy, it might also cover damage done during a move. Talking with your insurance provider may be helpful prior to your move.