Almost every industry has its own jargon, including the moving industry.
When you hire a moving company to help you move your home, you’d be required to sign a written contract. Some of the jargon on the document may seem strange to you and you may hesitate before you put your John Hancock on the deal.
Its actually cool to play safe. Moving companies have several costs, fees and extra charges that can quickly add up. But if you know what each term on a moving contract means and where they might be charged, chances are you’d avoid unnecessary costs and extra charges by signing a good deal.
Here is a simple glossary of common moving costs, fees and extra charges of moving companies, lookout for these terms whenever you’re signing a moving contract:
Accessorial Charges: are extra charges for services that often include extra pick-ups, packing, unpacking, and it may include extra charges for long-distance moving trips. Many movers simple refers to accessorial charges as extra costs or extra charges.
Advanced Charges: are charges of services rendered by a third party expert. Such services are usually rendered by an expert other than the moving company you hire. Such services are often done based on your request. Charges for these services are often billed to the movers and they’ll bill you accordingly.
Appliance Services: are charges billed for preparing appliances for safe transportation. It covers the disconnection of appliances from a residence and its re-connection at the new residence.
Appliance services often cover appliances such as dryers, dishwashers, washers, and refrigerators. Charges for such services may be billed based on how long it took to perform the services. But, if the moving company does not render such services and does not provide a third party to do it, it will be ticked as “NA” on your moving contract.
Appraisal Fee: before you move it’s important to have an insurance plan in place to cover your goods or household items should there be damage or lost at any point.
An insurance company can provide an appraisal of your items and a written value so you can be aware of how much insurance you’ll need. You may ask your mover if they render such service, find out the cost if they do. You may consider asking around before you make any decision to hire an appraiser.
However, if you feel your goods do not require any insurance, you may simply skip the appraisal process and fee. If any of your items are damaged or lost by the moving crew during the move, you can consider filing claims for a compensation.
Auxiliary Service: is a charge the moving company will ask for if they are unable to make the initial scheduled pick up or delivery as a result of an obstruction at the move location. The moving company may need to use a smaller truck or van to complete such move.
Such issues are often caused by inaccessible driveways or no parking space. You can avoid this extra charge by ensuring that there is nothing blocking your driveway or may block the mover’s truck. Before your moving day, you may inquire from the movers about how to clear obstructions at your point of origin and new home or location.
Binding Estimate: the binding moving estimate is the flat rate a moving company charges for services rendered regardless of the workload, how long it takes to do the job or the weight of your shipment. Your moving cost will not increase even if your final shipment weighs more than what was on your quote before the moving starts. If you opt for a binding estimate you wouldn’t have to bother about an unexpected increase in your moving cost.
Binding not-to-exceed estimate: with this type of estimate, your moving cost will never increase beyond the estimated price even if the weight of your shipment is higher than what was estimated. Also, if the total weight of your shipment is lower, your moving cost will be cut accordingly. This is the best type of moving estimate for moving your home.
Non-binding estimate is the first quote provided by the moving company based on their experience of moving items or homes that are similar to yours. Moving company often provide a non-binding estimate with or without assessing the items you intend to move. This estimate is not binding and it often changes based on the weight of your shipment.
Moving Cost: is the actual amount the moving company you hire will charge you to help you move your home. Moving cost does not include extra charges and insurance. Moving costs estimates are often calculated based on the information gathered during sign-up/estimation interview.
Several factors can determine your final moving cost, like distance between the items to be moved and the moving van and flight of stairs. One easy way to have an idea of your moving costs is to obtain free moving quotes from licensed moving companies.
Elevator Carry: an extra fee that movers charge for moving your items or goods in an elevator. Elevator carry charges apply to pick up point and eventual destinations. If your move will involve the use of elevator, inform the movers to enable them prepare ahead of schedule.
Expedited Service: are higher minimum rate charges paid to a moving company to move your household items or business goods on a precise date. You may have to move your home on a precise date or move a particular item on a specific date, the moving company you hire will charge you for expedited service.
Flight Charges: are additional charges for moving items up or down flight of stairs, either at the point of moving or delivery. But if elevators are available and large enough to convey items or goods, flight charges could be exempted.
Fuel Charges: movers often request for fuel charges for long-distance moving trips. Fuel charges may not be included in the initial moving estimate. You should ask your mover if they charge for fuel and how much. Some moving companies charge per mile or kilometer while others simply charge at a flat rate which is added to your move estimate.
Linehaul Charges: these are long-distance move basic charges, calculated by shipment weight and mileage. Linehaul charges are often added to the top of extra charges.
Long Carry Charge: there is an expected distance limit between your residence entrance and the rear of the moving van. When that limit is exceeded, the movers can request for a long carry charge.
Pick Up and Delivery Charges: if you intend to store your household items or goods in a storage facility between moving out and moving in, your moving company can bill you for pick up at the storage facility and delivery to your new location. If you intend to use a storage facility between your moves, find out the costs from your movers.
Storage-In-Transit (SIT): are charges for temporary storage of your items or goods before they are shipped or transported. If you intend to keep your items or goods in a self storage facility before transporting them, inform your movers and make a request for the service.
Make sure the period you store your items on the facility does not exceed the agreed date. Extra charges for such storage apply to warehouse handling and final delivery charges.
Third Party Charges: are charges charged by third party individuals or groups for rendering special services during your move. Ask your moving company if there will be need for you to hire a third party or if they provide services that a third party may also offer.
A third party may be required to help you move delicate items such as an original artwork, piano, or specialized appliances. Your mover may recommend third parties to you, but you’ll have to make the eventual decision to hire one or not.
Valuation Charge: a valuation charge is a type of insurance plan that is based on the estimated value of your goods. A valuation charge covers and protects your items or goods should they be lost or damaged while you’re moving.
Each moving company has its own valuation charge. Ask the moving company you hire how much they insure and consider if you’ll need to buy more insurance plans. Valuation charges are usually calculated per pound. Ask your moving company about how they calculate their valuation charge before you opt in or out.
Having a good knowledge about these moving terms can give you an edge when negotiating with a moving company’s agent or when you’re communicating with the moving crew. Lookout for any of these terms before you sign any deal or reach any agreement with any moving company. Now that you’re familiar with this glossary of moving cost, check out this 52 tips for moving your home successfully.