Legal Tips and Resources
There are so many things to address and remember when you are moving to another state that it can be easy to overlook some issues – even the important ones. One of those issues that often gets missed until it’s too late is gathering all the important documents you will need when it comes to your move. Having everything in one folder can be critical to ensuring you have everything you need covered. The following are some of those items that should be in that folder.
The Moving Estimate: The best moving company will provide you with a written estimate of how much the move will cost you. This estimate should include how much per man-hour is charged, transportation and mileage charges, services that will require extra (i.e. moving items up to a loft), and insurance charges. There are three types of estimates a moving company may have given you, so it is important to verify the type of written estimate you have:
- Non-binding: This type of estimate is not a fixed price and the actual cost of the move may vary.
- Binding: This is a fixed price estimate and cannot be changed, even if the final cost of the move ends up being less or more than is in the estimate.
- Binding-not-to-exceed: This is usually the best type of estimate for the customer. If the cost of the move is less than the price on the contract, the customer benefits and will be charged the lesser amount.
Bill of Lading: This is the legal contract that is signed between the customer and the moving company. It should state moving rate, method of payment, location where the move will begin and location where it will end, and the insurance coverage for the move.
Inventory List: Once the truck has been completely loaded, the moving company will give you a list of all the inventory in the truck. Make sure to check the list and confirm that what is on the list is in the truck.
Federal Information: All legitimate interstate moving companies are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA requires every moving company to provide customers with a copies of two pamphlets, “Ready to Move Brochure” and “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” that were written by the agency. If the company does not provide you with these brochures, it could be a sign they are not legitimate and your property – and your money – is at risk.
Liability Options: Interstate movers are also required by the FMCSA to offer two options to cover the cost of potential damage of property. These are full value protection and released value protection.
Statement of Service: Once delivery has been completed, the moving company should give a final statement, which will include the final price of shipping your property and the actual tariff charges.
Tax Deduction: If your move was due to your employment, the cost of the move could be a tax deduction. Your accountant will be able to determine if this is appropriate in your situation. Make sure you save all of your moving documentation.