The difference between a binding and non-binding estimate
Hiring Moving Experts - August 29, 2019
It is very important to know how much your move will cost at the very beginning of the preparation. So that you can adjust your move accordingly and keep things under constant financial supervision. If you are, for example, moving to Austin, your moving company is required by law to draw up a written estimate of the cost of moving. Now, there are 2 types of moving estimates – a binding and non-binding estimate.
As we already said, there is a binding and non-binding estimate
Usually, movers give you these estimates when they arrive at your home before the move to conduct a home assessment. Once at your place, they will estimate the total weight of your household. And take into account other services that you will need, based on your requirements. All that in order to guess the total cost of your moving to New Braunfels, TX.
Binding estimates do not change throughout the move
For example, movers came to your home to give you an estimate. They estimated the value of the items in the three bedrooms and calculated the weight that the load should have. Based on this approximate weight, they will get the total price you need to pay. Since that price is binding, you will pay this amount no matter what. If your load ultimately weighs more than the loaders expect, you will still pay only that amount. However, if your package weighs less than expected, you will still have to pay this initial amount.
Rules of a binding estimate
The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration (FMCSA) has several rules and regulations regarding the binding estimate and how professional transport companies carry them out.
- The mover cannot count in additional costs without notifying the customer. The client will have to pay only the amount of the binding estimate at the time of delivery. And any additional services that incurred during the move he will pay separately after the move.
- The moving company must provide the customer with an estimate in writing. A copy of the estimate must be available to the client before the move. So that the client has time to consider it and discuss possible discrepancies or inaccuracies in the estimate.
- The moving company must indicate in the assessment if it is a binding or non-binding estimate. They must attach a copy of the binding estimate to the bill of lading. In addition, the mover must also indicate that the estimate is only for the listed services.
- If the moving company notices any additional elements or superstructures in your shipment that were not in the initial assessment, the mover has the right to refuse service and create a revised binding estimate with the addition of new elements, which often leads to a higher charge the price.
The advantage of binding estimates is that you know your price long before the move and it will not change. However, if you ultimately receive a shipment that is less than what the movers estimated, there will be no discount of your total moving account at the end.
Non-binding estimates will increase or decrease on the day of the move
Although the movers will give you the best possible estimate, they will not be able to tell you the final cost of the move until they weigh everything on the day of the move.
- A non-binding estimate is just an estimate, and the client remains vulnerable to a widespread scam. Fraudulent moving companies underestimate their customers and provide deliberately low estimates only in order to ultimately overwhelm them with an excessively high price.
- A non-binding estimate is one of the most common estimates in the moving industry. And you get it free of charge. Their inherently flexible nature means that non-binding estimates can be given over the phone.
- Non-binding estimates are ideal for people who carry light loads and those who move in a short time.
Ask movers the following questions during a home assessment
When the movers come to your home to inspect your belongings and provide you with an assessment at home, ask them any questions you may have about the assessment process, the relocation process, or even about their company as a whole.
Here are just a few of the many important issues you should discuss with movers:
- What type of estimate will I get? Binding or non-binding estimate?
- Will an estimate be provided in writing after an assessment of the move and my belongings?
- Are there any other fees or charges that I should be aware of, such as additional fees for long or stairway transport?
- Do you have a USDOT number?
- Can you confirm your license and insurance?
- How long has your company been operating?
- How will you handle my goods during the move?
- What precautions do you take to keep my belongings safe?
- Do you have a claims process for lost or damaged items?
- When will my items be delivered?
What are the reasons for getting an in-house estimate?
Allowing the movers to come to your home and inspect your things in person gives them an accurate idea of what is required to move and the size of the cargo so that they can provide you with the most accurate estimate. Another advantage of obtaining in-house estimates is a personal meeting with movers before your move. This is extremely useful because it allows you to evaluate some aspects of their company that you cannot by just talking to the sales agent on the phone.
Familiarity with the moving industry and the terminology before you move will help the process of finding affordable movers in New Braunfels much easier. Thus, when the company arrives at your home to evaluate your things and give you a binding or non-binding estimate, you will know exactly what to expect.