Help for Houston!

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Houston-SanFrancisco
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:50 pm
Location: Houston

Help for Houston!

Postby Houston-SanFrancisco » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:12 am

I am in need of recommended Houston movers in a hurry. I am mortified by all the horror stories and have just had a close brush with a nightmare.

I am moving to San Francisco from Houston. I need a full pack due to a broken back injury. Previously I had simply rented a truck and done everything myself. I had gone on line to try to find moving companies, and stupidly starting arranging things with 3 companies. At the last minute I decided to try to do some checking and I found this site. To my horror and embarrassment, I found all three on The Black List. I had not made any deposits or entered into any agreements, but I am now forced to start from scratch. Our move date is scheduled for March 13.

We are going to drive a rental truck with our valuables, fragile items, and basic necessities (kitchen, computer, bathroom) and we'll tow our car.

I have tried to come up with a diligent moving list and even came up with some weight calculations for the books, but the estimates varied quite a bit. I'm including the list below to see if anyone has any suggestions. Most of the items for the movers are books (a lot) and furniture, much of which is hand made and irreplaceable.


Moving Lists
Note:
Not listed are items that will be self shipped and packed:
Most of the kitchen & bathroom items; all art, all computer items, some furniture (desk, tables)
A number of miscellaneous smaller items are not listed.

Appliances
24" TV (CRT)
VCR
Stereo (one receiver unit)
Stereo AMP
Speakers (medium, boxable)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bedroom
Chest of 4 drawers: 34 ½"W x 18 ½" D x 43 H
2 Night Tables (identical): 22"W x 19"D x 22" H

Living Room / Family Room
Wood End Table (mahogany) 17½" W x 17½" D x 25" H
Sofa-bed 87"W x 37½" D x 30"H (backboard, 38" H with cushion, 2 cushion seating)
Large Book Case (4-shelf teak): 44¾" W x 15½" D x 76½" H
Large Book Case (7-shelf): 32"W x 9½" D x 74" H
Leather/Wood Recliner Chair: 33"W x 37½"D x 39"L (72" extended)
Leather/wood ottoman: 20"W x 15½" x 16½" H
Glass/Teak Wood Coffee Table: 50"L x 24"W x 16"H (Glass is removable, oblong)
Medium Teak Wood Entertainment Center (100lbs): 44"W x 26" D x 51¼" H
Teak Wood display case (unusual, half-moon sail shaped, 40 lbs): 36"W x 18"D x 85"H
CD cabinet, wood: 15½"W x 15½"D x 50"H
Occasional table, half-moon hall table: 30"W x 15"D x 30"H
Occasional table, two-level: 24"W x 12"D x 24"H

Dining Room
Round Wood Dining Table (200lbs, solid wood, turquoise inlays): 48½" x 31" H (90"+ sitting area)
4 Dining Chairs (Wood):
Display Cabinet (Wood): 42¾"W(top edge) / 39½W(side to side) x 16"D x 75"H
Rectangular Wood Serving Table: 37"W x 19¼"D x 33"H
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kitchen

Pantry:
4 shelves 21" x 24" full of food items
Miscellaneous cookware
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Office Furniture
Small folding table (TV dinner style)
Lateral filing cabinet (4 drawers, all wood): 33¼"W x 16½"D x 54½"H
Roll-down electronics cabinet: 33¼"W x 19¾"D x 55"H
Short Book case (folding flat): 28"W x 11½"D x 36½"H
Tall Book Case (7-shelf custom made): 28"W x 11½"D x 84"H
Tall Book Case (4-shelf Ikea): 33¼"W x 13½"D x 70¼"H
Tall Book Case (7-shelf custom made): 36¾"W x 8"D x 84"H
Medium Book Case (can be broken down): 49"W x 12"D x 54"H (holds binders, supplies)
Medium Book Case (can be broken down): 33½" X 12"D x 50"H (holds binders, supplies)
1 futon sofa-bed: 82"W x 47"D x 30"H (backrest) Note: requires disassembly
1 CD cabinet (pine): 25"W x 15"D x 47½"H
Plastic storage cabinet (3 drawer), medium:

Books: 4000 lbs total (3800)
Breakdown:
Books, small (paperpacks) (13lb/ft. average): 450" x 12lb = 450 lb
Books medium (hardbacks) (20lb/ft. average): 706" x 20lb = 1777 lb
Books, large/heavy (dictionaries, art books, etc.) (27lb/ft. average) 606" x 27 lb = 1364 lb
Files (from filing cabinet etc. considered "heavy" or 27lb/ft.): 96" x 27lb = 216 lb

Other:
1 bicycle
Record albums = 1 box
2 Plastic Storage Tubs:

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twalker
Site Admin
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Re: Help for Houston!

Postby twalker » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:25 am

I do not endorse any full-service moving companies, however, Diane has collected the following information from reviews that have been posted here. It should give you some ideas about who you may want to call for in-home estimates....


Diane wrote:Be careful to avoid the scammer VIP Van Lines, which is based in Houston. Also, my advice is not to use the Bekins agents in Houston or Fort Worth. Their claim ratio is low, but that is based on what Bekins paid for claims. Their other quality ratings are very poor for logs, drug tests, documents, etc., so I wouldn’t put too much faith in Bekins.

One person ("Changeling") was considering Berger, Atlantic Relo, Graebel, and Armstrong (four heavy hitters) for a move to Los Angeles but never came back to tell us which she chose and how it worked out - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6307 (interstate)

Another person ("cardsfan"; real name Jon) was considering Armstrong, Wald, and Adams for a move to St. Louis and he decided to go with Armstrong. This thread, also, has a lot of useful comparative information, including about the various sales reps - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7120 (interstate)

Allied Van Lines agents

--Berger (Allied) in Houston.
The Houston branch has been praised by "IMP" but other branches have been severely criticized here:
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2145 (interstate)

--Daryl Flood (Allied) in Houston.
This company has a large hauling fleet. It does a lot of corporate moves and also has an office in Dallas. Both offices have quality scores in the "excellent" range from customer service to drivers. The number of surveys is extremely high, which means that they do a great deal of volume.
We have one review, where "msgr" says that she had a very good interstate move with them:
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 3175#53175

Atlas Van Lines agents

--Atlantic Relocation Systems (Atlas) in Houston.
Note: there is also an Atlantic Moving Systems in Houston that is a Mayflower/United agent.
There is a post by "gen" indicating that she was going to use the Atlas agent for a move to AL but she never came back to report:
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 9507#39507 (interstate)

Graebel agents

--Graebel in Houston.
Recommended by "IMP."
One interesting thing is that according to "JK" (moving to Boston), Graebel was the only company that had accurate information about problems caused by the Democratic National Convention in Boston in July 2004. Agents of other moving companies were behind the eight-ball and didn't show any recognition of the problem at first. We don't know who "JK" actually moved with, however, or how it turned out:
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 3164#13164 (interstate)

Mayflower Van Lines agents

--Atlantic Moving Systems (Mayflower) in Houston.
Do not confuse this company with the Atlantic Moving Systems in the Miami area that is on the Blacklist here. The Houston company was recommended by "BigLeeCalif." BigLee posted that Atlantic is a dual agent for Mayflower and United. The name of the United agency is Holman Moving Systems and the two companies have the same General Manager, John Deale.
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 1812#11812
There is a post by "aidan" describing problems with his move, but it seems to have been mainly caused by botched paperwork and we don't have a final report on how it was resolved:
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1785 (interstate)

--Wald (Mayflower) in Houston.
This company is what is known as a Pinnacle Mover--see www.pinnaclemover.com.
Its estimator has good comments by "cardsfan" for his move to St. Louis:
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7120

North American Van Lines agents

--A-1 Freeman (North American)
Almost no information but I believe that "Michael" (works for Atlas) has had doubts about this company. Its internal quality scores have been said to be adequate but not great.

--Adams Transfer & Storage (North American) in Conroe, TX.
Mentioned but almost no information.

United Van Lines agents

--Armstrong Relocation in Houston.
Armstrong is huge and this particular branch is a Pinnacle Mover--see www.pinnaclemover.com. It was recommended by "Michael," "IMP," and "Rick" at various times. Here are the remarks by Rick:
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 1345#51345

MusicMom
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Location: DC Metro

Re: Help for Houston!

Postby MusicMom » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:01 am

Ummm, does the fact taht you've got this list ready to go mean you've been sending it to moving companies? Have you been flooded with emails and calls? If so, avoid each and every mover who contacts you in this way.

Call some of the movers in Tim's list. You might also want to send a Private Message to IMP, who is a professional mover in Texas and has always given fair and unbiased opinions of good and bad movers.

Houston-SanFrancisco
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:50 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Help for Houston!

Postby Houston-SanFrancisco » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:07 pm

Thanks so much for the post. We now have estimators scheduled to come over tomorrow from Armstrong Relocation and Allied Van Lines, and we are trying to line a few more up.

Mr. Walker, I was curious about your comment that you do not endorse any full-service movers. Why is that? Is it because they do such a bad job? My problem is that I am still recovering from a broken back and I just can't see myself packing and loading 4000lb of books plus all the furniture. Even if I just did the packing it would be pretty rough, plus I'm not too confident about the loading and unloading services. Frankly I'd do a pretty lousy job if someone paid me minimum wage. Plus the insurance companies won't cover self-packed materials.

I'm concerned because even though I'm going to pack and carry my art and other super fragiles, my furniture is very delicate and unique. What an ulcer all of this is.

So my questions at this point are if you have any tips for "full-service" and what about the insurance companies. My experience with the scamers was that they all claimed to have their own thrid-party insurance companies.

So, any suggestions would be appreciated.

goldminegutted
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:30 am

Re: Help for Houston!

Postby goldminegutted » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:32 pm

I won't answer for Tim but I'm guessing (and this would be the reason for me anytime in the future) it's because if he were to reccommend a moving company to you, and things didn't go well, you would be able to blame it on him, you may even have some sort of legal case against him. That's a lot of liability, and especially with a site with some much traffic as this one, you are BOUND to give one bad reccomendation to someone. I think people are fully capable of deciding themselves, Tim's site just gives you all of the education you need.

Houston-SanFrancisco
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:50 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Help for Houston!

Postby Houston-SanFrancisco » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:59 pm

Sorry, my question was aimed more at the question of "full-service" or if there are some particular problems with that particular type of moving service. I understand that neither Tim nor the site will recommend any particular company but I had the impression that there seemed to be an issue with the "full-service" packing movers.

The estimators are coming over tomorrow. Is there some sort of checklist of things I should ask or tell them?

I've sort of cobbled together some questions that I'm going through. These come from a number of sources I've seen on the Internet as well as some I came up with on my own.

Thanks


QUESTIONS FOR MOVE:

What are your DOT & MC numbers and are you a member of FMCSA?
Do you have any FMCSA complaints against your company?
Is your company a broker or a moving hauler? Does your company perform the move, or does it subcontract the move? If it does sub-contract will you provide the names of all subcontractors involved and their DOT and BBB listing?
Do you provide a fixed hour and date for truck arrival at pickup location? What is the window?
What is the penalty for late arrival on the pickup date and time? What is "late"?
What is the penalty for late delivery beyond the delivery window?
Will I be able to be present at the load weighing and be given a copy of the load weight ticket? Where is the weigh station location in relation to the pick up location?

Full Packing: Do you provide an estimate based on Full Pack charges vs "by the box" costs (more expensive)?
Does the estimate include all county fees, gas surcharges, access fees, bulky article fees, as well as any additional fees whatsoever? Will you provide a binding written guarantee that no additional unlisted charges will be made?

Estimates:
1) A STANDARD ESTIMATE. It states that the mover will only charge for the services rendered. If the service or weight is less than the estimate – the mover charges less and they charge more if the weight or service is greater than that estimated.
2) A BOUND price. This says this is your price period. You should know that if less service is provided - you still pay that amount and if we can prove we did things we didn't agree to in the bound price you are still required to pay more as they weren't included
3) A NOT TO EXCEED - this says you will pay less if less is done and a ceiling level is set for a max. Please note that once again - if the mover does more - you are still responsible for service not agreed to.

Agreed Dates and Guaranteed Dates

Unless you have requested guaranteed service, movers are required to transport your shipment within what the regulations define as "reasonable dispatch." This means that your mover is required to accomplish the pickup and delivery of your shipment on the dates you have requested (agreed dates), subject to circumstances that could have not been foreseen or conditions that are beyond the control of the mover that might cause delay.

While your mover will make every effort to see that your shipment is serviced on time, delays due to weather, highway construction, and mechanical breakdown do occur. Also, your shipment will frequently be transported along with several other shipments on a large tractor-trailer. Delays to your shipment can occur if another customer changes his or her plans on an earlier shipment that is already scheduled on the same truck.

If it is critical that your move be performed on specific dates (to meet landlord requirements, real estate closing dates, or job or school-related dates), you may want to consider a service option offered by many movers called Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service. Under this option, you enter into an agreement with your mover that provides for your shipment to be picked up and delivered on specific guaranteed dates. If the mover fails to provide the service as agreed, you are entitled to be compensated at a predetermined daily rate or to be reimbursed for a portion of your expenses. " AMSA Consumer Handbook . Revised January 2006 . Page 12


Do you have a recommended insurance provider for additional coverage?
Cost for coverage for $75,000 declared value with $500 deductible?

Do you perform all the packing and loading in a single day? Do you remove all packing materials at the destination location? Are there limitations to placement within the apartment? A distance from the door?

What liability coverage do you offer for damage to premises or appurtenances during pick-up and drop-off?

How long is the transit time from Houston to San Francisco? What is the delivery window?


Budget truck gas mileage varies from 3-8 miles per gallon
2000 mile trip at 5mpg = $1000 gas

Shuttle to transfer load from truck into San Francisco?

Interviewing movers?
Here are 21 questions you should ask.

All moving companies and consultants are not the same. When it comes to moving your life's possessions you want to be confident the company you choose will be reliable and trustworthy. Here are 21 questions you should know the answers to before you choose your mover.
Company Specific
1) How long has your company been in business?
2) What awards or certifications has your company earned?
3) Is your company a member of the Better Business Bureau?
4) What is your company's qualification process for hiring employees? Drug screening? Background check?
5) Who will be available if I need assistance after normal business hours?
6) Who within your company will coordinate my relocation?
7) What type of shipment tracking is available? Can you access it via the www?

Consultant Specific
1) How long have you been with your company?
2) Have you earned any industry certifications?
3) How do I know I can trust you as my consultant?

Bid Specific
1) Explain how pricing works in your industry.
2) Does your estimate include an inventory of goods that you have agreed to move?
3) Does your estimate include a list of services that you will provide?
4) Is this a firm price? What items are NOT included in this bid?

Move Specific
1) Do you use full-time employees or sub-contractors?
2) What motivates your movers so that they do their very best?
3) If I have damage or something is missing, how do you handle my claim?
4) What steps will be taken to protect my home?
5) How will you protect my belongings from damage?
6) What is the best time of the month to move and why?
7) How do you make sure I receive good service at my destination?

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twalker
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Re: Help for Houston!

Postby twalker » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:20 pm

Hi Houston-SanFrancisco,

This is where most of the people in the moving industry mis-judge me and what I'm trying to accomplish. I've said this over and over, but I think that it's the least remembered thing that I've ever said in my life; I believe that 99% of the moving companies out there are honest, hard-working companies that will do their best to take care of you and treat you right. The problem is that the 1% that are scam companies are always easier for people to find and they tell you everything that you want to hear except the truth.

The reasons I don't recommend any full-service moving companies are based more on moral dilemmas than they are on legal liabilities. I could legally recommend full-service moving companies, but there are several reasons why myself and the other volunteers have chosen not to do so.

The first reason is that if I recommended a full-service moving company to you and you did get ripped off, having lived through that, I would have a difficult time knowing that I was responsible for putting someone else through that kind of experience. It's truly aweful and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.

The second reason is that I don't live where you live and I don't have access to the venues for recommendations that you have where you are. That goes hand in hand with the third reason; I believe it's important to teach consumers the problems that are rampant in the moving industry and how to do the research you need to make sure that you get a reputable company to come and give you in-home estimates

Things work best if a consumer educates themself on how to find a reputable moving company, chooses companies in their area wisely, and then uses us to help them research those companies further or even just to validate their research. We can help you make sure that you've chosen the type of service that is right for your move and that you're getting a fair estimate.

In essense, I'm not against anyone using a full-service moving company. I just want to make sure that you're using the right moving company for your move and we're here to help you find that company.

I know that probably sounds like a bad sales pitch, but remember that I'll never charge you a dime and you'll get the best advice in the industry right here. I hope that helps!

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: Help for Houston!

Postby Diane » Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:22 pm

Houston-SF,

Just a note that I think the sales reps are going to have a meltdown if you ask them all those questions. They are good questions, but a broad statement like "Explain how pricing works in your industry" could cause them to flee. Also, companies aren't members of the FMCSA, which is a federal body monitoring the moving industry. Many companies are members of the AMSA (American Moving & Storage Association), but it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll have a good move with them.

If you are having good companies like Armstrong and Flood come, you've already gone a long way toward having a good move. Two things that the reps should ideally be asked--but may not know or may pretend not to know--are (a) the internal quality scores for their companies and (b) their claims ratios, i.e. the percent of moves that result in claims for damage, and also the percent of moves that result in paid claims for damage. These are very important statistics.

These are one United agent's internal quality scores so you can show the estimators what you're talking about (Allied works on a 1 to 5 system where 5 is tops, United on a 5-star system where 5 stars is tops):

HHGDS Liability: ****
Packing Liability: *****
Warehouse Liability: ***
Safety Performance: ***
Quality Labor: *****

Overall Rating of Sales/consultation: ***** (exceeds)
Overall Rating of Move Coordinator: *** (meets)
Overall Rating of Salesperson: ***** (exceeds)
Accurately Estimating Moving Charges: ***** (exceeds)
Overall Performance of the move: *** (meets)
Willingness to Recommend: ** (below)

Overall Rating of Packing Crew: **** (above)
Last edited by Diane on Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Houston-SanFrancisco
Posts: 16
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Location: Houston

Re: Help for Houston!

Postby Houston-SanFrancisco » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:00 pm

Thanks for the responses.

One obvious question is how does the weighing of the load take place? I've read some references to going with the truck to a weigh station. Is that regularly done? I understand the driver is supposed to provide some sort of a weight ticket without your load (the truck and whatever loads are already in it). Is that trustworthy? Who, or what agency, does the weighing? Are these government weigh stations? Does one have to drive long distances to reach these locations? Can the company be trusted to do it alone? I've read so many accounts of weight scams, that I'm paranoid now.

Also, what about the insurance companies "recommended" or "referred" by the movers? Is there some sort of government listing of licenced insurance providers?

Sorry for all the questions but I greatly appreciate the help.

Houston-SF

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: Help for Houston!

Postby Diane » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:12 pm

I'm going to let someone else answer about the weigh stations because I'm not an expert on that. Reputable moving companies like the ones you're getting quotes from can be trusted to be honest on this.

On the insurance question, only scammers refer people to third-party insurance companies like Baker International and MovingInsurance.com. That's because they don't want to get involved in claims and/or they are just brokers farming your move out to some other scam company. Baker and MovingInsurance won't even sell insurance to you if you're moving with most of the reputable moving companies. The reputable moving companies offer "valuation" coverage on their own to protect you in case of damage and if you're dealing with agents of major van lines you will be safe. They will explain your various options.

Again, the most important thing is to choose reputable companies in the first place. Then all the other things fall into place. Companies with good internal quality scores and low claims ratios/good liability ratings (see above) get them by providing good service to many people over a long period of time.

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twalker
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Re: Help for Houston!

Postby twalker » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:21 pm

Hi Houston-SF,

The weigh stations regulated by the Department of Weights and Measures so it's not like a moving company can easily falsify these documents. Remember that the company will weigh your shipment at origin and if you have a dispute you can demand a re-weigh at no charge to you and you have the right to be present.

You probably won't receive the actual weight tickets but you should verify them personally. This is what it says in the FMCSA's Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet:

Your mover must present all freight bills with true copies of all weight tickets. If your mover does not present its freight bill with all weight tickets, your mover is in violation of Federal law.


And:

The weigh master must sign each weight ticket. Each weight ticket must contain the following six items:

1) The complete name and location of the scale.
2) The date of each weighing.
3) Identification of the weight entries as being the tare, gross, or net weights.
4) The company or mover identification of the vehicle.
5) Your last name as it appears on the Bill of Lading.
6) Your mover's shipment registration or Bill of Lading number.


The exception to this is if you have a simple binding estimate. If that is the case then your shipment may not even be weighed since it's based on the fact that both you and the moving company agree that they will move your belongings from point A to point B for $x.xx. This is also the only type of interstate moving estimate that a moving company can give you based on cubic feet which is another reason to get a binding not-to-exceed estimate.

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

Houston-SanFrancisco
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:50 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Help for Houston!

Postby Houston-SanFrancisco » Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:45 pm

Great! Thanks for the answers, especially the clarification on the weighing.

I can't seem to get one thing straight from the estimators. The insurance vs. valuation coverage. I specifically told them I wanted full replacement coverage, and all three said that they offered full replacement coverage. I was told by one for example, I could have coverage of $5.00/lb up to $36,000. So I asked the one what would happen if my $2500 table was damaged or destroyed but it only weighs 100lb, would I only receive $500 (at the rate I mentioned). They said no I would recieve full replacement (if merited by an appraiser) up to the $2500, but it would not exceed the $36,000 in this case. I see that I can get "Full Value Coverage" for pretty much any amount up to 250,000, with or without deductables.

I contacted Baker Insurance but none of the Allied, Atlas and Armstrong agents were registered with them for insurance, and they amazingly can't provide a listing of registered agents in Houston. You just have to ask a name, and they say yes or no. Unbelievable. So what am I to conclude from that? Are my agents less than trustworthy, or is Baker just disorganized (for sure)?

Questions:
1. Why don't any of these companies want to let me get the insurance? I imagine they want the business, but it was the one weird/dishonest vibe I got from all three (reputable) Allied, Atlas and Armstrong agents. I could not get them to give me a straight answer, even after I reasked and rephrased the question three different ways. It made me uncomfortable where I had been feeling pretty good up to then. Should I be wary?

2. If they provide full replacement value (valuation) up to the value of my belongings, then why would I want insurance? What would insurance provide that full replacement valuation coverage does not?

I understand my renter's insurance does not cover any damage for negligence on the part of the movers (back packing, load shifts, etc.). Does the mover's full replacement cover and and all such evantualities?


Whew? Thanks beforehand for all assistance.

PMueller
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Location: Florida (Tampa Bay area)

Re: Help for Houston!

Postby PMueller » Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:12 pm

I'll take a stab at trying to inform you on valuation vs insurance. I work for a major carrier (Allied) in Florida. This area is difficult for consumers to understand as well as some seasoned representatives to explain.

When the full replacement protection of Extra Care Protection (ECP) is desired, you should select the level of protection that covers the total value of your belongings. At a minimum the value you decalre must be equal to $5.00 per pound times the total weight of your shipment. You may use a higher rate per pound but not less!

You are correct in that you may declare a value higher than the minimum. You may also declare a value higher than $250,000 if needed. The cost for the additional is based on the applicable cost for $250,000 of valuation plus $.65 per $100 of additional valuation. Keep in mind this information is for Allied only. I'm sure the other carriers have something very similar.

ECP covers the cost to repair or replace, whichever is less, any household item that is damaged, lost or destroyed during your move, up to the dollar amount that you declare as the replacement value of your possessions. Replacement is at today's full replacement cost - not a depreciated value. ECP coverage extends to matched sets and pairs such as lamps, candlesticks, end tables and dining room chairs.

Allied's liability for high value items is limited to $100 per pound. But for items that exceed that in value (Lladro figurine or high priced artwork) ECP offers a simple, stress free plan of protection. Allied can help you (your sales rep) prepare an inventory of High Value belongings for those that exceed $100 per pound. Present this form to the carrier prior to packing and Allied will provide you ECP protection for the full value of those items. (This of course is subject to the declared value of the shipment.)

Keep in mind the moving company does not sell insurance. They are not licensed to sell insurance nor is there a policy that is issued. The declared value that the customer places on the shipment is the limit of liability of the shipment while it is in the possession of the carrier.

Your options are basic liability ($.60 per pound per article) or full value replacement (ECP).

Basic liability is not very comprehensive in the event of anything major occuring. Most clients are not happy with the settlement of basic liability. Basic liability is provided at no cost to the customer.

Full Value Replacement is very comprehensive in the event of anything moajor occuring. I advise clients to consider the purchase of full value replacement at the same level of what they have the contents of their home insured for or close to it.

Example:

Dining Room Chair (estimated weight 20 lbs)
Damaged beyond repair
Basic Liability would pay a maximum of $12.00
Full Value Replacement would pay the cost to replace the chair. Plus it would pay to replace the set if one was not available to be purchased to match the existing set of chairs.

I hope this information helps you. Please feel free to send me a private message if you prefer.

goldminegutted
Posts: 159
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Re: Help for Houston!

Postby goldminegutted » Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:18 pm

I know you are weary and that you are eager to be 100% covered, but like somebody said above, I believe that the reputable moving companies just don't work with 3rd party insurance.

It seems like what you want (in terms of peace of mind) is pretty similar to what I wanted when I first came on here, saying I was going to get an iron clad contract and that I wanted everything accounted for and bla bla bla...you won't find a mover that'll take you on this way. I think that what you SHOULD do, is move yourself, if that is at all possible. I scanned the thread real quick and didn't see you say anything about that not being an option. Rent a Penske truck, hire some workers from a good local moving company, and do it yourself. That's the only way you'll be certain everything is exactly where and how you want it. I'm pretty sure you'd have better insurance options then, too, but someone else would have to comfirm that.

Houston-SanFrancisco
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:50 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Help for Houston!

Postby Houston-SanFrancisco » Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:50 pm

Thanks to everyone for the coverage information.

OK. Tomorrow I cross the moving company Rubicon and will enter into an agreement. The truth is that right now I'm not sure where to go. I have about a $800 difference in the estimates (after accounting for one included shuttle, and the others left them out, etc.). My street is plenty ample to provide room for an 18-wheel rig, and I think they can they get around the hills, but I have this feeling that a shuttle is going to happen. I find it odd that none of them know whether a shuttle is required in all of the city of San Francisco, or not.

One is estimating I have 6636 lb and the other 5500 lb. It appears to me that one is estimating high on my load, whereas the other did leave some things out. Also there is a big difference in calculating the boxes required for my books. For example, one estimates 50 boxes for my books, while the other estimates 72 boxes. They both looked at exactly the same thing. What am I to make of that?

Obviously, it would seem tempting to simply go with the smaller estimate and lower price. But am I setting myself up for some problem down the line? If I go with the higher estimate, and the load is lighter then won't I end up at the same price as the cheaper bid?

Any opinions or suggestions? Thanks again and again.


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