How to Read a Moving Contract - Big Man's Moving Company Florida

How to Read a Moving Contract

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The moving process can be extremely complicated, long, and stressful. For this reason, moving contracts can get quite long and detailed. Therefore, it is really important to know how to properly read a moving contract. While choosing your Clearwater Beach movers is your number one priority, learning all you can about moving contracts is definitely the second one. We will provide you with all the necessary information right here, in this article.

We will start by explaining what the moving contract is and list (and details) its features, such as description and scope of services, payment, confidentiality and much more. So, the first thing that you need to know is:

What is the moving contract?

Sometimes called an “order for service”, a moving contract outlines all the terms and conditions of your relocation. Both you and the moving company will need to sign this contract, which will ensure that both parties are amenable to the terms within. If you don’t get a moving contract from your movers, especially in case of commercial moving Clearwater FL for example, search for another moving company. Simple as that. If your movers are not providing a contract for both of you to sign, that is a definite “red flag”. Simply take your business somewhere else.

This document is, of course, legally binding. You need to understand all the implications before you sign it. There are numerous parts of the moving contract, and it all can get a bit confusing at times. That is why we will going to break down the parts of the moving contract and explain them one by one.

Read a moving contract properly – List of sections

Here are all the sections that most moving contracts will have in them:

  • Service description
  • Service scope
  • Payment
  • Confidentiality
  • Term of the contract
Read the moving contract thoroughly before you decide to sign.

Service description

This is the section that will appear at the beginning of your moving contract. This particular section will list all of the services that your movers will provide to you. It will also list your initial and final destination. Read this section carefully and make sure that you actually require all of the services that are in there. There might be some services that you can do without, once you know what they are and how much they will cost you.

You can also add services to this section but that will increase the overall cost of the estimate.

Service scope

The scope of services is a section that will serve as a timeline of sorts, for the events that will occur during the execution of the service. It is also a place where all the expectations are set, for both parties in the contract. This section will be organized as a list of items that will cover every step of the way. In some rare cases, it might include you helping out your movers. Some examples include the unloading and loading of the truck and doing inventory. When it comes to the truck, there might be a clause that says that all of the items need to be packed before your truck comes. This sets an expectation for both parties and lists what happens otherwise.

Your movers will also be liable for any damages that might occur when unloading and loading the truck, provided that your part is done.

Read a moving contract well – Payment

In the payment section, details such as the payment method for your services will be present. It will also list when are you supposed to pay for it and what will happen if you miss out on that. This section is largely dependant on the verbal agreements between you and your movers and it might include either a set fee for the services rendered or an hourly rate that is to be determined once the work is done. This is also the section that sees most of the disputes with movers and is thus the section that you need to pay the most attention to. Your reading can literally pay off in this case.

Read the payment section carefully.

Once you sign this section, you are legally bound to pay all that it says. You need to ask any and all questions before you actually sign the document. It is better to be 100% clear on everything before you sign. So make sure that you do, ask them questions!


A pretty standard section of the moving contract, confidentiality states that the moving company will not share any information that they acquire during the terms of your contract. Simple as that. This includes more or less everything. Documents, records or any notes that they might see, they cannot disclose to anyone else. So, if you have any sensitive information, you need to doublecheck this section. Other than that, it is all pretty standard and inconsequential.

Term of the moving contract

The term section is quite short and it only says that your moving contract is valid until the completion of all of the services within. Give it a look over, just in case. If you have any questions about it, ask them. However, this section is mostly there for completeness sake.

Useful moving contract terms

You will encounter some moving terms while reading the sections above. If you don’t know what they mean, confusion might occur. We are going to provide you with an overview of the most important terms.

Additional charges, also known as accessorial charges, are the extra fees that your move will incur. The examples include navigating the truck through extremely difficult areas or packing your items instead of you.

Packing and unpacking are additional services that cost extra.

Read a Moving Contract is simply a copy of the contract itself. You will receive it on a moving day and it will also serve as a receipt.

Linehaul charges detail the weight of your items and the distance that they will be transported.

Replacement value can be either full value or released value. Check which moving insurance and valuation you are getting before you agree to it. Full value replaces the full value of damaged items (up to almost $100 a pound) and released value gives you about $0.60 a pound. Needless to say, one is a lot cheaper than the other.

A binding estimate is a guarantee that the price on the moving contract itself is going to be the price that you will pay at the end. If there are any changes to this, you will receive an amended version of the contract to sign again. You can simply not agree to it and not sign, of course.

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