7 Things You See on a Moving Contract

huntington-beach-moving-companyWhen you’re preparing to hire Huntington Beach movers for your next big move, a contract is essential. A contract – also called a Bill of Lading – is a piece of paperwork that basically lets you and the moving company know what’s expected. Most of the time, you won’t need to call on a contract. But if something goes wrong during your moving process, you’ll be glad you have it.

Most people aren’t that familiar with what to look for in contracts in general – let alone in moving contracts that you might see once every few years. So we want to let you know what you should expect to see in a bill of lading contract with any mover you encounter.

All too often these days disreputable moving companies operate scams that seek to railroad consumers with unexpected fees and restrictions. Thoroughly reading and understanding your contract with a Huntington Beach moving company is one of the best ways to avoid this sticky situation.


Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure that your moving contract has these seven elements:

1. Names and addresses

Any moving company that doesn’t provide you with a physical address is likely to be a scam. If you have questions or an odd feeling about a company, drive to their location to see what it’s like. You won’t regret checking them out to make sure they at least have a physical location for their moving vans and office.

The contract should also include your own name and address. Actually, it should include two addresses for you – the one that you’re moving stuff from, and the one that you’re moving stuff to. That way, you know that everyone is clear on where your things are coming from and going to.

2. Dates and times

You’ll also want to be sure that the contract offers details on the dates and times of the moving process. For instance, you’ll want to know when the packers are getting to your home, and how long they’re expected to take. And you definitely want the dates and times of when your household goods will be picked up and when they’ll be delivered to your new home.

3. A List of Services

This is where you’ll start getting to the nitty-gritty of the moving contract. You’ll want to go through the list of services very carefully, to make sure that nothing got added in unexpectedly or left out. For instance, if you’re only agreeing for the movers to pack one or two antique pieces of furniture, while you DIY everything else, make sure the contract says that. On the other hand, if the movers are to pack basically everything you own, make sure the contract says that, too.

4. Rates

Most moving companies price off of a set rate sheet. In other words, it costs so much per pound or per mile to move, and so much per room or per box to pack. The contract will typically include this list of rate sheets, so that you can see how much you’ll be paying for various services. The rate section can be a good place to start negotiating on actual prices. If you’re paying for a lot of services, many moving companies will offer better prices on some of the services you’re paying for.

5. Pricing

After you check out the rates, look for how those rates are being applied to your particular case in the pricing section. This section will tell you how the rates have been applied to your particular case, and what, exactly, you’ll be paying for services. Again, though, double check that the rates are applied correctly, and that you’re not paying for goods or services you don’t actually need.

Another thing to look at in this section of the contract with your Huntington Beach movers is if the pricing is guaranteed. Some companies won’t offer guarantees at all. So if your household goods weigh a lot more than was expected, you’ll pay more in the end. The ideal is to get a contract with a guaranteed price or a price guaranteed within certain limits. Some companies offer a 10% contingency limit. You’ll pay up to 10% more than the quoted price, but no more than that.

6. Other Considerations

The pricing section of the bill of lading will likely include information on other considerations – like extra flights of stairs that the movers have to go up and down. These things can add on to the cost, understandably. But make sure they’re at least all correct.

7. Liability

Finally, the moving contract with your Huntington Beach moving company should include liability language. You’ll want to hire movers whose liability contracts will protect you from lawsuits if any of the movers are harmed on your property. You’ll also want to check out who is liable for the potential damage of your goods during every stage of the moving process.