What is a binding estimate?

When the move is upon you, choosing a quality moving company is a logical step. However, how does one find a company that best suits their needs? A reliable way of making the right choice begins with comparing estimates from various firms. This ought to give you a clearer picture of how much your move will cost and what company comes with the best offer. Having said that, it’s important that you know there are three different kinds of estimates in regards to relocation:

  • a binding estimate
  • a non-binding estimate
  • a binding not-to-exceed estimate

The text that is in front of you will focus on the first of the bunch, explaining its intricacies.

A binding estimate in short

A binding estimate guarantees that the price you initially get will not change. It is an estimate fixed on a specific figure. The most notable trait is that it stays the same no matter the potential changes that occur during the move. To explain it further, if the weight of your shipment, time, service and/or any other factor changes, it will not affect the price that is given. As it might have crossed your mind, this deal has both the advantages and disadvantages that come with it. Both long distance and local movers in Miami offer this service, so you can feel free to inquire about any details that confuse you. People tend to opt for this kind of estimate for the security it brings. A limited budget can make the venture of relocation daunting, but with a binding estimate, one can have a peace of mind that the price will stay the same throughout.

A person counting money and getting ready to hear all about a binding estimate.
If you are struggling with a limited budget, a binding estimate is the right way to go.

How does a non-binding estimate differ?

Well, it’s non-binding. The reliable moving company in Miami of your choice is not bound to stick to the estimate they originally gave you. Meaning, the price that you get is approximate and most probably bound to change. When a company gives you a form to fill, it is usually for the non-binding estimate. You provide rough details about your move and get a general estimate. With the binding one, you need to fill out the form in detail, describing your belongings, preferred services, distance, dates and time. Thus, the company is able to provide a more concrete and fixed estimate.

What about the binding not-to-exceed estimate?

This option resembles the first one but nullifies its shortcomings. How so? Well, with the binding one, as we said, the price stays the same no matter the changes. This means that you need to pay the agreed amount even if your weight is less than the estimate. With this deal, however, you pay only the initial amount or lower. The estimate that you get at the beginning will not be exceeded, even if your weight is more than the original written estimate. You can see why this is the favored type of estimate for customers.

A guy meditating on a meadow.
Move your belongings but keep your peace of mind with a not-to-exceed estimate.

Rules and regulations of a binding estimate

These are controlled by FMCSA, so it’s best that you are familiar with them.

Your responsibilities

  1. You need to pay the company at the time of the delivery. Do so by cash, certified check, money order, or cashier’s check. Your mover can agree to receive payment prior to the moving day or to extend credit. Basically, it’s up to the mover. If you, however, are prevented from paying come delivery, the company will place your belongings into their safely secured storage. They will stay there until you are ready to pay. Be sure to include the price of storage into the final amount, since the fees are your responsibility.
  2. The moving company can refuse service upon arrival. This can occur if you have failed to list all the belongings you want to be shipped. To avoid such inconvenience, make sure to clearly outline every possession in the estimate. If it so happens that you want to add some items, try your best to notify the movers prior to the loading.
  3. When the company agrees to move your belongings, it can confirm the binding estimate, arrange a revised written binding estimate that has additional items or services in it, or add an attachment to the contract, stating that both sides agree that the estimate is now non-binding. So, try to avoid any altercations in the last minute because it can result in not having a mover on moving day.
A wall clock
Last minute changes are highly inadvisable if your goal is to keep the original price, as well as the moving company

The company’s responsibilities

  1. The company that you hired needs to provide you with a written assessment prior to relocation. Take enough time to go over this evaluation and discuss any possible differences.
  2. The estimate must describe exactly and meticulously the shipment and all the services the company will provide. That way the company cannot charge you any additional fees. If you ask the company for any extra services, they must bill you separately.
  3. The assessment that you get ought to specify that the estimate is binding for the client and the mover. Additionally, they should retain the copy of the binding estimate and keep it attached to the bill of lading.
  4. Once the mover loads your belongings into the truck, the binding estimate is no longer negotiable. They have agreed to the binding estimate and no alterations can be made, nor costs added. The only exception are the additional services and charges that you both previously approved of. Also, these are billed after the shipment is delivered. You only need to pay for the binding estimate on a moving day.